The growing influence of the internet in our daily lives brought about the presence of information online. A lot of this information is useful, while some are personal information which is susceptible to many cybercrimes such as cyberbullying, piracy, identity theft, illegal pornography, defamation, and fraud.
Internet Freedom in the UK
Since 2018, internet freedom in the United Kingdom has somehow improved. It is now recognized as a free country with minimal limits when it comes to content, obstacles in access, and violation of users’ rights. To enforce this, the UK government increased internet surveillance which heightened concerns among citizens. This mass surveillance began in December 2016 with the Investigatory Powers Act or IPA, also known as the “Snooper’s Charter”.
About the United Kingdom
The country of the UK is also the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is not to be confused with Great Britain, which only consists of the constituent countries of England, Scotland, and Wales.
Their government of unitary parliamentary and constitutional monarchy gives the country one of the most famous royal families in the world, where the entire country grandly celebrates Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday each year. The country is also known for its tourist destinations such as the Big Ben, Stonehenge, Buckingham Palace, Manchester Cathedral, Liverpool city, and many more.
The UK has a population of 66.9 million, with a large number of 94.8 percent penetrating the internet. With more than 93,000 square miles of area, it is almost as large as the state of Michigan combined. England is almost as large as the state of Louisiana and is also the most densely populated, Scotland is a little smaller than South Carolina, Wales is just almost as large as New Jersey, while Northern Ireland is the smallest, about the size of Connecticut.
The most common means of connecting to the internet in the UK is through mobile devices such as smartphones. With almost all households in the country accessing the internet, the UK is the 7th most bandwidth per internet user in the world during 2016. The cost of fixed-line broadband is at USD $40.62 monthly on average.
Although ranked as 35th fastest internet in the world, the internet speed in the country lags behind most of Europe with an average of 18.57Mbps. The major ISPs are namely: British Telecom (BT) with 37 percent market share, Sky with 24 percent, Virgin Media with 20 percent, TalkTalk with 12 percent, and others with 8 percent.
According to the survey, the most common internet activity in Great Britain is the use of e-mail. Online banking and social media are also common. Surprisingly, the UK is the country with the most online shopping spenders globally, used for cinema tickets, sports goods, clothes, and the like.
The use of mobile devices, online banking, and social media allowed many British individuals to live life comfortably and conveniently. However, prolonged use of the internet without reliable internet protection can expose you to online threats and problems down the road.
Why You Need a VPN in the UK
Before they become famous in the mainstream media, VPNs were known to be used in schools and businesses. This section discusses how a regular internet user would want a VPN installed on our phones and computers.
But what is a VPN? A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to access the internet in a way that is private and secure. VPNs make use of a secure tunnel that connects your electronic device with the VPN server.
Before your private information enters the tunnel, the VPN encrypts the message so other people cannot read your information. But when the message reaches the VPN server, your message will be decrypted for it to become readable again.
Now that we answered how a VPN works, we can talk about why you need to install a VPN. Here are seven reasons why you should get a VPN:
- Privacy and Anonymity
Whenever you connect to the internet normally, you usually use your Internet Service Provider (ISP) who can see what websites you are visiting and what you are doing online. If you are not doing anything illegal, embarrassing, or confidential. But would you find it weird if you know that someone could be spying on you right now?
If you use a VPN, your data will be encrypted so your ISP, the websites you are visiting, and other potential onlookers cannot understand and decode your data. On top of that, you can mask your own IP address with the IP address of your VPN server.
Aside from privacy, another big thing you can enjoy from your VPN is security. This becomes especially true if you frequent public Wi-Fi hotspots with unsecured connections that can be easily hacked.
By using a VPN while on public Wi-Fi connections, all of the data you sent online will be encrypted. And if they are encrypted, all that the hackers and onlookers can see are random and unsensible data.
- Worldwide Content Coverage
Another popular reason why many choose to go with VPNs are due to geographical content restrictions. Some of the websites, videos, audio files, and documents you may want to access could be blocked in the UK.
With the use of a VPN, you can reroute your connection to another country or state that does not have that said restriction. Digitally-speaking, you can transport anywhere in a single click with the use of a VPN.
- Kill Switch
If you get disconnected to your VPN while still having access to the internet, you are making yourself prone to potential internet threats. If your VPN provider has a kill switch, your internet connection will be automatically disconnected. If you want to increase your protection to the internet, you may find a VPN with this kill switch feature.
- Connection Speed
Normally, the internet connection follows a long and complicated route online with the use of many servers along the way. This is why internet connection lags from time to time.
With a VPN service, you can have a faster internet connection. Some specifically-designed VPNs can transmit data directly to your expected end server. This can bypass internet traffic, making your connection a whole lot faster.
- Best Value for its price
Cheaper options are not always the best for your budget. The best VPN providers offer a reasonable price in exchange for good services.
When looking for a VPN provider, you can watch out for special subscription promos. These deals can help you save money for a while.
- Prompt customer support service
When choosing a VPN, you might find it helpful to consider if the VPN provider can accommodate your queries issues and address them as soon as possible. If your VPN has friendly online chat support, a feedback form, or a phone or email, you can get in touch with your VPN providers as urgent as you needed.