Safe online with a VPN-subscription
A bit more than 5% of all Dutch people have become victim of hacking. Hackers use several methods to break into computers. One of these methods is to use open WIFI networks. Several studies conducted by the Dutch media have shown that is extremely easy for cyber criminals to intercept data traffic of users of open WIFI networks. This gives these hackers access to log data of mail- or bank accounts. A VPN-service protects against this kind of cyber criminality. As a VPN-user you will always have an encrypted connection with a VPN-server. This means that only your device and the VPN-server will be able to read the data traffic between them. Even if a hacker can intercept this data, it will be completely unreadable to him. Thus, you are able to safely use a public WIFI network. For this to work it is paramount that the encryption is not hackable by a hacker. The better VPN-providers use a so-called 256 but encryption key to encrypt the data to prevent this from ever happening.
Anonymous internet with a VPN-service
The storage obligation regarding internet data has been abolished in 2015 in the Netherlands but the government keeps looking for ways to exercise control over the internet. Beside the Dutch government there are also foreign actors like the American NSA, who regularly make the news concerning international spying activities. Besides government actors, companies are also quite interested in your internet data. Google and Facebook have assembled massive databases with data of their clients, among which Dutch clients. Your online privacy is not guaranteed as such. Both governments as well as companies use your IP-address to collect your data and to connect internet traffic back to you. An IP-address is a unique line of numbers which is connected to one specific internet connection. Your IP-address will be hidden when using a VPN-service since you will always connect to a VPN-server first. You will enter the world wide web with a IP-address of a VPN-server, not with your own. To ensure complete anonymity it is of the utmost importance that your VPN-provider doesn’t collect and save logs on your internet usage either.
Circumventing Geographical blockades with a VPN-server
When on holidays abroad you might have noticed that watching your favorite online Netflix series or the NOS football summaries won’t be possible. This is because geographical restrictions are attached to broadcasting rights. The NOS is allowed to broadcast livestreams of the Champions League, but can only do so in the Netherlands. To prevent viewers outside the Netherlands from watching these livestreams, the NOS blocks all access to these livestreams for foreign IP-addresses. Other websites with similar geographical restrictions work in a similar fashion. These geographical restrictions can be circumvented by visiting these services with a Dutch IP-address. This can be done by having your VPN-service make a connection with a Dutch VPN-server. The website considers it a Dutch visitor, allowing you to watch your livestream or video. It allows you to watch the American Netflix of BBC iPlayer. It is important that your VPN-provider has servers in these countries to help you get a IP-address of said country. If you don’t want to wait long for a download of don’t wat to get annoyed about lagging streams you should use a VPN-provider with fast servers.
What is the best VPN-service for the Netherlands?
In conclusion, a VPN service must ensure a secure and anonymous use of the internet in the Netherlands and must work with a high-quality encryption key and shouldn’t keep logs. Even better is when the VPN-provider also offers additional functionalities allowing for anonymity and security online. An example of this kind of additional functionality is a so-called ‘kill switch’ which will disconnect the internet connection automatically in case the connection with the VPN-server is (temporary) lost. This switch prevents you from going online (even for just a moment) with your own IP-address, spoiling your online anonymity. A VPN-service can also be used to circumvent geographical blockades from the Netherlands or from abroad. For this to work you need to check the locations and speeds of the servers of a VPN-provider.