The absolute best places to use a VPN

Digital freedom
5 mins
Globe with a banner that states "everywhere".

Some people like raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. That’s nice, but ExpressVPN likes Internet privacy, Internet security, and digital freedom.

So here are some excellent places to use a VPN that cover all three of ExpressVPN’s favorite things.

Home VPN Access Keeps You and Your Internet Secure

The best place to use a VPN is within the walls of your own kingdom. Your home is where your most sensitive documents will be, and it’s also likely where you’ll spend most of your online time.

A VPN will beef up your defenses, plus stop any prying eyes from watching you do whatever you damn well want in your own home.

But this isn’t a matter of home VPN vs corporate VPN. Having a VPN at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a VPN for work… more on that later.

Using a VPN for Wi-Fi Hotspots Should Be the Law

At the risk of beating a dead horse, free public Wi-Fi hotspots are not as free as the term free implies. More often than not, “free” Wi-Fi pays for itself by collecting your data and selling it to the highest bidder.

A public Wi-Fi hotspot will likely employ a proxy that will block an Internet connection until you enter some kind of revealing information about yourself. Sometimes it’s just an email, but you’ll likely have to enter your full name, address, and date of birth. What each Wi-Fi company does with your juicy information is up to them, you sign over the rights as soon as you click Agree.

Most businesses are not in the habit of giving services away, so it’s prudent to be careful about what you’re required to agree to before you hit connect.

Unsecured Wi-Fi networks are also exactly as they sound (that is, unsecured). With the right knowledge, anyone connected to the same open network as you could easily access your data. But a good VPN service will disguise your real location and IP address, giving you a much more secure Internet connection.

Use a Coffee Shop VPN and Secure the Novel You’ve Been Writing since 1997

Coffee Shops are famous go-to spots for a bit of Wi-Fi leeching. Yes, I’m a customer! I bought this cup of water three hours ago!

But as much fun as it is to guzzle up someone else’s Internet juice, you still need to protect your hardware. Get yourself a Starbucks VPN before someone hacks into your Mac and steals that novel you’ve been working on, or worse, something important.

What a sign on a hotel might look like.

Use a Good VPN Any Time You’re in a Hotel, Anywhere

Hotel Wi-Fi is pretty much the same as public Wi-Fi, and it comes with all the same security concerns. It doesn’t take much work for a hacker to abuse an open, unsecured network.

But at least people are restricted by the normal rules of society when in a public spot, and people up to no good are sure to attract unwanted attention to themselves eventually.

An unsecured Wi-Fi network in a hotel means that an attacker could lock themselves in a room, unseen by anyone, and do whatever they like with the Internet connection. They could harvest all your data while, ironically, staying in complete privacy.

Office VPN Access Will Bypass Firewall Content Filters (and Hide Your Browsing History)

A lot of workplaces offer limited Internet access because the greatest library of information that’s ever existed is apparently not something some employers want their staff to have at their fingertips.

But hey, It’s their company, they can do what they like. Even if what they do is outrageous and mind numbingly stupid.

Presumably, the thought process goes something along the lines of:

“Don’t let them access Wikipedia. They can make up things they don’t know. Staff can learn on their own time. There’s no room for intellectual growth here.”

If only there were a way to circumvent such daft employment practices.

Psssst. You there… a VPN. Shhhh.

Even if your workplace does allow unrestricted access to the Internet, a work VPN is still a wise choice. Just in case they are watching you watching all those cat videos.

A School VPN Will Bypass Firewall Content Filters (and Hide Your Browsing History)

See above, but replace employer with “all-powerful knowledge overlord.” Or a lecturer, if you want.

Pro tip: You can also use your school VPN as a library VPN. You know, for research. Then, if you study hard enough, maybe your school VPN will graduate to a be College VPN or even a University VPN.

I’ve seen some things and I want you to see them too.

A VPN When Traveling Lets You Mock Your Friends from Everywhere

A lot of countries censor the Internet because they’re run by people concerned with perpetuating their own power and keeping regular folk in check (see work entry again).

When you’re seeing the world and enjoying the sights most can only dream of, it stands to reason that you’ll be wanting to send gloating pictures to mock your friends and family. We all do it.

The problem, though, is that you might find your preferred social media outlet blocked where you are. Worse, your email provider might also be restricted.

Having no access to your email account could be a problem if you have to reach out for help or assistance, or urgently need to contact your loved ones for any reason (though let’s be honest, chances are it’s just for the gloating).

A travel VPN is reassurance that you will be able to send that blue-skied beach shot to your relatives the very second you hear it’s raining back home. And as traveling requires flying, you’ll be needing an airport VPN too (see public places entry again).

Use a VPN When Engaging in Adult Hobbies

ISPs can store your Internet history. But a VPN hides your Internet history, giving you private Internet access. Wink, wink.

In Fact, Just Use a Good VPN Everywhere

Of course, there are many more places to use a VPN and even more reasons to do so. In this age of snooping and federal lawsuits demanding access to people’s data, it’s probably wise to use a VPN for all your Internet connections.

A good VPN gives you the power to access the full Internet wherever you are, for whatever reason.

Where do you use your VPN? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured image: masha_tace / Deposit Photos
Hotel sign: BrianAJackson / Deposit Photos
Sign post: LAMeeks / Deposit Photos

Johnny 5 is the founding editor of the blog and writes about pressing technology issues. From important cat privacy stories to governments and corporations that overstep their boundaries, Johnny covers it all.