(Pocket-lint) - Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, are one of those types of app that we've all been told we should use, various times, but which often goes a little bit over our heads.
Whether because we don't understand how it works, or why it's useful, a VPN can seem off-putting, but the opposite is true. VPNs can be really easy to use, and can quickly bring a bunch of benefits to normal users. One of the very best on the market is NordVPN, a service that's got millions of users around the world for a reason.
But is NordVPN good? Why should you sign up for it? We've got a great run-down of some of its key features to show you why you should try it out.
1. Maintain your privacy online
A VPN's core function is the way it masks your identity and that of your computer or device by passing your data through a remote, encrypted server. That means that websites, online trackers and cookies can't tell where you are or who you are, depending on your settings.
This means many things, but the core benefit is that it means corporations and businesses can no longer easily and cheaply follow you around the web, hoovering up data about your habits even when you don't realise they're doing so. You get your privacy back, in short, which is something that most people nowadays would be happy reclaim.
Because NordVPN isn't based in the EU or US, it has no obligation to those jurisdictions to track you and hold data that could be accessed by anyone. That means it just doesn't hold that data, which is a win-win for you. Other, less reputable VPNs on the market can't be relied on in the same way.
2. Enjoy amazing speeds
When people discuss potential downsides to using a VPN, one of the most common points is that it could potentially impact your internet speed, but with NordVPN you can be confident that your speed will be as good as possible.
Its network of servers are super fast, and the recently-deployed NordLynx protocol makes this even more whipsmart, masking your IP address in an extremely sophisticated way while ensuring that there's no drop-off in speed. This means that you can enjoy all the beefed-up security that NordVPN brings without worrying about it throttling your internet at all.
3. Don't get locked out of regional content
Of course, when people talk about what makes VPNs great, there's another big topic that comes up a lot - region-locked content. There's nothing more annoying when you're halfway through an amazing series on Netflix or BBC iPlayer or another streaming platform, then you take a holiday or a business trip and get locked out of the series while you're away.
With NordVPN, though, you can choose your assumed location when you make a new connection, meaning that it's insanely easy to switch your location back and watch the content you're entitled to while on the move. We call it becoming a digital tourist, and the freedom it brings with it is a breath of fresh air.
4. Enjoy top-class security
As we said above, NordVPN doesn't just bring with it anonymity, it actually brings protection to the table as well. It uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption to make sure that your data isn't just anonymous, it also couldn't be hacked if anyone tried. That's the same level of protection used by NSA for much of its data, so you know it cuts the mustard.
Plus, unlike many other VPNs you can use NordVPN on a huge range of devices, including Windows, Mac and Linux computers, Android and iOS smartphones and a whole range of browsers, making sure that all your devices can be protected by it.
If you're thinking like us, this probably all adds up to a proposition that has you wondering why you haven't been using NordVPN for years, and we agree. You can sign up for a trial on the NordVPN website right here, though, to get a taste of it for yourself.