The trade war between the United Sates and China has recently started to take a toll on ordinary people. Earlier, the trading tariffs imposed by the two countries on each other had been damaging only large companies working globally. Now, they are affecting travelers so badly that the US State Department issued a travel warning asking people to exercise increased caution when flying to China. Because several travelers have recently been disallowed to leave the Chinese Mainland, people are becoming reluctant to travel there out of fear that they will also be detained.
With fewer Americans visiting China, local young people get fewer opportunities to practice spoken English. China had always been employing native English speakers in language schools in all provinces in the hope that young people would learn American idioms and improve their pronunciation. Faced with unemployment in the United Sates, many Americans were glad to teach English abroad and get to know the unique Chinese culture, taste Cantonese cuisine, and learn Mandarin. Considering that Chinese government exercises strict censorship of the internet and blocks many Western websites, American travelers often were the only speakers of correct English with whom young Chinese learners could practice speaking and listening.
Now, when Americans do not venture to visit China, young people have to fall back on the internet in search of native English speakers, which is not an easy feat, since Western websites are mostly banned here. What they can do, however, is to install a VPN in Shanghai or any other city in China and, with its assistance, to access Western websites and listen to proper English. There are numerous other benefits that Chinese millennials can get from installing Virtual Private Networks, on which we are elaborating in the paragraphs below. But if you do not fully understand what VPNs are and how they work, continue reading. In what follows, we are explaining the operational principles of VPNs in the language not cluttered with technical jargon.
What Is the VPN?
The VPN is a service that enables you to access the internet privately and safely by routing your connection through a server and hiding your online presence. With the VPN, you can protect yourself from censorship, interference, and snooping on untrustworthy Wi-Fi hotspots. You can also get shielded from being logged while you are torrenting. Equipped with the VPN, you can securely watch Netflix movies and TV shows from any of your devices and browse Facebook, Vimeo, or Bloomberg, or other websites that are blocked in China. Whatever you do online, all your traffic will remain undetected.
To gain this protection, you need to start the VPN software from your VPN service. The software will encrypt your data before a Chinese Internet Service Provider (ISP) detects it. After it has been encrypted, your data will stream to the Virtual Private Network. From the VPN server, it will go to your desired online destination – Google, Netflix American library, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. What the VPN does to your destination is confusing it. The software makes it believe that your data comes from the VPN and its location rather than from your electronic device in Shanghai, Beijing, or Shenzhen. To understand this operational principle better, think of the VPN server as a proxy that connects to the internet on your behalf.
What Can You Do with the VPN?
First and foremost, as we have already pointed out, with the VPN, you can access any content blocked in China. Although most millennials in China use only local search engines and websites and do not keenly feel the need to surf western ones, those of them who lived abroad are familiar with WhatsApp, Messenger, and Facebook and miss talking to their English-speaking friends on these networks. If you want to browse banned websites, the VPN can help you circumvent all restrictions and gain the information you search. Western websites are also the best place to improve your English pronunciation and comprehension.
By accessing such blocked services as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, you can also watch American and European movies and shows not available in China. You just need to make sure that you choose an IP address of that country where Netflix’s services are cheaper, because the company offers different prices to different geographical regions. If you select a Portuguese IP address, for example, you will pay $8.94 a month for the Netflix library of 3142 items. With an IP address in Switzerland, you will pay $17.29 a month for a standard plan that will allow you to enjoy 1484 TV shows and 3109 movies. The difference in prices for services streamed to various countries is substantial, so it is advisable to study Netflix’s offers attentively.
Armed with the VPN, you can also safely connect to any WiFi, which comes in handy, when you are using the internet in public places such as a coffee shop, university library, students’ dormitory, or airport. The problem with public places is that the connections there are not encrypted and often do not even require a password. When you are surfing the public internet, there is, therefore, a possibility of hacking or eavesdropping. And it does not matter whether a hacker is Chinese government, public organization, or a private individual. What is important is that your privacy and security are violated by hackers’ intrusions. To secure your data in public places, you can use the VPN that will help you not only safely connect to any WiFi there but also stay protected while you are online.
Benefits from Virtual Private Networks indeed abound. Helped by the VPN, you can bypass traffic shaping and even buy cheaper flight tickets. Or you can save money on car rentals. Or you can play online games without being slowed down by your ISP. With so many useful functions to its credit, you should consider installing a VPN on your computer. The Virtual Private Network will definitely make your life qualitatively better.
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