Many developers might ask why I would use a VPN or Tor network. Besides some of these networks being able to protect your privacy, they offer developers a huge other feature: Slowness and different locations to test your application and website.

Check a CDN’s Cache

If you use a CDN to serve your assets, you sometimes need to purge / invalidate the cache for a file. But most CDNs don’t do this instantly but take quite a while to do so. Especially Amazon Cloudfront can be quite unreliable for that but with a VPN, you can easily connect to various locations around the world to check what version of a document you get from the CDN’s Edge server.

Test on a slow connection

VPN providers won’t like this, but even when many VPN servers provide high-speed connections nowadays, you can easily enforce slow and unreliable network conditions using some special VPNs. NordVPN for example offers a Double VPN or Tor over VPN, and while they’re not super bad you’ll notice a high latency and slow connection. This can be useful to test your application under slow connections (and this is way more reliable than any simulated software connection throttling like in the Developer Tools of a browser).

Check regulations and performance issues from different locations

Being able to use remote connections in various countries and locations around the world enables you to test if something is being blocked, intercepted or modified through the ISP of the country. Also, you quickly notice performance issues for example when a country has no own CDN Edge server.