Students in the digital world have the greatest access to the largest amount of information, of varying degrees of usefulness, than any previous generation. This is something of a double-edged sword.
On the one hand the world is literally open to every single individual student, wherever they may be based. Be they sat in a study room in a sprawling metropolis or sat on the floor of a dusty outcrop in the back of beyond.
However, though their access to knowledge is unparalleled, so is the threat they can face from potential attacks and scams that can not only compromise their ability to learn but also the very real possibility of some form of identity theft.
As students become more and more dependent on their online access it’s ever more important they can access it safely, that’s just one of the benefits they can secure from a strong, reliable VPN service.
What is a VPN
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is essentially creating a private gateway to the internet, one that masks your IP (Internet Protocol). In doing so the user is protected by a secure and encrypted connection.
This becomes all the more important if you are accessing the internet from a public service, such as one a student would use in a school or college setting and there are other demonstrable benefits you can secure from a VPN, more on these below.
The best thing about using a VPN relates to the reason behind their original inception. With a VPN you can freely use the internet without having to fear that your activity is being tracked or that your data is being compromised.
The issue of security has never been as clear a threat as it is in 2021. Frankly, if you are accessing the internet without some level of protection, such as that provided by a viable VPN, then you are inviting criminal activity upon yourself.
Speed Up Your Internet
A good VPN can help your connection from avoiding ‘throttling’, which basically means it can reduce and separate internet traffic and in doing so give you more bandwidth. This will lead to a smoother usage of the internet which will leave you free to research and study without having to sit around waiting for documents and pages to fully load.
Unblocking Access Based On Your Location
Now this aspect of a VPN is more commonly associated with access to streaming services but can be hugely advantageous for students also. Using a VPN you can hop onto another server and disguise your location.
This could give you access to material that may not be available in your part of the world. For some, in truly authoritarian regimes this is huge. Clearly in some countries your very access to the internet is restricted and a VPN can ‘fool’ your ISP into thinking you are based somewhere else.
Maximizing Your Down Time
Students, like the rest of us, need their down time. Whether that means gaming or just making the most of your Netflix and Chill time, a VPN will make your personal free time far more rewarding and time efficient.
A VPN can give you access to games and services that may not be available where you are currently based and that is doubly true of streaming services, where some shows and films may be blocked from where you are viewing from.
What are the Best VPN Services?
When it comes to selecting a VPN you should take into account your specific needs and as a student these will be different to for instance, a gamer or an employee of a company working remotely.
Finding a good VPN is easier than ever due to the near infinite amount of reviews and feedback on the services out there. The top 10 VPN services differ according to the characteristics of the provider, with some being more relevant for example when it comes to speedy internet access or one that is built chiefly for security.
Here’s a list of the three best VPN services available today.
Almost certainly the most popular VPN provider in the world, ExpressVPN offers the fastest speeds (when compared to all other competitors) and has great breadth when it comes to their service. This provider has over 3000 servers based in over 150 countries, meaning these guys are near untouchable when it comes to the service they offer users.
In comparative terms Surfshark is relatively new but has already developed a reputation as a good place to start. They are particularly popular with gamers and the fact their VPN can be used on an unlimited number of devices is very useful for those who access and use the internet from a plethora of means.
NordVPN are considered a good value alternative to those cited before. They are also very good when it comes to protecting your privacy, due in part to them being based in Panama, as well as providing a good level of security.