Historically the best way to save money has been looking out for sales and promo codes at your favorite brands. But stores aren’t always offering a deal, so Groupon Coupons also finds insider info to maximize savings at stores like Macy’s, Costco, and more. This time we partnered with Surfshark for the ultimate shopping tip—one that can save you money on all kinds of online purchases.
The tip: a VPN.
A VPN, aka a Virtual Private Network, is like a tunnel for your internet connection. Anytime you get online, the VPN takes your internet signal and funnels it through another computer server, masking your identity and activity. This keeps your information, including login credentials, credit card numbers, and other identifiers secure. This can help you save money in lots of ways:
Products like Netflix, Apple Music, Microsoft Office, The Economist, and others all vary their pricing depending on the country. That’s because, just like housing prices, what seems like a value in one place might be overpriced in another area. On the internet, your IP address (your online ID) tells websites where you are when you’re browsing. And it’s been proven that companies use this data to set their prices. By routing your internet signal through a server based in a country with a lower average income, you’re likely to save on all those monthly and yearly subscription fees.
Just like subscription services, travel companies use location data to determine pricing on flights, hotels, and rental cars. If you live in the United States or a large city, it’s likely that you will be shown a different price than someone searching for the same thing in a more rural area.
Have you ever gone to a website and seen a great introductory price only to have it disappear if you visit the site again? Companies use this trick to incentivize people to make a quicker, more impulsive purchase. With a VPN, the website won’t recognize that you’ve been there before and will treat you like a new customer, lower price and all.
Netflix and other streaming services have huge catalogs of content, but what’s available varies from country to country because of licensing agreements. So if you’re a big fan of British dramas or Korean dramas, but don’t live in that country, you won’t have as many options. Using a Surfshark VPN, where you can choose the country of the server you use, you can get around those geographical licensing restrictions without having to pay for an additional service.
It’s widely known that internet service providers (ISP) sometimes slow down service at times of peak demand. Streaming and gaming make huge demands on bandwidth and are frequent targets of ISPs. But using a VPN hides your activity from your ISP, which means it’s less likely to be targeted by your provider.
Using a VPN on your mobile devices can also help preserve precious data. Because Surfshark’s VPN comes with a free ad blocker, it saves data for the online activity you want, instead of loading intrusive ads and tracking.
According to market research, at least half of us click on online ads when they look interesting to us. And with how much time we all spend online these days, that can lead to impulse purchases on the regular. Surfshark’s VPN includes CleanWeb, a free ad-blocking feature, that eliminates all that temptation for you. That alone can help save your budget.
A VPN sounds tech-y and complicated, but it’s not. Companies like Surfshark make it very simple to set up on any device that connects to the internet. Just download the app, create a login, and then click Connect. Surfshark has straightforward features like Quick Connect that routs you to the nearest server, perfect for most VPN usage like shielding all of your online activity and data. But if you want to mask your location, say to get behind a country’s website restriction, you can choose the country server you’d like to use.
This article was sponsored by Surfshark, but all the information was thoroughly researched by the Groupon Coupons team.