Tech companies have a weird relationship with cybersecurity companies. The only cybersecurity software products I’ve ever seen bundled with devices (such as PCs) are antivirus programs from Norton and McAfee.
HP is going against the grain though; their new Spectre laptops will come bundled with VPN software—a first, at least for me. But why? What’s the point of selling a laptop with a VPN?
Starting a Trend
Last Monday, HP released the press release for their updated Spectre x360 13 laptops. While there’s a lot of neat information in the press release, such as astounding 22-hour battery life, one thing stood out above the rest: a free 30-day trial for ExpressVPN.
Yes, HP’s new laptops will include 30-days of full access to ExpressVPN, a cybersecurity company dedicated to, well, VPNs. ExpressVPN is one of the more reputable VPN companies, so HP clearly care about the quality of security on their new laptop.
ExpressVPN will come preinstalled on the new laptops, making it readily available for users who may not want to go through the trouble of installing it. While 30-days may not sound like much, it’s 30-days more than many Internet users spend using a VPN.
That is what I want to focus on. See, while VPN usage has undoubtedly increased in the past few years, VPNs still haven’t quite hit mainstream appeal yet, which is a problem.
This partnership between ExpressVPN and HP may not seem like much right now, but the fact that a partnership is even happening is important for long-term cybersecurity.
“How?”, you may ask. Here’s why: advertising security software and making them easily accessible will increase the use of security software and, consequentially, increase the safety of Internet users around the globe.
As I mentioned in the Introduction, HP isn’t the first company to partner with a cybersecurity company. However, HP is advertising a different type of cybersecurity software, which is better than offering Norton Antivirus for the thousandth time.
HP themselves seem to be focused on security this time around as well, with them advertising many forms of security for the new Spectre 13, including a privacy screen (coming January 2020), a switch to turn on/off the webcam, and the inclusion of both a fingerprint scanner and Windows Hello face recognition software.
Furthermore, I believe HP is attempting to set an example for how tech companies should be treating cybersecurity: embrace, not erase. Many tech companies try to avoid discussion of security for risk of hurting their reputation, no matter how good their security actually is.
HP, on the other hand, is aiming for inclusion with cybersecurity software, bringing software that the majority still don’t use—such as VPNs—in an attempt to raise awareness of these software products.
Will this attempt work? Right now, I couldn’t give you an acceptable answer. As I mentioned, VPN usage has increased since their introduction in the early 2000s, but many Internet users don’t want to go through the extra steps needed to incorporate cybersecurity software into their daily routine, no matter how simple the process is.
For now, all we can do is keep watch and hope that HP’s attempt to bring awareness to lesser-known security software bears fruit.
HP has earned themselves a reputation of quality with their Spectre laptops. With this reputation, HP has decided to partner with ExpressVPN in an attempt to further popularize lesser-known cybersecurity products.
While it’s unsure whether this attempt is in vain, what is sure is that the long-term effect of this partnership will be beneficial to the cybersecurity world. As more Internet users adopt VPNs, the more secure they will be from dangers that affect users every day, such as leakage of personal information. Bringing the solution to users before the dangers, HP and ExpressVPN may yet start a new wave of security software advertising in the tech industry.
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