Virtual private networks (VPNs) are close to being the panacea for everything evil about the internet. They lock away your financial details and personal information from snoopers’ eyes while you browse. But a top-notch VPN can also get you discounts when you buy something online.
So, how can a VPN save you money?
When you connect to a virtual private network, you change your IP address. You look like a different computer. That’s important because other countries get different prices on online deals. You can save money on video games, streaming services, flight tickets, hotel bookings, and software purchases if you make it appear as if you’re located in another country.
So, let’s first get you the best price on the best VPN, and then we’ll show you how to use your VPN to get discounts on the internet. Black Friday is coming up, so after you read this, start googling “VPN Black Friday” to find super-hot VPN deals.
How to choose the best VPN
All VPNs are not created equal. First and foremost, a VPN is a privacy and security tool because what you do on the internet is nobody’s business.
A VPN encrypts your internet traffic to stop your ISP and mobile data provider from snooping on which websites you visit and which apps you use. So, if you hate the idea of someone reading your emails and snatching your Steam login, you need a properly cloaked VPN with these features.
- If a VPN does not use 256-bit AES encryption, don’t go near it. It’s transparent to hackers.
- Top-level cloaking technology: High-tech sites like your bank or Netflix can easily identify and block a free VPN. Don’t risk an account ban. It must have DNS/IP leak protection and a kill switch!
- A verified No Logs policy: Don’t believe in sketchy privacy promises. If your VPN company is registered in any one of the surveillance alliances, e.g., fourteen eyes nations, then the government or other snoopers can get your data.
- A VPN company with plenty of servers across the globe means the company is financially robust, with the ability to maintain its infrastructure and keep its promises. And if you’re getting a VPN with the intention of saving money on online purchases, this is a critical feature, as we’ll discuss later in this article.
- Fast, gaming-optimized servers. You don’t want gaming lag, right? An optimized server can actually cut lag on your game. And anyway, a gamer without a VPN is a sitting duck for targeted DDOS attacks from rivals and haters.
- Tracker blocking to protect marketers from collecting information about your life. An encrypted connection leaves no digital footprint behind, so websites can’t identify you (or assume that you can pay more just because of your nice US ZIP code).
- Internet security features must be able to stop you from stumbling onto hacked or malicious sites.
The low-down on free VPNs
It costs a whack to maintain VPN servers. “Free VPN” companies need money to maintain their servers. They sell your data to make their companies profitable.
It’s really that simple.
How’s that for “free” privacy and hacking protection?
On top of that, their servers get overloaded, and their cloaking technology just can’t cut it. You can test this claim easily. If you try to log into a secure site with geofencing, like a freelancer work platform or Netflix, you’ll get bounced and probably face an account ban.
Methods to save money on VPN subscription
Like all firms, VPN companies regularly offer big discounts to boost their customer base. The offers expire after a limited time but could save you some cash if you catch them at the right time:
- The longer the subscription period, the cheaper the monthly cost. A month-to-month subscription for a VPN worth it’s salt won’t be below $8 and could go as high as $13 per month. However, if you take a 1-month subscription, you’ll be offered a fantastic long-term deal at the end of the trial month.
- Year-round discounts for worthy causes, e.g., if you’re a student or nonprofit.
- Subscribe to newsletters and special deal notifications on your favorite VPN sites to hear about new coupons or deals.
- Get a discount deal from a partner site or a recommendation from a social media influencer. Just a quick note of warning: Be super-careful when you buy from sites that offer unbelievable deals. Don’t buy from a third-party provider without verifying the origin of the deal. Scammers are always lurking around the corner.
- Buy during popular shopping periods like:
- Change of season, for example, Easter or Fall deals;
- Cyber Monday and Black Friday (November);
- Christmas offers (December);
- National events or Holidays, e.g., Fourth of July, St. Patrick’s Day, or Valentine’s day;
- And: “Ahoy, me hearties! Here’s a request for a discount on international Talk Like a Pirate Day”!
Next up, we’ll tell you exactly what to do to recoup the money you spent on your VPN subscription.
How do you get savings using a VPN?
How it works: Most e-commerce websites offer prices to shoppers in different countries. With a VPN, you change your IP address. Your IP address is a unique identifier that can help determine your location and, in turn, which services you can access online.
Here’s the method: Just follow these steps to see the savings stack up:
- Connect to your ‘usual’ server.
- Search for the item, game, hotel, or air ticket you’re interested in.
- Make a note of the price.
- Close your browser.
- Connect to a VPN server in another country.
- Open that same site again, and repeat the search (e.g., item, trip dates, hotel, or air ticket).
- Check out the prices in the native currency of the country you are connected to via VPN.
- Continue the process until you find the right country and the best price.
Conclusion: spend a little, save a lot
There are a lot of opportunities to save money with a VPN. Sure, you’ll need to take out a VPN subscription, but the savings are typically greater. For example, say you normally spend $100 per month on cable. Through a VPN, you can connect to a server in another country and then access streaming services like Netflix for a fraction of the cost.
In addition to unblocking geo-restricted content, you can also anonymize your web browsing, secure your financial data, and protect yourself from cyber threats. Get that VPN Black Friday offer and start stacking up some savings!