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4 Awesome Advantages of Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

4 Awesome Advantages of Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A VPN is known as the easiest and most convenient method to keep online privacy and security ensured. It is a common perception that because of internet users’ online security and the need of sending internet traffic via encrypted tunnel, VPN technology has been developed. But beside this role, a VPN has much more to offer. I would like to shed some light on a few incredible, yet not-so-known, advantages of a VPN service. So, let’s begin, shall we?

Ok, hold on for a moment! Before getting started with the advantages, let’s have a small introduction of what a VPN is.

In so many words, a virtual private network (VPN) is a safe, private Internet connection where your data and information are encrypted and routed via a private channel, reducing the chances of anyone affecting it.

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Some Really Cool Uses of A VPN

As mentioned earlier, the most commonly known advantages of a VPN are to improve online security, utmost privacy and total freedom. But there are plenty of other benefits of a VPN, which most of us don’t know. Let’s have a look on them:

1. Use A VPN to Book Flights and Hotel Rooms at a Cheap Price

Travelling abroad can be expensive, but research shows that by employing minor hacks such as using a VPN to change your location virtually, you can get cheaper rates. A recent research conducted by Northeastern University reported that airlines offer different rates based on your locations and browsing activities (not to mention, e-commerce stores do this as well)[1]

So how exactly do you find the best prices for your tickets? You got it right, you use a VPN and switch your location to check the fares of a flight from a different country’s IP address. For example, you are living in the US; you are going to travel to the UK, and from there, fly to Spain. Now, if you book your UK to Spain flight from the US, it might cost you more. But if you do so from the UK, you may be able to get a much better price. So, why wait to reach the UK? Use a VPN, connect to a UK server and book your flight to Spain. Tada! You must have saved quite a few bucks by now.

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Hey! The same theory applies to hotel rooms as well. Don’t forget to repeat the same process to save on hotel rooms as well.

(Please note that while this may not be illegal (yet), it does violate most companies’ policies.)

2. Use A VPN to Buy Books and Avoid VAT

If you are a Kindle user and you buy e-books from Amazon, a VPN is a must for you. First, you can buy e-books that are not available in your region with a VPN. Secondly, if you live in Europe and Australia, you can save money on the value-added tax (VAT). In Europe, you will be charged with VAT based on your location. For example, readers living in the UK may pay 20% VAT. If you are from Ireland, you may pay 23% VAT, German 19%, Estonia 21%, Italy 4% and Luxembourg 3%. On average every e-book reader will be paying 17% more for e-books. Fortunately, a VPN can help you save on VAT. You simply need to change your original IP address with one of the VPN server’s IP to avoid paying extra charges for VAT.

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(As noted, please research your country’s laws and regulations on this, in addition to Amazon’s policy, to see if this is illegal, as it’s not advisable to conduct any form of illegal activity.)

3. Use A VPN to Watch Sports Channels in Your Native Language

A large percentage of people are die-hard fans of one sport or another. Some love cricket; some can die for Football; and some have deep-feelings for tennis. But what if you are a German and you are living in the UAE—can you enjoy the FIFA world cup in Arabic? Probably not. A VPN can help you watch sports in your native language by simply taking you back to your home country virtually. Replace your UAE IP address with a German IP and enjoy FIFA in German.

4. Enjoy MMO Games with Your Friends Abroad

VPN can also help when it comes to massive multiplayer online (MMO) gaming. Most games like DOTA 2, World of War Craft, The League of Legends and Battle Field are not available in many regions. So, maybe your friend in China cannot be a part of the tournament. Well, here comes a VPN. A VPN can bypass the restrictions and make your friend a member of your team. It will also help reduce latency and ping. So, enjoy MMO games with your friends from around the globe.

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(Please research the specific gaming policy of whatever game that will be affected by the VPN change, as doing this may be in violation of that gaming policy.)

Final Thoughts

A VPN can be more than just a tool for online security, privacy and freedom. It has unlimited advantages. It also shows how important a VPN has become for every Internet user, with the increased censorships and geological restrictions.

That said, please research the company policies and your country’s laws concerning VPN changes before you decide to change your VPN, as doing this may be illegal federally or in violation with company policy in some cases. As mentioned before, it is never advisable to conduct any form of illegal activity.

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

Reference

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George Olufemi O

Information Technologist

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Last Updated on June 21, 2018

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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