If you haven’t downloaded and installed a quality virtual private network (VPN), you might want to get started on that today. The internet is all a-buzz (at least on the US side of things) due to the threats of the end of net neutrality. This issue keeps rearing its ugly head among lawmakers, largely due to the fact that lobbyists for the ISPs and telecom companies have been shelling out big bucks to Congressmen to put an end to an open, one-fee internet.
Now, an important vote in the FCC is set to take place next month that will effectively allow ISPs to set “multi-tier” pricing plans rather than just charging their typical “go to the internet and do your thing” fee. A first-level plan, for example, might only allow you to use email. Social media could cost you more per month by requiring a different plan, streaming video service packages can cost another fee above that plan, and so on.
There’s a lot of speculation about how a VPN could help you get around the new way your internet would operate if this goes through. Whether or not it will actually function to get you past arbitrary and discriminatory pricing plans, there are plenty of good reasons to use one.
Hotspot Shield not only serves as your own private tunnel onto the internet, a tool that has long been touted as a secure option for keeping hackers or other operatives from tracking your activity, but it also helps protect your tech from threats lurking in malicious websites, install links, and more. It’s a must if you connect over public wifi, a consumer behavior that net neutrality advocates say will only increase once ISPs can start cafeteria-pricing their customers out of the internet, since you can’t know who else may be lurking on that same connection.
This particular VPN also serves a key security function by basically turning every website you visit into an https designation. That means it’s a little safer to input your personal information, shipping address, payment details, and more when using the web for shopping or streaming.
Say goodbye to blocked IPs
One way that Hotspot Shield may very well help consumers if the Obama-era net neutrality regulations are overturned is by blocking your IP address. If telecom companies don’t know your address is the one connecting to Facebook or Netflix, for example, then they don’t know that you’re accessing a site that they’ve arbitrarily decided to charge you more to use.
Even without those great reasons to install a VPN, Hotspot Shield adds another layer of security by serving as an anti-malware agent, too. The latest version offers protection against a variety of known threats, thereby protecting your tech as your surf.
Bypass geo locking
One common reason for installing a VPN is to access content that is blocked by geographic agreement. If you’re traveling, for example, and want to watch something from your Netflix account to help ease the jet lag, you might find that site blocked depending on where you’ve gone. By using your VPN and telling your connection that you’re actually back home, you can access the content you already pay for. It’s also a good idea for posting on social media so that your geotag and location services don’t clue others in to the fact that you’re not home.