Some people view virtual private networks (VPNs) as an unnecessary expense. After all, you still need an internet service like fiber or cable to get online. While most reliable, high-performance VPN providers charge a fee for their service, it’s a smart investment that can actually save you money in the long run.
The cost of an airline ticket varies depending on many factors, some of which include the airline, distance, date and demand. However, some airline companies use algorithms that automatically adjust their ticket prices based on the user’s location. Searching for flights from a Canada-based internet protocol (IP) address, for instance, may yield cheaper prices than searching for the same flight from a U.S.-based IP address. Tunneling your traffic through a VPN can mask your real IP address to reveal cheaper airline ticket prices, or you can always use a VPN for Firefox, which will do the same thing.
A VPN can also save you money on car rentals. Like flights, the price of a car rental often varies depending on the user’s IP address. Using a VPN allows you to change your IP address and potentially score cheaper deals on car rentals.
If you plan on booking a hotel in the near future, use a VPN when searching for prices. Many companies in the travel and tourism industry adjust their prices according to the user’s location, which is determined by his or her IP address.
Furthermore, some hotels offer cheaper prices to first-time visitors on their website. The general idea is to encourage visitors to book a stay during their initial visit to the company’s website. Therefore, the company raises the price for returning visitors who didn’t book a stay during their initial visit. You can trick their website into thinking you’re a first-time visitor, however, by using a VPN.
If you’re one of the millions of Netflix subscribers, you might be surprised to learn the popular streaming video provider charges different rates depending on the region. In Japan, for example, Netflix subscribers pay several dollars less per month for the same service than subscribers in the United States. Argentina has the cheapest Netflix prices, with subscribers paying an average of just $4.75.
Using a VPN can even save you money on streaming music services. According to Quartz, Apple Music costs $10 per month for users in the United States and just $2 per month for users in India.
Protection From Identity Theft and Cyber Crime
Finally, a VPN can protect you from identity theft and cyber crime. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the average cost of identity theft is approximately $1,343. With a VPN, you’ll create a secure internet connection that protects your personal information from cyber criminals.
As you can see, a VPN can save you money in several ways. From cheaper airline tickets and car rentals to cheaper streaming video and music services, these are just a reasons to use a VPN.
Rachel Slifka is a freelance writer and human resources professional. She is passionate about helping fellow millennials find success with their finances and careers. Read more by checking out her website at RachelSlifka.com.