VPN for Online Shopping - How to Save Money and Secure Your Transactions

VPN for Online Shopping - How to Save Money and Secure Your Transactions

Online shopping has become the most preferred way of shopping for many people all around the world. A VPN for online shopping will secure your transactions and can help you save money.

Online shopping has become extremely popular as it gives you the commodity of checking multiple stores, finding everything you want, and having the items delivered to your door. No more walking around crowded stores and waiting in endless lines. It's no wonder we love it so much.

But, shopping online is not free of risks. That's why a VPN service is essential if you want to keep your money secure while making money transactions online. Moreover, you can find cheaper prices using a VPN, which can save you lots of money.

In this guide, we'll see how a VPN can help your online shopping, how will a VPN secure your transactions and how you can use a VPN to buy things cheaper online.

What does a VPN do?

A VPN creates a secure tunnel between your devices and the internet. The websites you access track your online activity based on your IP address. The IP address is assigned by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and gives information about your physical location. By using a VPN, you choose a remote server located in another country to connect through and it'll hide your real location.

For example, if you're located in the US and connect to a Romanian server, the websites you visit will see you as being connected from Romania. This will give you access to the Romanian specific sites (i.e. Google.com will become Google.co.ro).

Besides hiding your location, a VPN service also encrypts all the traffic that's exchanged between your computer and the internet creating a secure network connection. This is especially useful when you're connecting to public WiFi routers (i.e. coffee shops, hotels) because you can freely online shop and make money transactions without worrying that a hacker will log your online activity or even steal your credit card information.

Why use a VPN when online shopping?

As you've seen above, a VPN hides your real location and creates a secure connection for sending sensitive information such as credit card details. This will benefit your online shopping experience in two main ways.

  • Save money with VPN when shopping online - Using a VPN to buy things cheaper is one of the main reasons to consider a VPN. Many of the prices you see when surfing through online stores are not the same for all users. Because with a VPN you can connect from multiple locations, you have the opportunity to see different prices for different locations and find the cheapest price.
  • Maintain your online privacy and security - Sending money over the internet to pay for items is easy, but it's also risky. Hackers are always looking for vulnerable devices that they can easily hack into, install malware, and log the victims' online activity and personal information (such as bank account credentials). A VPN makes it hard for hackers to turn you into a victim.

Other perks of using a VPN when online shopping

  • Buy geo-restricted software, movies, games - Besides the prices varying based on the countries, there are also situations when media content is only available in specific countries. If you want to buy a movie, for example, before it is released in your own country, a VPN will help you do that. The downside is that you might need a bank account in that country also.
  • Access geo-restricted online shops - Same as with media content, some online shops are only available for users in specific countries. Some great examples are retailers such as Target or Amazon. With a VPN, you can bypass these geographic restrictions.

1. Save money when shopping online

You can save money when online shopping by using a VPN because it will change your IP address and you'll be able to compare different prices and find the best deals. Let's see how using a VPN to save money works.

How websites set up their prices

The prices you see on online shops are not the same for every user. Online shops usually use a pricing system known as dynamic pricing. This means the prices will change depending on who sees them.

When you're surfing online, websites log a lot of information about your online activity. Information such as where you are connecting from, what products you are interested in, the queries you use for searching. Based on the data they collect, they decide what is the price you should see for a specific item. The most important aspect they consider when setting up the prices is the location of the user. Most of the times, shoppers from larger countries will see higher prices compared to those in smaller countries.

Because a VPN gives you the opportunity to connect from various locations, you'll be able to check the prices displayed for more countries and find the cheapest price. It will take a bit more time to check multiple prices when shopping online, but you can end up by saving a good amount of money.

Finding better deals with a VPN

The process of finding cheaper prices by using a VPN is easy and only requires a couple of steps.

1. The first step, of course, is to register for a VPN service. We'll talk about choosing a VPN for online shopping in a bit.

2. You want to get rid of all the online traces you left behind so far. Websites track your online activity based on your IP address and cookies. Even though you'll be connecting through a VPN, if you visited the websites before, they already stored data about your online activity in cookies and they are able to put one with one together. Before starting to hunt better deals, make sure you clear the cookies in your browser.

3. The next step is to connect to a remote server through the VPN. Open up the VPN client and connect to a server located in a different country.

4. Check out the prices. Once you're connected to a remote server, go access the websites where you want to shop from. Do this in Incognito Mode so your browsing history is not tracked.

5. Do it again. Take notes of the prices displayed when connecting from a specific location and repeat the process with various countries until you find the best deal. Don't forget to clear the cookies from the browser before you connect to a different location.

Tips for even more anonymity when online shopping

  • Use the Duck Duck Go search engine - They don't log any of your browsing activity. In conjunction with the VPN service, this will make you completely anonymous online.
  • Use the Tor browser - Another way to avoid having any detail about your online browsing tracked by third parties is to use the Tor browser.
  • Switch to a secure browser - Some browsers place more importance on users' online privacy than others. We compared the most secure browsers out there if you're interested in strengthening your online privacy.

