If you haven’t signed up for a VPN service yet, you need to. I’ve been a customer of Private Internet Access for more than a year now, and the annual $40 has been more than worth it.
Here’s a quick list of what I’ve used it for:
- Tunneling torrents through it
- Connecting to IRC networks that don’t use SASL and/or mask your IP
- Watching Netflix outside the US1
- Connecting securely to public wifi
Especially that last one. Every time you sit down at a Starbucks, a public library, or anywhere with a publicly available wireless network, there could be someone listening in on your wireless transmissions. It doesn’t require much knowhow to pull off either.
Note this matters even more when you log in to websites that aren’t using a secure connection (
http://). Your credentials transmit in plain text. That should scare you.
This goes both ways: sometimes you want access to the US catalog from outside the country, and sometimes you want access to another country’s catalog (e.g. Canada’s) from inside the country. ↩