The internet has made our lives incredibly easy and convenient. These days, you don’t even need to leave your house to buy groceries — you can shop online and have them delivered straight to your door. Sitting on a train with a long journey ahead of you? Launch Netflix on your smartphone and watch some movies or TV shows. Online products and services have changed the way that the world works. However, they can be incredibly expensive sometimes, and it’s not always worth paying massive amounts of money for what you’re getting in return.
The truth is that some online subscriptions are purposely inflated based on geographic locations. For example, you might pay more for a service in one country compared to another. As frustrating as this might be for internet users, it’s simply a clever way that companies are making more money off richer customers.
Luckily though, there is a way that you can trick websites into thinking that you’re accessing them from a different area or region. This allows you to get online subscriptions for much cheaper, which will save you money in the long run. However, you will need a cybersecurity tool known as a VPN. Keep reading to find out how VPNs work, and how you can find the best VPNs for cheaper subscriptions.
How Subscription Fees Differ Around the World
If you don’t travel frequently then you might not be familiar with price discrimination based on geographic location. While it might not be massive companies like Netflix and Amazon Prime, there are some companies out there that will adjust the prices of their products and services based on where you’re accessing the website from.
For example, a streaming service might be $50 per month in the United States, but in South Africa, the same streaming service is just $15 per month. That might seem like a drastic jump in prices, but it’s the unfortunate reality of the world that we live in. But why exactly do companies use this method?
Businesses will often adjust their prices based on the socioeconomic factors in the country. For example, if it’s a third-world country where the average income is smaller and the residents of the country have less disposable income, it makes more sense to reduce the prices. When the prices are reduced, more people within the country can afford to subscribe to the service, which means that they will sell more of their subscription package.
On the other hand, first-world countries have a lot more money going around. The residents are often paid much better, have a stronger currency, and have more disposable income that they can afford to spend. In this instance, it makes sense to push the prices up a bit because the business can generate more profit while still making a large number of sales.
Use This Cybersecurity Tool
Don’t worry though, you don’t need to travel to a third-world country just to get a discount on your online subscriptions! There’s a cybersecurity tool that can help you to change your device’s virtual location and trick websites into thinking that you’re accessing them from elsewhere.
The tool in question is a virtual private network, also known as a VPN for short. VPNs allow you to spoof your device’s location because they have secure global servers that you can connect to. Each of the servers on a VPN is located in a different country or city around the world.
When you connect to one of these servers, your real IP address will be hidden from any website that you visit, and your device will use the IP address of the VPN server instead. This is simply done by routing your internet traffic through the server, which tricks the website into thinking that you are accessing it from the VPN server’s location.
An IP address is a unique string of numbers that websites can use to identify your device on the internet. Part of an IP address’s role is to pinpoint your device’s location and provide that information to websites so that they can send you targeted marketing based on your geolocation. That’s why you will always see your local grocery store’s ads even if you’re visiting a website from another country. Changing your IP address using a VPN will effectively change your device’s location too.
VPNs are cybersecurity tools primarily, so their main purpose is to protect your internet connection by encrypting it. A connection that has been encrypted with a VPN will prevent anyone else from seeing what the user is doing on their device while surfing the web. So, VPNs can not only spoof your location, but they can also mask all of your online activity, which makes them the perfect tools for privacy and security online.
More from us: What Is a VPN? Your Personal Guide
Make Sure You Choose the Right VPN
Now that you know the secret behind finding cheaper online subscriptions, it’s time to talk about VPNs, and specifically how to make sure that you choose the right one! If you don’t choose the right VPN, then this entire process might not even work at all.
The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a VPN is to always use a premium VPN. It might be tempting to use a free VPN, but you might struggle to get the cheapest possible online subscriptions.
Free VPNs often limit the global servers that their users can choose from. This means that you might not even be able to find a country that offers a cheaper subscription for the service that you are looking for.
Free VPNs also have slower connection speeds because they purposely throttle the connection. This may lead to a frustrating browsing experience as you’ll have to deal with slow web page loading times, connection interruptions, and even your connection not working at all.
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that many free VPNs don’t have powerful encryption technology, which means that the security and privacy element could be lacking compared to a premium VPN.