By Sebastian Fernando, on 30 October 2014
Is there a need to have a VPN service at home?
For most people, using the internet as home is just an innocuous part of daily life as we check e-mails and chat with friends without giving it a second thought.
However, many governments are starting to introduce laws and legislation which could show all of our activity forcing some users to go to extra efforts to protect their online data from prying eyes.
VPN networks have long been seen as a way to browse the Internet securely whilst on public
networks but more and more people are now using these services from within their own home in order to truly feel safe. Is this truly a necessary step to ensure our privacy or just a reaction to unpopular new laws?
A desire for better access to entertainment
Even though 99% of users don’t get up to sinister crimes at home, many people have turned to VPN’s as a way of ensuring that they can access whatever they desire on the web particularly when it comes to TV and music.
With many of the world’s most popular shows being made in the US or the UK, viewers in other regions are often forced to wait days to see the next instalment of their favourite series. Knowing that the story is available, viewers look to VPN services to bypass any regional limits put in place to enjoy content as soon as it is readily available.
It’s the same even for dedicated streaming platforms such as Netflix where subscribers access their own accounts through a VPN service just so they can watch shows unavailable on their general network whenever it suits them.
With the internet being so open, it has allowed viewers to throw patience out of the window and use the technology at their disposal to view what they want without any real drama.
A need to beat censorship
Of course, issues regarding censorship are much harsher in some countries than what they are in others. Whilst the Western world is free from blocked sites, other regions such as China and the Middle East have gained notoriety for censoring relatively harmless sites.
Indeed, some of the world’s top sites such as Google or the BBC are banned for seemingly going against the beliefs of those in charge.
It is here when VPN’s are seen as an important tool for everyday users who wish to get an alternative perspective on the world and see basic content that other users take for granted.
Understandably, the use of such services in these areas is difficult to monitor but it does present residents with a suitable means of accessing the digital world without any restrictions.
This demands alone has contributed to the huge growth of the VPN provider market. We now have providers who are building huge server networks that allows hundreds of thousands of users to connect through via an encrypted connection. As of the time this article was written there are over 60 VPN commercial providers.
Will VPN’s earn a place in our homes?
As the world continues to increasingly rely on digital products, there is no doubt that people will be using VPN services at home to surf the web on a daily basis.
The need for free and open web access is something that will dictate modern society for decades to come and the evolution of services such as VPN’s will only go to underline their importance as they grow in popularity.
By Sebastian Fernando, on 21 March 2014
Congratulations to students Nicholas Tenhue, Manfred Micaux, Angie Skazka and David Pribil, all of whom are studying the MSc ICT Innovation at UCL, for being awarded mentoring from Airbnb CTO, Nathan Blecharczyk.. Their app, RunTroll, connects runners across the world in real-time in order to provide a multi-player race experience.