Atlanta Top VPN, Legality, Stats, and Recommendations
The State of VPN Usage in Atlanta
VPN usage has grown increasingly common across the US. With cyber crime rates on the rise, Americans are concerned about their online privacy. Hacker attacks reportedly occur every 39 seconds, affecting one in three Americans every year. Over half a billion of personal records were stolen in 2018 — a 126% jump from 2017.
Atlanta is no exception when it comes to using a VPN. With public WiFi available throughout the city, taking steps to protect yourself isn’t only sensible, but highly recommended. Even the official website of Atlanta stresses that using the city’s public wireless connection is at your own risk.
In 2018, Atlanta was the subject of a major ransomware cyberattack that impacted utility, transportation, and court services. The ransomware used brute-force attacks in an attempt to machine-guess weak passwords. Users who took no security precautions were massively at risk during the attack, which began in March 2018. Had Atlanta citizens used a VPN, they could have avoided becoming victims of the cyberattack.
Since the city’s wireless connection has proven to be vulnerable, it’s no wonder that many people in Atlanta have decided to take steps to shield their private information with a VPN. Whether you’re in Virginia Highland, Buckhead, or Downtown Atlanta, there’s always a risk of becoming a cybercrime victim.
Is it Legal to Use a VPN in Atlanta?
Using a VPN is perfectly legal in Atlanta as well as in the rest of Georgia. For example, you can be in Little Five Points as opposed to downtown Atlanta. Using a VPN would still be legal.
In fact, the whole of the US places no restrictions on the use of a VPN if they’re used for legal reasons. For example, encrypting your connection and protecting your data from attackers.
That’s not to say that people with less legitimate reasons won’t find the anonymity of a VPN appealing. For example, those looking to torrent copyrighted material. As long as your actions aren’t criminal or fraudulent, you’ll run into no problems.
It’s worth mentioning that using a VPN may constitute a breach of the terms of service of certain streaming providers, such as Netflix. While it isn’t illegal to use a VPN to watch videos not available in your country, you’d still be infringing their ToS. This can result in the suspension of your account.
If you’re an online gambling enthusiast and are thinking of using a VPN, I’ve got good news. There are no restrictions in place preventing you from enjoying a game of poker.
Why Use a VPN in Atlanta?
The March 2018 cyberattack hobbled Atlanta’s computer network, crippling businesses for a couple of days. The perpetrators used ransomware to infect victims’ computers then demanded a hefty ransom to restore them. The attack affected utility companies, transportation services, and court systems. Ironically, the type of attack used by the hackers — a brute-force attack — was fairly uncomplicated. It took advantage of vulnerabilities in the city’s IT infrastructure to invade the privacy of so many individuals.
While the authorities caught the perpetrators and brought them to justice, the fact that such a cyberattack was possible is concerning. What it means for people like you and me is that taking appropriate steps to prevent possible data breaches is essential. A VPN offers the best level of privacy and security regardless of whether you’re browsing the Internet using one of Atlanta’s public WiFi connections or your home broadband. Since public WiFi is more vulnerable to cyber thieves, you should always have a VPN in place when using them.
While the Atlanta cyberattack is an important reason to consider using a VPN for all your online activity, it’s not the only aspect of cybersecurity that should concern you. Cyber thieves are everywhere and ready to exploit your sensitive information. This is why securing your connection and data with a VPN is so essential. Even government bodies and employees implement VPNs to keep hackers at bay.
The Benefits of Using a VPN in Atlanta
Using a VPN in Atlanta has many potential benefits you shouldn’t ignore. This is especially true if you spend a lot of time outdoors using public wireless connections in pubs and cafes. Even if you don’t, the confidentiality of your information could still be at risk.
If you’re still unsure of whether a VPN is the right choice for you, here are five benefits you should consider.
Avoid Data Collection by Your ISP
A VPN provides enhanced security and data protection by encrypting the data sent along your Internet connection. As a result, your online activity is concealed and your ISP can’t monitor what you’re doing. Furthermore, a VPN will also safeguard your data from unscrupulous individuals.
However, not all VPN providers offer the level of anonymity you may be looking for. While they do protect against intruders, many still track and store records of your online activity. These records can always be shared with government and surveillance agencies if required. The reason for this is that the US is part of three international surveillance alliances — “Five Eyes”, “Nine Eyes”, and “Fourteen Eyes”. The countries in these alliances collectively gather and share surveillance data with each other. Normally, this information would be provided by your ISP. But if you use a VPN that prevents your ISP from tracking your data, this becomes the responsibility of your VPN provider.
If you’re not comfortable with having your data collected, look for a VPN with a no-log policy. A no-log policy is an additional security measure that ensures no records of your online activity are stored anywhere. As such, your connection will be completely anonymous and private from everyone, including your VPN service provider.
