There are plenty of reasons why people use VPNs, whether it’s for added security, anonymity, or because they want to stream their favourite shows despite geo-blocking restrictions. But there are ways using a VPN can save you money. From discounts on car rentals, hotel bookings and flights to accessing VoIP services without paying a penny extra, this article explains how using a VPN can be a real money-saver.
1. Cheaper flights
Flight comparison sites and airlines take into consideration a whole range of factors when generating prices, including location, the currency you’re going to pay with, the point of sale, device data and more. Booking flights from countries like the UK, USA or Australia can sometimes be more expensive than if you were searching for flights from a lower-income country, for example.
As well as using your location to calculate the price, websites also monitor the amount of times you’ve shown ‘interest’ in a particular place and will hoist up the prices where possible. They do this by using cookies to track your searches, alongside using your IP address and HTML5 code to find your location.
Websites also monitor the amount of times you’ve shown ‘interest’ in a particular place and will hoist up the prices where possible.
To stop websites from tracking your searches and increasing the prices, you should clear your cookies and browsing history. Doing so can help reset prices, allowing you to see the original price of the flight. With that said, websites will still be able to identify your location through your IP address, and as such there is no guarantee that the original price you were first offered will be lower than the other price you might find if you use a VPN to shop as if you’re elsewhere.
A VPN, which means Virtual Private Network, allows you to change your IP address to one from another country, hiding your actual location and allowing you to see the prices offered in a different destination instead. For example, if you’re looking for flights in the UK, connecting via a VPN server in Brazil could help you find cheaper flights. And don’t worry – you can still choose to depart from the country you’re actually based in (in this instance, the UK) even though it appears you’re elsewhere.
Another way you can save money on flights using a VPN is by changing your IP address to one from the country where the airline is based. For example, if you’re hoping to fly with KLM you can connect to a server in the Netherlands so that you’re browsing with a Dutch IP address, and you might be offered lower prices. You can install a VPN app on your desktop computer or mobile easily, so wherever you’re browsing from you can still access the best deals.
2. Free VoIP services
VoIP, which stands for ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’ refers to services like Skype, WhatsApp and Google Hangouts. Some of these communication platforms are restricted or blocked in certain countries, and instead they are replaced with the country’s own VoIP services which usually charge a fee. To save yourself some money, using a VPN can bypass these geo-restrictions allowing you to use your preferred, free, VoIP service.
All you need to do is use a VPN to connect to a server in a country where VoIP services are free and available to use. This way, you’re able to continue using your favourite free VoIP services and can connected with your family and friends.
3. Discounts on hotel bookings & car rentals
Similar to the way airlines and flight comparison websites calculate the price of flights, hotels and car rental places adjust their prices according to your location. Again, to find cheaper rates you can try switching to foreign IP addresses – in this instance, ideally an IP that appears to be in the service provider’s country.
By connecting to a VPN server in another country, you’re able to virtually reside in a location of your choice, which will help you find the best deals.
Sometimes, hotels will also offer discounts to people in certain locations. To find the cheapest deal possible, it can be a good idea to try a few different IP addresses – this may take more time, but it will be worth it in the end.
Sometimes, hotels will also offer discounts to people in certain locations.
4. Access more free content online
So you’ve just started reading a truly interesting article only to find that the rest of it is hidden, and an annoying little pop up appears reading something along the lines of ‘sign up to read more’. These are, more often than not, paid subscriptions. Many sites implement restrictions on how much content you can view for free, either per day, per month or overall.
Similar to the way flight comparison sites and airlines track how many times you’ve searched for a particular flight, these sites can see how many times you’ve viewed articles, videos, or blog posts using your IP address. Once you’ve reached the limited number of visits, they cut you off. This is when that little pop up appears, requesting that you sign up to a subscription or paid account in order to access more content.
To get around this, you can use your VPN to hide your IP address, instead switching between random VPN server IPs to trick websites into thinking that you’re a new visitor. This way, you’re able to access an unlimited amount of content for free.
When you’re about to book your next flight or rent a vehicle, why not try using a VPN to see how much money you can save? Easy to use, legal and secure, a VPN is a great little tool to help you save some money.