More and more people are using VPNs to protect themselves online.
We live in an age where online fraud and cyber crime is a genuine threat to all of us and so it’s no surprise that 1 in 4 people use a VPN globally.
In this guide, I’ll explain how VPNs work and why it’s best not to use them when doing matched betting.
What is a VPN?
A VPN is a virtual private network that gives you extra security online. It basically creates a private network from your public internet connection, giving you an extra layer of security. A VPN makes you completely anonymous by masking your IP address.
You may hear VPNs sometimes referred to as tunnels. Simply put, all of your data passes along the tunnel that only you have access to. This means nobody is able to intercept it.
Why do people use a VPN?
People use a VPN ultimately to keep their online activity away from prying eyes.
Private Wi-Fi connections, like those used in an office or at home, are pretty secure. The data is encrypted and networks are usually password-protected. Away from the home, you probably access the internet via a 4G network on your phone. Again, this is fairly safe as the data is encrypted. In truth though, nothing is 100% safe.
Public Wi-Fi hotspots are the worst and you’ve probably used them without even thinking. Unless the network is private with a password required, strangers could be watching your every move. Hackers tend to target public Wi-Fi as it’s the easiest connection to compromise.
So, whether you’re catching up on emails over a coffee or checking your bank balance while out shopping, using a VPN will maximise your online security.
Can you use a VPN whilst matched betting?
It’s best to avoid using a VPN whilst matched betting as it’s often against the bookmaker’s terms and conditions. Bookmakers tend to frown upon the use of VPNs as they’re sometimes used by matched bettors to sign up under multiple aliases and claim multiple bonuses. This practice is known as multi-accounting or gnoming.
Even if you’re not doing anything underhand, if a bookmaker suspects that you’re using a VPN, they may close your account and withhold any winnings that are due to you. Not using a VPN is just one of many ways you can avoid account restrictions.
Matched betting abroad
Another instance where matched bettors might use a VPN is to place bets abroad, while on holiday for example. You’re out of the country enjoying the weather, but you can’t help thinking about all of the offers you’re missing out on that you could be making money from.
Matched betting is perfectly legal, but if you start using a VPN to do it abroad, you’re swimming into murky waters. It’s all very well pretending you’re in the UK (spoofing) via a VPN but if you’re doing it from a country where gambling is prohibited, you could get yourself in bother.
When you’re abroad, some bookmakers won’t allow you to access their site because of gambling restrictions in the country you’re visiting. You might get away with placing a few bets using a VPN, but it’s probably best to avoid the temptation. For example, Bet365 are pretty hot on identifying the use of VPNs and that’s one account you certainly don’t want to lose!
Enjoy your time away, you’ve earned it. Matched betting will still be here when you get home.
Which VPN is best?
As I’ve mentioned, it’s best to avoid using a VPN whilst matched betting, but you may decide you’d like to use one for your everyday online activity.
A simple Google search should give you an idea of the best VPN services available. I use a Norton VPN, but that’s only because it was thrown in with an anti-virus package I purchased.
If you’re thinking of getting a VPN, I would say don’t bother with the free versions. They have a tendency to be slow and have a limited range of IP addresses available. You get what you pay for and premium versions are faster and more secure.
To those who aren’t familiar with VPNs, they probably sound a bit shady and like something to be avoided.
The truth is though, they give you an extra layer of security and help to keep you safe online. Remember, a quarter of all internet users are using one. That’s a huge amount of people!
You should always avoid using one when you’re doing any matched betting, but for your everyday online activity, using a VPN is certainly something to consider for that extra peace of mind.