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As fun as wandering through malls and going shopping down city streets is, it turns out we’re doing much less of that and are increasingly turning to our devices to shop instead.
In 2019, online shopping overtook traditional retail for the first time in history and our preference for digital browsing hasn’t slowed down since. In 2020, the market is even predicted to hit the four trillion-dollar mark.
Since we’re spending so much time and money online these days, it only makes sense to maximize our savings wherever possible.
Are you one of those shoppers who are always on the lookout for discount codes or the hottest Groupon deals? Did you know that there are other ways to save online with minimal effort on your behalf?
In today’s post, we’re going to cover how a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can save you money online.
Whether it’s sending flowers to your grandmother in a foreign country, selecting the perfect hotel for your next holiday, or unlocking free, high-quality content, a VPN is a nifty tool to have in your money-saving arsenal.
Although at the time of writing we’re more confined to our home nations than we have been for the last 50-odd years, at some point, tourism and travel will return. After all, Brits are starting to fly to Spain for holidays so it stands to reason that a return to normalcy will happen eventually.
When it does, we’re all going to need a well-deserved holiday, preferably for less since the pandemic has been taxing financially! That’s where downloading a VPN comes in. Travel deals and the rates displayed for hotels, car rentals, flights, and more are set according to your IP address location.
So if you’re researching hotels in Belize, for example, but the website knows you’re located in the United States, you will receive rates in USD. And rates that are potentially higher than what a local Belizian would see.
To skirt geo-restricted prices and immerse yourself in the “local” internet, simply turn on your VPN and connect to the server in your destination country. This essentially spoofs your IP address and masks your true location.
Likewise, with flights, connect to a travel destination that is known to be cheaper and you might find yourself unlocking some fabulous deals and avoiding the pitfalls of “dynamic pricing,” aka pricing set according to who is searching.
In many ways, you can think of your VPN as a worldwide discount card and your ticket to bargains.
Many sites and retailers use the dynamic pricing structure we mentioned above, so even if you’re searching for a new bathrobe or a couple of blockbuster books, you might get a better deal if you use your VPN and connect to another destination.
The next way your VPN subscription can save you money online is also linked to geo-blocking restrictions. But instead of scooping up travel deals, you’re going to spoof your location to unlock geo-blocked content from around the world.
While Netflix is all well and good as it is, it’s nice to branch out a little and see what else is on offer. Try connecting your VPN to a different server overseas and then loading your Netflix account, you will be surprised by the huge differences in content.
But it’s not all about Netflix, did you know that you can also use your VPN to gain access to free on-demand digital TV stations? Granted, it’s a little more effort but the rewards are certainly worth it!
To maximize your potential savings while you shop for a bargain, it pays to clear out any cookies on your computer.
This is easy to do. First, simply head to your search history and clear your browsing data to remove any tracking cookies or lingering information from past searches. Then, open up a new incognito tab. Switch on your VPN, select a server location, and bargain hunt safe in the knowledge you’re on track for the best deals.
Sometimes it’s all too true that only the best things in life are free, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to free VPN software. In fact, using a free VPN to try and unlock bargains could see you unlocking your own data to unscrupulous parties. Or even worse, forfeiting sensitive financial info.
Free VPNs sound great, especially to those of us who love a deal, but unfortunately, many if not most are privacy disasters. It seems counter-intuitive given the very nature of privacy software, but free VPN services have been known to sell user data to third parties.
Using a high-quality VPN, on the other hand, protects your data as your surf and shop, keeping your information safe from threats and helping you find bargains.