The General Data Protection Regulations act might have sent online service providers into a frenzy on the eve of May 25, but users needed not to worry about that, instead, on the morning of the 25th, they got to enjoy all the added privacy benefits of the new act. But that is not all…
A very welcome side effect to GDPR has been a reduction in load times of website, meaning faster access and less mobile data costs for users.
Because of #GDPR, USA Today decided to run a separate version of their website for EU users, which has all the tracking scripts and ads removed. The site seemed very fast, so I did a performance audit. How fast the internet could be without all the junk!
5.2MB → 500KB pic.twitter.com/xwSqqsQR3s
— Marcel Freinbichler (@fr3ino) May 26, 2018
The tweet above comes courtesy of an Austrian web developer. As seen above, Marcel ran a performance audit for USA Today’s websites – the online newspaper started running two versions of its website, one of which is a GDPR-compliant edition for EU users. So how did the two editions compare in terms of load: 5.2MB vs 500KB.
GPDR-compliant websites strip away a great number of tracking elements – ad servers, analytics tools, social media features, etc. Fewer elements, mean less loading on your browser.
But I Don’t Live in the EU
It doesn’t matter. Naturally, websites will want to collect information on users whenever they can, which is why services such as USA Today run two versions. Basically, they won’t stop collecting unless they are forced to.
But even if don’t live in the EU, you can enjoy faster speeds using a clever trick. Internet service providers know your location by looking at your IP. This is how they can decide which version of the website to load. So all you have to do it to mark your traffic with a European IP. Sounds complicated, but it’s actually very easy thanks to VPNs.
VPNs, or virtual networks, do just that. The service runs servers in various countries across the globe, that they use to reroute traffic and endow it with a local IP. So, to give you an example, if you download a VPN and use it to connect to a server in France, your traffic will look like it’s coming from within France. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, it’s equally easy to execute too.
Reliable VPNs take care of all the technical details for you, all you need to do is to
- Find a reliable VPN service
- Download and install
- Pick a server located in the EU and connect
Now every time you visit a website, it will have to be GDPR compliant
There is a great number of sturdy services out there, but our favorite is ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN offers superior speeds to all other services we tested, comes with the added benefit of extra security, via state of the art encryption technologies, and a 30-day money back guaranteed grace period.
Here’s our list for the best, all-around VPNs
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There is a chance that you won’t be able certain websites using this technique. Services that haven’t complied with GDPR yet will be blocked in the EU. In that case, you will have to disconnect and access the service like you would normally do.