Lately, I have been seeing a fair amount of sponsorships by Virtual Private Networks, or VPN's. VPN's such as ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and NordVPN often apear as sponsors for various Youtubers. Depending on what your online privacy needs are, a VPN could be valuable to you. However, I have issues with the way they are sometimes advertised.
VPN's can provide privacy by preventing someone from knowing your actual location. A VPN can make it look like you're in a completely different city in your nation or in a completely different nation-state. This could be useful to you if you want to view content from your steaming service that's not available where you live. A VPN could also make it harder for your ISP, various companies, and the government to track your browser and search history. VPN's can provide more protection against online surveillance. A VPN can also provide protection when you are using a public Internet connection. Furthermore, VPN's can prevent certain websites from being throttled by your ISP and you having slower speeds or being unable to connect to those websites.
However, a VPN might not be necessary for you. If a website is using HTTP for everything than it is not doing much, if anything, to protect your privacy and a VPN could help. However, if a website is using a secure version of HTTPS, part of your browsing history has some protection. If someone on the Internet is spying on you when you're on a website that uses secure HTTPS for everything, they could see the domain name, like https://en.wikipedia.org , but not that you're on the webpage https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_long-haired_cat . Depending on how much privacy you want or need, a VPN could be necessary or excessive. Here is a video with some more information on VPN's :
I do have some issues with how VPN's can be advertised. Using a VPN to view videos on your streaming service that aren't available where you live might not work. Netflix, and similar companies have gotten better at detecting whether someone is using a proxy or VPN, and not allowing video playback while a VPN is in use. Some VPN's are better at not getting detected while others will likely get detected by the streaming service. Also, I would not recommend using a VPN for buying things, as some companies (such as Steam) do not like it when people do that. If you do buy something while using a VPN, such as a PC game, it might be region locked or it could be a version of the game with unwanted restrictions on it.
Every VPN is different. They are based in different countries, with different numbers and types of servers, different rules, and their reputations can vary. VPN's can use very different software for you to install onto your devices, along with different VPN protocols. The servers a VPN provides are very important, and not just how many they have. Certain websites, like Steam and Netflix, don't like VPN's that much so it could be a good idea to easily turn your VPN on and off in your own browser with 1 click. A VPN that provides proxy servers allows you to use the VPN for certain programs or websites, without affecting anything else, though the setup can take more time. VPN's can also vary in the speeds they provide. A VPN might give you very similar speeds to what your ISP normally provides or they might be a bit slower. If you are considering getting a VPN, I would highly recommend thoroughly researching the company and the service to make sure the VPN will meet all your needs. There are a lot of VPN's out there, so maybe this VPN comparison chart would be helpful for you.
I have been using a VPN since around 2017, when the USA Congress and Donald Trump repealed the FCC's privacy protections. I found this move to be completely disgusting and unacceptable. I consider my online privacy to be very important and I was very mad to learn that an Oval Office holder I hate (and still consider illegitimate) wrecked some very important regulations for whatever stupid reason. I didn't want to pay a "privacy tax" to get a small amount of protection the FCC could have provided. The VPN I use has been pretty good to me, and the only issues of note I've had with them is their servers being wonky or weird at times, which while annoying, happens less to me than my own ISP not providing Internet access due to certain problems.