When it comes to Virtual Private Network technology, today’s most active computer and internet users know that it is a security tool that protects your network and your internet traffic. Much fewer people know that a VPN has several uses other than purely security, like how a VPN can save you money on premium subscriptions. A VPN is a very versatile tool that also benefits digital marketing research, as well as having the ability to be a content streaming unblocker, among other uses.

VPNs have been around for quite some time, the core technology itself dating back to the 90s which stems from Microsoft’s PPTP protocol. However, VPN popularity went into high swing some decades later approaching the 2010s. The largest spike came in 2020 when a usage spike of almost 30% was observed. A large spike in online Google searches for VPNs also took place in 2020, when the world went into lockdown. VPN usage spikes have also coincided with growing user distrust in how internet entities gather data and surveillance and safety concerns overall.

Currently, it is estimated that nearly a third of internet users actively utilize VPN services. In the U.S. the figure is much higher, where statistics show that two-thirds of all Americans have used a VPN. High VPN adoption also corresponds with internet censorship in countries such as the UAE, Oman, and Qatar as well as large countries like India and Indonesia. Furthermore, it is a quickly growing market that is expected to exceed $110 billion by 2027.

The popularity (mass commercialization) of VPN products directly coincides with the development of the internet itself, as a result requiring a greater step of security for everyone that is connected. As the internet itself grew exponentially, so did the dark side – the malicious actors which spread malicious software and launch attacks.

What is a VPN?

A VPN is a massively popular cybersecurity tool offered by numerous companies today. It is readily available for all platforms and is simple to install and use. A VPN is a tunneling technology that cradles all of the internet traffic on a device and reroutes it to proprietary servers controlled by the VPN provider.

By encrypting (garbling) the internet traffic coming and going from a device, a VPN anonymizes and cloaks an internet connection so that ISPs, the government, and the rest of the internet cannot easily ascertain a user’s location or intercept internet traffic. A user can usually choose from a wide variety of international servers to reroute their internet connection through.

Premium VPNs also have the bonus of promising that user information is not logged, too.

How Can You Save Money Online With a VPN?

Apart from the outright security benefits a VPN offers, this versatile technology even allows users to save money on online purchases and travel. Because VPN technology can modify a user’s IP address (physical location of the computer or device) it is also able to ‘trick’ how the companies on the internet track users and price their products or services. This way, it is possible to save money on subscriptions, travel, bookings, online purchases, and more by simply using a VPN.

The way websites today work, especially when it comes to booking, streaming subscriptions, and the rest, is that products and services are priced individually. This means that different countries will receive different prices on ranges of products and services. Regional discounts apply online, so leveraging the versatility of a VPN tool will allow users to benefit from this which would otherwise be impossible.

There can sometimes be vast differences in the price of airfare, hotels, and subscription services from country to country. At the very least, users can manage a cost saving of at least $30-50. This can apply to anything from booking a ticket, hotel, to subscribing to services such as Netflix or YouTube premium. Often, countries like India and Argentina (among others) have large regional discounts on online products and services compared to other countries.

It is to be expected that businesses aim to generate revenue, so the use of VPNs does not make them too happy. Sometimes, websites that can ascertain that a single user is changing servers often can block an account. However, most premium modern VPNs can circumvent this scenario with a bit of care from the user’s side such as using a privacy-focused web browser in incognito mode (private browsing) in tandem with a VPN.

It is important to test several VPN servers with a given product or service to find the lowest prices, as this can vary. Also, more and more companies are now aware that users are using this VPN ‘trick’ to catch bargains and benefit from regional discounts. Using premium VPNs such as ExpressVPN or NordVPN, among others, will ensure that the user is as hidden as possible and these deals will usually go through without a problem.