Finding cheaper flights

Airline websites are well known to display different prices based on the location of the users. They are also tracking the flights you check more often and can upcharge you on those specific flights.

To find the best deal, check the prices by using different VPN locations. After you tried a couple of countries, compare the prices and see for which location the flights are offered at the lowest price.

Usually, larger and wealthier countries are charged at higher rates. So it's a best practice to start your searching by connecting to servers in smaller countries and working your way up.

Booking cheaper hotel rooms

Same as you can trick airline websites to show you better deals by changing your IP address holds true for finding cheaper prices for hotels booking.

When searching for better deals on hotels, you want to start by checking the prices connecting to a server that's near your desired location. Most of the times, hotels offer lower rates for locals than they do for tourists.

The day in which you book your reservation also impacts the prices. Studies show that the cheapest day to book a hotel is on Friday or Saturday, while the most expensive day is Tuesday. Also, the cheapest hotel check-in day is on Sunday and the most expensive is on Friday. So if you don't already have a specific date at which you want to travel, you might want to keep your options flexible when looking for the best deal.

2. Maintaining your online privacy and security

All the benefits online shopping provides such as the variety of products, various retailers, the convenience of having the items delivered to your door - all of these are amazing. But they also come with the risk of becoming a credit card fraud victim. Actually, in 2016 the numbers showed that 15.4 million people have been victims to credit card theft and the number is increasing along with the number of online shoppers.

With this mind, you should be cautious where you proceed to do your online shopping and how secure the transactions are. Fortunately, by using a VPN when online shopping will exponentially increase your online security.

Common risks when shopping online

Not a secure domain - If the domains you visit are not secure, especially during the payment processes, it's the perfect environment for hackers to steal your private data and money. So make sure the online shops you visit use an HTTPS connection (check the address bar for https:// in the URL and the padlock symbol).

Malicious websites - One way for hackers to steal personal data from users is by creating malicious websites that look genuine. Avoid shopping from websites that look shady and that you don't trust. And be cautious when a website asks for more information than it may need (such as your social security number).

Compromised accounts - If a hacker manages to get your login credentials for an online shop, s/he can access your account and make purchases in your name. That's why it's best not to save your credit card or PayPal info and to enable a 2-step confirmation for payments (such as receiving an SMS on your phone with a code to complete the online transactions).

Guidelines to keep your transactions secure

  • Don't shop from shady websites
  • Only visit HTTPS websites
  • Use strong passwords and use different passwords for each account
  • Don't save your credit card details, type them in every time you make a purchase
  • Enable 2-steps authentication for your transactions

How to check if your VPN is working

To make sure you're connected through the VPN server of your choice, you can easily check the IP address.

To do so, go to InfoIP and see what IP address it displays. It'll also show you the country you're connecting from. You should see the country and city you chose from your VPN client.

If you still see your real location when accessing the site, it means something is wrong with the VPN connection and the traffic is not routed through the remote server.

How to choose a VPN for online shopping

There are a couple of things you should review before you decide on a provider to start using VPN to buy things cheaper online. Here's what to look for to choose the best VPN.

Don't use a free VPN service - A free VPN service is a NO for online shopping. Actually, it is not advised to use a free VPN service generally speaking. The providers of free VPNs usually collect data about your online activity and sell it to third parties. Besides, free VPNs will exponentially slow down your internet speed.

Make sure they keep no logs - A trustworthy VPN service does not keep logs on its users. You don't want the VPN provider to keep logs because your online activity might end up being sold to third parties for marketing purposes or can even be leaked to hackers with malicious intentions.

Check the encryption they use - Only choose VPN services that use minimum 256-bit encryption to make sure your online shopping journey is safe.

It's suitable for other purposes - A VPN service has more benefits than only saving you money while shopping, and you want to take advantage of them. You can use the VPN to stream videos, access block websites such as Netflix, download torrents anonymously. Make sure the VPN provider allows the actions you need.

It doesn't slow down your connection - Because the VPN encrypts all the traffic, it can slow down your connection a bit. While a reliable VPN service won't make noticeable changes to your internet speed, some will cause your internet to become way too sluggish.

The DrSoft VPN is the perfect solution to secure your online shopping sessions and find the best deals for your desired items or services.

We check all the boxes to offer you a private and secure online experience and we're constantly developing new ways to improve our services.

Now that you've seen what the risks of online shopping are and how a VPN can help you find better deals online, you might consider investing in a reliable VPN service.

The investment in a VPN service is small, and considering the money you can save online shopping when using a VPN, it will basically pay itself from the savings. Moreover, you get all the other benefits such as complete online privacy, unblocking websites, and more.

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