The surge of VPN use in New Zealand
The rise in people working from home has been matched with a staggering rise in VPN users, and rightfully so, for those wishing to protect their company’s confidential data and mitigate the risk of a cyber attack. As reported by VPNetic, there are many providers available. One VPN service in New Zealand, NordVPN, declared a 165% growth in users back in March, an uptick that outnumbers the surge in other countries. The US, for example, saw their number of VPN users rise by 25%, the UK 20%.
But what is a VPN? And why are they needed in the new work from home generation? VPN stands for “virtual private network” – as the name suggests it gives the user online privacy and anonymity. It does this by masking your IP address, which is typically used to track your actions on the web. VPN’s create a data tunnel between your local network and an exit node in another location, which could be thousands of miles away, in a different country even, making it seem as if you’re in another place. This benefit allows online freedom and a personal VPN has an array of benefits outside of the office too.
If you buy a VPN that allows you to choose which your location, so your IP address “thinks” you’re in a different place, this will also enable you to watch and enjoy content from your chosen country. This is the oldest trick in the book, but an extremely useful one, especially for filling all that new-found time spent at home. With the right service, someone living in New Zealand will be able to access American Netflix, Amazon Prime and so on, giving you a wider array of shows and movies to watch.
In a similar vein, VPNs like Pure VPN can be used to potentially buy cheaper tickets to things. Perhaps more useful before the world locked down, but you can find cheaper flight tickets by choosing another country as airlines and reservation centres have different prices for different countries.
From the business side of things, VPNs are an essential security tool for a workforce now operating out of the office and in their own homes. This trend is likely to continue too, as a study in May revealed that 89% of Kiwis want to continue working from home after Covid-19. VPNs use encryption to scramble data when it’s sent over a Wi-Fi network. Encryption makes the data unreadable. Data security is especially important when using a public Wi-Fi network because it prevents anyone else on the network from eavesdropping on your internet activity. In turn, this helps eradicate the risk from “cyberthiefs” operating on the same Wi-Fi as you, who would be able to nick your username, passwords and a whole host of confidential information. This is essential given that New Zealand was labelled one of the most vulnerable countries susceptible to cyber-attack back in June. Finally, companies that store information on their own private network has been looking to VPNs as a way to give their employees secure remote access to everything they need, from wherever they are working in the world.
The editorial unit