Do I need a VPN service?

I get ads sent to me from Windeals and Slashdot daily deals selling classes, chargers and also VPN services.

I didn't know that me --as an individual-- would have a use for a VPN service.  I have used them to log into my corporate network.  But my home?

Is this service something I should consider purchasing?   How can this benefit me?
How do I evaluate the various offerings?
brothertruffle880Asked:
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pjamCommented:
VPN stands for virtual Private network, so is used as you know connecting to work it connects to a private network that has no connection to the outside.
so unless you want to connect to your Home network, you do not need a VPN.
my 2 cents
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QlemoBatchelor, Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
A VPN service is used for "anonymous" browsing, e.g. if you are located in a restricted country with censorship, or want to make sure all Internet traffic from your home is encrypted even for HTTP. The latter only helps if your location is very unsafe, but the VPN service's is better.

For common usage there is no reason to use a VPN service. It causes more overhead, more lag, more discomfort.
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QlemoBatchelor, Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
I forgot one other purpose: If you want to build a VPN mesh between "moving" locations, a VPN service can do that (being the man in the middle to allow for communication).
A VPN mesh is multipoint connection between endpoints. You connect your home with say 5 other homes, all having access to each other. The endpoints are not required to have static IP addresses (or dynamic DNS entries).
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KimputerCommented:
Avast (yes the antivirus) is also trying to push VPN as a paid service as to the users, with this scenario in mind.
You use a chat website (not encrypted, not using https). Theoretically, anyone between your PC and the website can "read" you chat messages, be it someone sniffing traffic on your own network, or someone at the ISP.
By having the VPN service, all these places I mentioned before, are now eliminated as places where you can possibly read those messages. Theoretically though, the VPN service _might_ still be able to read those messages, as do people on the route from the VPN to the website.

In essence, the answer is still no. Unless what you do is VERY secretive, or you live in China (for reading blocked websites), or somewhere where Netflix is blocked, I don't see a reason why you would need it AND even pay for it.

If you are still interested though, you evaluate it by comparing price with their service (reliability/bandwidth/customer support so you need reviews or comments for every provider you're comparing).
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brothertruffle880Author Commented:
Thanks for your answers.  
Question:  Would I be able to use the VPN to watch programs from the BBC iplayer at bbc.co.uk?
I get an error saying that since I'm not in the UK, I can't watch.
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KimputerCommented:
You would need a UK based VPN provider that really has a UK based IP address.
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QlemoBatchelor, Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
And even with an UK VPN service, well-known IPs of VPN services might get blocked to prevent circumventing the UK region restriction.
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