18 interesting and cool things you can do with a VPN app

Tips & tricks
10 mins

A VPN does more than just protect your privacy online. Yes, its main job is to encrypt your internet traffic, keeping your data safe from hackers and snoopers. But the capabilities of a VPN extend into several other areas that can make your online experience better and more efficient.

From streaming your favorite shows from anywhere in the world to snagging deals online that are mysteriously cheaper when you’re browsing from another country, a VPN offers a range of benefits that go beyond just security.

Let’s dive in. 

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What is a VPN?
What can I do with a VPN?

What can I do with ExpressVPN?

What is a VPN?

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is software that enhances your security when you go online by encrypting your data transmissions. This encryption forms a protected tunnel between your device and the internet, making your online activities unreadable by snoops like governments, ISPs, and Wi-Fi admins. 

A VPN also replaces your IP address with a different one, which not only makes you more anonymous as you browse but can make you appear to be in a different country.

What is a VPN? image.

So, what do most people use a VPN for? Individuals use VPNs for numerous reasons, including securing their activity when using public Wi-Fi, bypassing internet censorship, or enjoying greater anonymity when browsing websites. It’s an essential tool for secure and private online browsing.

Learn more: How to use a VPN

VPN uses: What can I do with a VPN?

Here are examples of what a high-quality consumer VPN can do. All it takes is turning on the VPN app on your device. (Note that free VPNs often will not provide all of these benefits, and neither would business VPNs, which are designed to help you remotely connect to a company network rather than protect your privacy.)

1. Avoid price discrimination

When you shop online for flights, hotels, or car rentals, you might not be seeing the best prices available. It’s called price discrimination, where online retailers and service providers offer different prices based on your geographical location. 

By masking your IP address with a VPN, you can appear as if you’re browsing from anywhere in the world. This potentially lets you bypass regional price discrimination, allowing you to compare and access deals from different countries. Whether it’s airline tickets or software subscriptions, a VPN can help you scout for the most cost-effective options.

Read more: How to find cheaper flights using a VPN

Just note that this technique doesn’t work 100% of the time. Pricing algorithms are complex and can depend on various factors beyond just location. However, by leveraging a VPN to explore prices from different regions, you’re giving yourself a better chance at snagging a deal.

2. Defeat censorship

A VPN helps you navigate around internet censorship, allowing access to information and social media regardless of local restrictions. By routing your connection through servers in different locations, a VPN enables you to access the internet as if you were in a country without these restrictions. It’s an essential service for users in areas with heavy internet regulation, ensuring access to a free and open web. This is particularly beneficial for accessing news, social platforms, and information that might be blocked in your region, supporting the right to information and freedom of expression securely and with privacy.

Read more: Internet censorship: What is it, and how does it happen?

3. Stay secure on public Wi-Fi

Using public Wi-Fi in hotels, airports, and cafes offers convenience but comes with risks, as these networks are often unsecured, making them hotspots for hackers to intercept your data. Wi-Fi admin could also check what sites you’re visiting if they wanted to. ExpressVPN creates a secure tunnel for your internet connection, encrypting your data to protect against snooping.

4. Unblock social media apps

In many regions around the world, access to social media platforms like Facebook, X, Instagram, and WhatsApp can be restricted or completely blocked due to government censorship. A VPN helps you bypass these restrictions by allowing you to connect to servers where these apps are available, ensuring you stay connected with friends and family, no matter where you are.

Some schools and workplaces also block popular apps on their Wi-Fi to avoid distractions or high bandwidth use. A VPN unblocks those restrictions, too.

5. Stream your favorite shows while traveling

Have you tried to watch your usual shows while traveling, only to be told it is blocked in the country? Shows, movies, and videos can be blocked based on location for various reasons. A VPN can help you get back to your usual access, allowing you to stream your favorite content again.*

6. Access more live sports

Sports fans often find themselves unable to watch live events not on offer in their country. A VPN can potentially overcome these limitations by providing access to servers around the world, allowing fans to seek out live international sports events.* 

7. Unblock VoIP services

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services like Skype, WhatsApp, and Viber have revolutionized the way we communicate, offering a cost-effective alternative to traditional telephone networks. However, accessing these services can be challenging in countries with VoIP restrictions. Some governments block VoIP, leaving you disconnected from friends and family.  By using a VPN, you can mask your IP address and appear as if you’re accessing the internet from a location where VoIP services are available and unrestricted.

8. Enhance security while using Tor

The Tor network is a powerful tool for preserving anonymity online, allowing users to access the internet and even the dark web without revealing their IP address. However, using a VPN with Tor is even better. A VPN masks your IP address so none of the nodes your traffic passes through can see your real IP.

Read more: Tor vs. VPN: What’s the difference?