Access Geo-Restricted Content with Ease
Whether you’re planning to travel to Downtown Atlanta or you’re already one of the city’s inhabitants, a VPN is an essential bit of software that will grant you access to geo-restricted content from other countries’ libraries. Netflix is a prime example of service providers that block access to certain content. Nonetheless, there’s a very good reason for doing so.
You see, Netflix doesn’t have a license for its content in every country, so the shows and movies available to you will depend on where you live. If they don’t have a license in your area or country, they’ll restrict your accesse. While it isn’t illegal to use a VPN to access geo-restricted content on Netflix, doing so constitutes a breach of their Terms of Service. It can cause your account to be terminated without notice. As an additional measure of protection, Netflix uses VPN detection software to identify those who choose to go against their ToS. Their techniques are usually more effective on mobile as the exchange of data takes place differently than on desktops.
Another example of service providers with geo-blocked content is the PlayStation Network. If you’re a gaming enthusiast and want to download games unavailable in your country, a VPN can prove immensely useful.
Prevent Bandwidth Throttling
If you’ve never heard of bandwidth throttling, you’re not alone. The term refers to bandwidth caps imposed by your ISP, which usually result in a slower Internet connection. Depending on your ISP, you might have your bandwidth throttled regularly or occasionally.
The good news is that a VPN completely prevents bandwidth throttling. It can offer faster connections that will make browsing the Internet and streaming your favorite content more enjoyable. Because a VPN encrypts your Internet traffic, your ISP won’t be able to see any of your online activity. Thus, they won’t know how much bandwidth you’re actually using. You can do whatever you want no matter how much data or bandwidth you’re using.
Improved Security and Data Protection
One of the most notable advantages of using a VPN in Atlanta is the enhanced level of security it affords its users. Whether you’re logging into your bank account or simply having a chat with a friend on Facebook, you don’t want anyone prying into your affairs. Sadly, cyber thieves are in a position to do so more often than you’d think. That’s why VPN is such an important bit of software. It encrypts your data from hackers and prevents them from accessing or using it. Even if they’re able to intercept the data, they’ll only be able to see a gibberish mess that’s completely useless.
Many VPN services also come with extra security features that protect against common types of cybercrime. For example, some VPNs are equipped to fight malware and phishing. Furthermore, many VPN services can block unwanted ads, improving your Internet connection.
Faster Internet Connections
In addition to preventing bandwidth throttling, a VPN is able to improve your Internet connection speeds. First, you should know that not all VPNs are created equal. Some optimize security while reducing connection speeds. Others prioritize speed over security. This is achieved using a VPN encryption protocol; there are five common protocols, each with its own set of specifications. For example, PPTP offers better speeds but less sophisticated encryption. Conversely, OpenVPN provides nearly unbreakable, military-grade encryption but slower connections.
Choosing an encryption protocol that offers decent speed and a good level of security is entirely possible. You might need to spend some time testing different protocols to find the right one.
Internet Speed and VPN Accessibility
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Internet speeds in Georgia are only one-fourth the speed reported by the Federal Communications Commission. The average Internet speed was only 6.3 Mbps in 2017 compared to 25 Mbps reported by the FCC.
Depending on your online activity, up to 10Mbps may be just enough for you. But if you play multiplayer games online or stream HD content, you’ll want a faster and reliable connection. That’s where a VPN comes into play. It brings together a combination of speed-enhanced protocols and anti-bandwidth-throttling features that help to make your connection fast.
Another great aspect about VPNs is the large number of servers offered in different locations. You can connect to the server that matches your required connection speed. For example, a crowded server in New York might be slower than an empty server in Florida. The more servers a VPN provides, the better your chance of getting high-speed Internet connections.
Still, you might not be able to get the best speeds if the server is located very far away from you. If you try to connect to a server in Central Europe, it’s only reasonable to expect slower connections because of the distance your data has to travel.
Understanding the potential benefits of using a VPN in Atlanta can help you make an informed decision about your online privacy. Looking back at the cyberattack from 2018, it’s clear that having adequate security and protection measures in place can help you avoid the undesirable consequences of cybercrime.
Using a VPN is even more important if you use public WiFi a lot. It can be the city’s public wireless connection or the free WiFi offered by your local McDonald’s. Either way, there’s no escaping the fact that tech-savvy cyber thieves have the potential to intercept your personal information. As their techniques are getting more sophisticated, so should your prevention measures.
Choosing a VPN service with a few essential features can really give you the peace of mind you need. Look for a VPN provider that offers:
- A no-logs policy
- A kill switch option
- Military-grade 256-bit encryption
- Plenty of servers in various locations
Most importantly — use a VPN every time you connect to the Internet to maximize your security and make your experience more pleasant. Your visit to Midtown Atlanta (or wherever your chosen travel destination is) will be far more enjoyable!