When you are online, you are vulnerable to cyber thieves. A VPN encrypts all your data and helps protect you from spies, hackers, the government, the NSA, and other prying eyes. In short, using a VPN is a way to connect to the internet safely and privately, often for free.
A VPN acts as a middle man between your computer and a website or service you are trying to access. If you are a movie fanatic like me, using a VPN is like hiring a Navy SEAL team to safely transport state assets (your data) through a worn-torn village (Internet).
In this post, I will attempt to explain what a VPN is and do my best to answer your questions about VPNs.
Let’s dive in!
What is a VPN?
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an online service that allows you to add security and privacy to your internet connection. VPNs hide your internet connection from any hackers, scammers, or anyone else who might try to steal your personal information.
A VPN encrypts all of the data that is sent and received from your computer. This way, nobody (except for you and the website you are connected to) will be able to see your online activity.
Love movies? Okay, now here’s something to thrill you. You can use a VPN to disguise your identity and access blocked sites. You can use it to watch US Netflix in other countries, which is one of the more popular options.
People who are looking for this kind of functionality will be looking into getting a VPN.
The benefits of using VPNs are numerous. Nonetheless, here are seven ways VPNs can benefit you.
1. Protects your privacy online
VPNs help keep your private information safe when you go online. They hide your computer’s internet protocol (IP) address by encrypting data from the point of origin to the destination server.
As if there was any doubt, the purpose of a VPN is to protect your online identity (amongst many other things). A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and a server, encrypting your internet traffic and providing you with anonymity.
When you connect to public Wi-Fi at airports and cafes, your internet use can be vulnerable to hackers. A VPN encrypts all your internet traffic, so even if it’s intercepted by malware or bad actors, they won’t be able to read your data.
Even if you’re connected to a public network that is untrustworthy, you’ll still have an encrypted tunnel to the internet.
2. Repels hackers and government
A VPN is an essential tool for anyone who wants to stay anonymous online. There are many stories about how governments, hackers, and companies track your behavior on the internet.
What they track can range from the primary IP address location tracking to Bitcoin trade identification. Considering that much of this information can be traced back to you through your IP address, paying for a VPN can help protect you and keep your data private.
A VPN makes it impossible for others to see your data or to see who you’re communicating with online because of the encryption in place.
3. Increases your browsing speed
A virtual private network or VPN is a tool that allows you to “go invisible” online. There are two reasons why people use them. One, they improve security by encrypting your data and hiding your IP address.
Two, they bypass geo-restrictions and allow you to view content from other countries. Both of these reasons will help to decrease your page load times and increase security.
Imagine being able to browse the web at lightning speed with no lag whatsoever. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) gives you an IP address from a different country and encrypts all of your data so that you can surf the Internet in privacy.
Whether you are traveling abroad or need an IP address outside your current location to access specific sites, a VPN provides the solution for you.
4. You can secure your data from apps and services
A Virtual Private Network will help protect your data from the apps and services you’re using. With all the personal data we generate, it’s becoming more critical to understand who can access our data and why.
It may not be common knowledge, but every time you use or interact with an app on a computer or phone, the app stores a record of that activity in a database somewhere. A VPN protects this information by connecting to the app through an encrypted channel.
You don’t want your data to end up in the wrong hands. VPN solves that problem by keeping your data private. It effectively removes the storage location of this information.
5. Increases security on public WiFi
The Internet is public and vulnerable. Mainly when you use a public WiFi hotspot, it’s possible to detect your activities. Using public WiFi is very risky. Numerous cybercriminals set up open hotspots to give unsuspecting victims access to the internet.
They record the data sent and received by victims, including login information for email and bank accounts. They may also steal personal information to commit further crimes without your knowledge.
Business WiFi networks are also vulnerable to cyberattacks, so don’t assume that using a business network is always safer than using a hotspot.
You’ve seen the security risks associated with public WiFi hotspots – so get yourself a VPN. With one, you’ll be secure, no matter where your online adventures take you.
6. Unblock or access region-restricted content
In our Internet age, censorship is a serious issue for most people who remain unaware of its existence. You cannot access the services of several news sites, banking sites, and gambling sites if you are outside of specific regions or cities.
It’s also common for network administrators to block popular sites (such as Facebook and Twitter) within their networks to promote productivity. A VPN can bypass these blocks and allow you to access any website you want, no matter where you are.
While some countries have banned access to specific websites and content on the internet, other countries prefer a more subtle approach to control Internet use by implementing censorship. Think of a VPN as being a wall between your computer and the internet.
If you want to access a particular website, hide your IP address through a VPN service so that site thinks you are in another country and not where you are. A VPN can help to unblock websites that have been banned as well as bypass geo-blocking filters.
As long as you have a proxy from a VPN, you will always bypass these filters and get access to whatever you want on the web.
7. Location spoofing can help you save money
In some ways, VPNs are the ultimate discount tool. Each time you travel abroad, you are likely to be charged for international data usage on your smartphone or tablet.
Many providers charge upwards of 10 cents per megabyte for data usage—a considerable expense if you’re downloading data or streaming video while overseas. A VPN can help here as well by letting you “spoof” your location so that it appears as though you have downloaded the data in a cheaper country.
A VPN can do more than help you to evade censorship and access international content. It can also help you save. It’s a win-win situation for all!