9. Minimize tracking

Websites and advertisers deploy trackers to analyze your behavior and preferences, often to serve you targeted ads while reducing your privacy. A VPN plays an important role thwarting tracking. By masking your IP address, a VPN makes it challenging for these trackers to follow your online movements.

10. Bypass ISP restrictions

ISPs are known to slow down (throttle) internet connections if they detect that you are engaging in high-bandwidth activities like streaming or gaming. They do this to preserve bandwidth. When you use a VPN, your ISP cannot see your activity and therefore won’t restrict your connection.

While mainly a concern in high-censorship countries, ISPs can restrict the content you can access online, such as adult content. Moreover, ISPs may place limitations on in-app purchases, restrict web usage time, and even dictate when you can use the internet. A VPN can serve as an important tool for bypassing these ISP-imposed restrictions, offering a pathway to a free and open internet. 

11. Optimize your gameplay

Using a gaming VPN means you can reduce ping, minimize lag, and enhance connectivity, making online gaming smoother and more enjoyable. VPNs also protect against DDoS attacks, a common nuisance in competitive gaming circles. This means you can focus on your gameplay without worrying about interruptions or network instability. 

*While a VPN can provide access to restricted content and services, it’s important to use this tool responsibly. Be aware of the laws and regulations in your country, and the service level agreements (SLAs) of any online platform, regarding VPN use and access to digital content. Always ensure you comply with both local laws and platform policies to avoid potential issues.

What can I do with ExpressVPN?

ExpressVPN not only provides you with the essential privacy and security to navigate the web freely but also comes packed with unique features tailored to enhance your online experience. Along with all of the above, here are few more things you can do with ExpressVPN:

1. Be confident in your privacy

ExpressVPN uses strong encryption to protect your internet traffic, rendering your online activities unreadable to ISPs, advertisers, and potential hackers. Moreover, a VPN gives you a different IP address, so nothing from your browsing history to your download choices can be connected back to you. We committed to never logging user activity, which means no one can see what you’re doing—not even us or law enforcement. Our security claims have been extensively audited by independent experts, giving users confidence in our VPN.

2. Block ads, trackers, and adult sites

ExpressVPN apps are equipped with extra features at no extra cost, making it a comprehensive tool for protecting your home network:

  • Our ad blocker feature stops display ads from loading on your device, keeping away intrusive content while speeding up your browsing speed.
  • Threat Manager is designed to prevent your devices from communicating with harmful websites known for hosting malware, phishing attempts, or trackers.
  • Parental controls offer the ability to tailor your children’s internet access, allowing you to block inappropriate content and manage what they can see online..

3. Secure your entire home

Most of us have multiple internet-connected devices. In a single household, there could be dozens, including smart home items. ExpressVPN offers a solution for protecting your whole home with our VPN router software, giving you full VPN benefits on your router (and included with every subscription). This means not only your computers and smartphones but also smart TVs, gaming consoles, and even smart thermostats benefit from the same level of security and privacy. 

By setting up ExpressVPN on your router or purchasing our own Aircove router, all devices using your Wi-Fi are protected by VPN, and you get to choose your VPN locations just as you would on your phone or computer. Don’t use a VPN router? An ExpressVPN subscription lets you connect to the VPN on eight devices simultaneously, enough for your whole family to go online safely.

4. Stay secure anywhere with Aircove Go

When traveling, maintaining access to familiar websites and ensuring internet security can be challenging. ExpressVPN’s Aircove Go is specifically designed to address the concerns of travelers, giving you easy VPN coverage on the go. Aircove Go’s compact size and ease of setup make it an ideal travel companion, ensuring you can connect unlimited devices simultaneously to ExpressVPN. All you have to do is connect Aircove Go to an existing Wi-Fi network, then connect all your devices to Aircove Go. 

5. Seamlessly stream on Apple TV and Android TV

In a stride toward perfecting streaming experiences, ExpressVPN has launched a VPN app specifically for Apple TV. This move, coupled with our Android TV app, caters to the streaming aficionado seeking not just variety in content but also privacy and security in their viewing habits. Download the app on your smart TV just like any other app and hit connect. Included with every ExpressVPN subscription.

6. Store your passwords

ExpressVPN comes with a password manager, Keys, which lets you store your passwords in a secure vault and access them via a primary password. Having to remember only one password rather than dozens means you can set stronger, unique passwords to safeguard your online accounts. There is no additional charge to subscribers to use Keys, built in to our apps for iOS and Android, and available as a Chrome browser extension.

Video: Best ways to store your passwords

7. Protect against threats of the future

While today’s strongest encryption is a solid solution to protecting your data, there is the risk that encrypted data can be decrypted with the advent of quantum computers. This is why we developed post-quantum protection for ExpressVPN’s Lightway VPN protocol. When you go online with ExpressVPN, your data is encrypted in such a way that even quantum computing won’t be a threat.

FAQ: About uses for a VPN

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