10 Great VPN Uses You Probably Don’t Even Know About

Amanda Bradley
10 not-so-common uses of VPN
VPNs are fabulous. They unlock doors, they cloak your identity, and they make online activity safe no matter where you are and what you're doing. But were you aware that millions of people are using a VPN for a lot of other purposes too?

Aside from staying safe online, VPNs are used for a lot of cool things. Here are some neat tricks you can do with your VPN.

1. Play Online Games Without Throttling

Picture this. You and your buddies are knee-deep in an MMORPG, and you’re crushing it. Dead orc bodies that you slaughtered are piling up by your feet, the battle cry is echoing through the air, and you are pumped to finish off your enemies. And then your game cuts off because your service provider throttled your bandwidth.

Now, the only thing getting cut up is your service. But a VPN can alleviate this huge buzz kill. The best VPN services for gaming offer no bandwidth or data limits, so you’ll never get throttled mid-kill. Enjoy all the online games you want, and conquer the world.

2. Watch Netflix and Other Streaming Sites Without Buffering

Here’s another scenario to visualize. You are enjoying a great movie. It’s about halfway in, and you’re just getting to the real juicy part. The suspense/drama/romance/action is at its climax...and the stream stops working. You have to wait for the rest of the video to buffer before you can find out if he gets the girl/makes it out alive/finds the missing piece of the puzzle.

By the time the video buffers, you’re usually frustrated, the popcorn’s finished, and you have all but lost the thrill of the momentum. A good VPN will alleviate this frustration and give you smooth streaming without ever having to worry about that dreaded buffering circle again.

3. Watch Free Streaming TV in Other Countries

The world is filled with entertainment options. From TV shows to music channels and sporting coverage, it’s a good time to be alive for the entertainment consumers out there. And we’re not limited to our motherland content either. Each country has its own style, quirks, and flavor, making that entertainment all the more enjoyable for the unique nature it embodies. Unfortunately, not everyone learned the adage that sharing is caring, and many countries block their content from foreign users. Boo!

A VPN tears down these continental borders and embraces a borderless world. This service allows you to enjoy an eclectic blend of all the world’s finest entertainment without any restrictions.

4. Shop Online While Abroad or at Home

Online shopping is the ultimate in modern convenience. You can get anything in the world with a few clicks or taps of a button, and you'll never even have to leave your couch. The one rub to this innovation is security checks. Often when you are shopping on a website that is different from the country where your credit card is issued, red flags get raised. Maybe this card was stolen. Maybe this is part of an identity fraud scheme. To challenge these claims, you’ll have to prove that you really are who you say you are by sending in proof of ID or other determining factors. Ugh!

If you don’t want to deal with this online shopping barrier, just use a VPN. This way you can choose the country that the site thinks you’re in, and no one will ever be the wiser. Now, online shopping can return to the enjoyable experience it’s meant to be.

5. Unblock Geo-Restricted Content Libraries

How frustrating is it to get to your destination location, unpack your laptop, settle down for a totally chilled evening of your favorite TV shows by your hotel room jacuzzi, and see a “We’re sorry. The content you requested is not available in your region.” message? It’s frustrating beyond words, that’s for sure.

After all, you’re paying for your Netflix account even when you’re on vacation. So, why shouldn’t you be able to access your content too? Probably the biggest use for a VPN after online security is unblocking geo-restricted content libraries like BBC, iPlayer, HBO, Netflix, and Spotify. Whether it’s music, news, or TV shows you want to enjoy, a masked IP address will help you get around those pesky blocks in no time.

6. Research Business Competitors Without Being Detected

Even if you are an ardent VPN user and have implemented many of the above-mentioned use cases, here's a sneaky trick you probably never thought of. Do you own a business or perhaps you're thinking about launching your own product line? Research is an important step toward success, but there's a catch. You can't let your competitors know you're spying on them.

Enter a VPN. The best VPN services allow you to surf the web, check out competitors’ sites, and analyze every aspect of their business without being caught snooping. So in a way, a VPN is just a smart business move.

7. Save Money and Stay Protected on VoIP Calls

VoIP is a great way for businesses (and private users) to enjoy cheaper calling plans and better communication options. Unfortunately, most of these services don’t have solid security to keep your calls private. But your VPN provider does. Top of the line VPN services will let you route your VoIP calls through the network, so all your communications will remain private and totally secure. This is a good idea for anyone, but it is particularly important for businesses conducting their affairs over VoIP.

VPNs can help you save money on your VoIP calls. Just select a server in the country you want to call, so the service thinks you're making a local rather than making an international call. Brilliant!

8. Access a Home Network

Taking a short vacation that work doesn’t know about? This can happen a lot if you telecommute. The best way to avoid any questions in a situation like this is to use a VPN to hide your real location. Just choose a server from your home country, and you’ll be able to access your regular home network just like you always do. And nobody has to be the wiser.

9. Get More From ‘Free’ Services & Websites

Here's a really sneaky trick you can try with your VPN. Often websites will offer freebies such as access to a certain portion of the website or a VIP media channel for first-time users. The way they keep track of visitors is by logging the IP address and cross-referencing their lists whenever someone visits the site. If you've already visited from your IP address (i.e., you’ve already enjoyed the free service or content), then they won’t let you access it again or get more. But when you visit using a VPN, your IP address is different every time, so you can get those freebies over and over again.

10. Save Money on Flight Tickets, Hotels, and Car Rentals

Comparison shopping helps you save a ton, but there's a catch. Websites, and travel sites, in particular, will offer different pricing depending on your location or web activity. So, you may end up paying significantly more for a flight simply because of where you live or how many times you've visited a site. Get around these annoying biases by running your searches through a VPN that hides your location and your actions.

Virtual Private Networks, Helping Out in Every Way

Bet you didn’t know VPNs could be so useful! The best VPN services offer online security, fast and convenient downloads and streaming, and the ability to unblock, circumvent, and spoof the various restrictions that hamper your daily life. Don’t get locked out, get a VPN today.

Amanda Bradley
Amanda Bradley's interests and experience stretch from business to tech, via marketing, hi-tech and travel. Amanda uses her research and writing skills, together with her curiosity about every field and industry, to understand each topic from the inside and share it in an engaging, enticing way.