What should I look for when choosing a VPN provider?
1. Speed and security
A VPN’s speed is probably the most critical factor to consider when choosing a provider. A slow VPN connection can significantly impact your browsing experience and even your productivity, so you need one that’s fast.
You want to be able to use your VPN comfortably. It means you want no lagging, a high number of servers from which to choose, and more encryption so you can browse safely.
2. Legal issues
Legally, it’s safe to say there is no law against someone making or selling a VPN. Virtual private networks (VPNs) are used by millions of people every day to ensure their anonymity and security online.
However, some countries have restricted or even made the use of VPNs illegal. If you live in one of those countries, you need to look for the best alternative for you to bypass geo-restrictions and access blocked content on the Internet.
3. Number of servers
Here’s where you see how many servers a VPN company has. The more servers a provider has, the more users can connect at one time. It directly influences the connection speed and stability.
4. Ease of use
Ease of use should be a key criterion when choosing a VPN provider. Many netizens are looking for software that has an intuitive interface.
As a new user especially, you may like to be guided by the service provider when using their service. You can always turn off guidance and modify or change the VPN settings at your own will.
The service should make it easy for you to follow its guidelines, even if this means paying more.
5. Does it store logs? (some do, some don’t)
VPN logs are a big issue for a lot of people. Some VPNs claim they don’t keep logs. Others claim to maintain logs for up to 30 days, but they include information held outside of the company’s network.
VPN logs can be the key to being honest with users. Logs are an unfortunate reality of internet use but are not all bad and can be used in a good way.
Companies with good customer service will be transparent that they keep logs when you connect or disconnect from their servers and explain the purpose of those logs.
The problem is, finding a no log VPN provider you can trust with your privacy can be tricky. A lack of transparency and a history of non-compliance with data-retention laws have made it hard for consumers to evaluate the benefits of using VPNs.
6. Of course, price
A VPN can take a bite out of your monthly Internet bill. A free VPN generally means slow connection speed, no good customer support, annoying ads interrupting your online experience, and sometimes even malware infections!
A VPN can be cheap and convenient, though it’s important to remember that convenience usually comes with a cost. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to pay as little as possible for a VPN service, but, in this case, the price tag need not be too low.
Do I need to buy a new router for VPN use?
No, you don’t need to buy a new router to use VPN. Setting up a VPN is a quick and straightforward process that can be done in 5 minutes on most routers. A VPN will work on any wifi router you already own.
Nonetheless, know the difference. A VPN router can encrypt multiple devices at once, in contrast to a VPN connection that encrypts just one device.
A VPN router allows you to share one connection across multiple devices. By connecting your VPN router to the internet, all of the devices in your home become safely and securely connected.
It means smartphones, computers, gaming consoles, smart TVs, and other devices are connected to the internet through your protected VPN router connection.
Are there any risks associated with using a VPN?
A VPN is designed to enhance your online privacy, but it does come with some risks. One of the risks is that anyone on that network can see the Internet activity coming from your device when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network.
Furthermore, if a hacker manages to steal your data from the VPN provider, this could result in identity theft, credit card fraud, and other financial loss.
Why do I need a VPN to access some websites?
A Virtual Private Network allows you to get a new IP address that changes your location on the internet. Some websites or systems use your IP address to restrict what content you can access.
For example, some streaming services block anyone who tries to access their services with an IP address outside the US. Using a VPN will allow you to access these services as though you were physically located in the US.
Is it safe to use a VPN?
Yes. VPN providers keep you safe from prying eyes and hide your location so that websites and advertisers cannot prey on your data. However, a VPN will not protect you from prison and the penalties for copyright infringement, nor do we encourage such activities.
My main focus is to protect your data from getting stolen on public WiFi hotspots. For this reason, we recommend using a VPN only when it is necessary.
What’s the difference between a proxy and a VPN?
A VPN encrypts all the traffic between your computer and the Internet, preventing anyone from being able to spy on your activity or steal your data. The encrypted data is effectively hidden from your ISP and the government’s eyes – as if you were in another country.
On the other hand, a proxy only protects against spying by replacing your IP address with theirs. Any data that they send is forwarded onto you, so this means that your ISP and other monitoring parties could still see what data you’re passing back and forth.
Can I use my VPN on multiple devices?
Yes, you can. Some providers allow up to six connections or more. However, you must never use your VPN for illegal purposes.
The best way is to register your VPN on one device, which you are sure is connected to a trusted and secured network. That way, you are sure that all the traffic coming out of your device has been encrypted first.
Otherwise, if you were to use your VPN on various devices without adequate protection, you might experience data leaks that might be immensely damaging to your privacy.
You see the VPN term thrown around a lot. It’s already being used by many, but do you know what it does? What does it stand for, and how is it useful? This post has given you the low-down on VPNs in an easy-to-understand style.
Now that you know what a VPN is, the next logical question is: what are the best providers to use? In my article about the 7 best VPN providers, I provide a list of the best VPN services.
Tosinajy provides a wealth of information for those who want to make money online. If you are interested in making money online, you will find a section specifically for your needs on the blog. You should check it out.
My sincerest thanks to you for taking the time to read. Feel free to share this post with any of your friends who might benefit from VPNs. If you have friends who are considering ways to bolster income, you can also mention this blog to them.
Thanks for reading.