VPN (a virtual private network) usage has really skyrocketed in the last few years. There are many different things that VPNs provide you with, like increased security and the ability to view otherwise locked content, but more on that later.
As data privacy has started to become an increasing concern for internet users all around the world, utilizing tools, like a VPN, offers very much needed robust protection against online threats.
At first, once a user is met with their first VPN, it might seem complicated both to use and to understand different parameters, but once you get to understand them, everything else is actually quite simple. That’s exactly the purpose of this article. Here, we are going to cover pretty much everything that you need to know about VPNs.
What Exactly is VPN?
VPN is an abbreviation for Virtual Private Network. As we have discussed before, it allows you to surf the internet with way more privacy and security while also allowing you to have access to the websites that have either been censored or restricted for your current location.
For you to reap the benefits of what VPNs have to offer, you need to have a VPN service. Naturally, your VPN service is going to provide you with the ability to use their VPN network. There are plenty of different VPN service providers out there, and if you are looking to find out more about the pros and cons of the most up-to-date VPN providers, experts on this topic over at VPNoverview.com have done an extensive list. Of course, every VPN service is based on the same idea and principles, but not everyone has the same security measures and other options.
In any case, no matter your provider choice, you usually have to buy a subscription to gain access. Depending on the service, you can often get custom VPN apps for different devices and operating systems.
How Does It Work?
VPN services create an encrypted connection between a VPN server and your computer/device. Bottom line, you can access everything online while appearing at a location of the VPN server you are connected to. This way, you can access the entire internet without any restrictions while also benefiting from having a higher level of security.
When you purchase a VPN subscription and download the software, you can connect to the server right away.
Normally, anything you do online can be traced to your physical location and your device through the device’s IP address. This is due to the fact that every device that is connected to the internet had a unique IP address. This goes for your computer too, as well as for your phone or a tablet.
So, when you use a VPN, your real location and IP address can easily be hidden and replaced by the VPN server that you are using.
No matter what kind of things we have on our phones or computers, it is important to secure yourself from a data breach – be it due to reasons like sentimentality towards data that you choose, or security regarding your passwords, your money being stolen, and pretty much anything similar that you can imagine.
That being said, you should know that public WiFi is maybe one of the most dangerous places where you can potentially be targeted by a hacker. Hackers can target users, intersect traffic, as well as collect data from the users who do not encrypt traffic through a good VPN. So, if you ever feel desperate to use public WiFi, be sure that you are protected by a good VPN.
As the years pass by, more people are becoming more concerned about digital privacy, mostly because we are starting to be more and more aware of the fact that the internet is becoming more invasive by the day, whether we are talking about government surveillance efforts or corporate data collection.
VPNs can encrypt your traffic while hiding your IP location as well, therefore providing you with a lot more privacy.
One of the most popular options that make people decide to use VPNs is the ability to access restricted content on the internet. You probably have, at least once, wanted to watch a certain video or a movie on a streaming platform, but your computer said that it is not available in your country. Well, it just so happens that having a VPN is the solution to that particular problem.
Streaming services and numerous websites all around the world are implementing geo-restrictions and other types of methods to restrict or block content. This is where VPNs come into play. VPNs can be your ticket to full access because they can allow you to appear anywhere in the world.
Summarized Reasons to Use VPN
We have already talked about different aspects of VPNs, but let’s talk about more of them in greater detail. Depending on your situation, some of these reasons may or may not apply to you directly. Nevertheless, there are many great advantages which can be suitable for anyone, so, let’s start explaining them.
● Cloaking Your Online Identity
Considering the fact that VPN changes your IP address, it allows you to use pretty much anything on the internet without actually revealing your true IP address and location. This can be useful for several different reasons, but if you just don’t like the idea of being out in the open for everyone to discover where you are browsing from exactly, utilizing VPN services is going to enable you to hide your location.
● Blocking Third Parties
VPNs can block third parties, making your online experience a lot more private than if you were not to use a VPN. So, no matter if we are talking about network admins, internet service providers, government, or anything else that utilizes data collection, having a VPN is going to make it a lot harder for a third party to gather data by spying on your online activities.
● Unblocking Websites
As we have mentioned before, changing your IP address results in being able to access different options that are otherwise inaccessible, making it a great way to surpass any possible restrictions. This is especially applicable when it comes to being able to unblock websites that are reserved only for certain geographical locations.
● Enhanced Encryption
You will have an additional level of security by encrypting your internet connection. You will be able to have extra protection for your bank passwords, photos, credit cards, and other private data. Protection from security risks and hackers on public WiFi networks can also be obtained with VPNs. This is especially important if you often connect to WiFi in cafes, airports, and hotels.
● Saving Money
VPNs allow you to save money on flights by utilizing it’s option properly. Basically, not all items, services, and similar cost the same everywhere in the world. So, by changing your IP address you can access prices reserved for certain parts of the world and hence save a lot of money by doing so.
That being said if you happen to make online purchases quite often, be sure to tweak your experience by changing your virtual geographical location with your VPN.
Are VPNs Safe?
Generally, we could say that VPNs are safe to use. Of course, as for anything else, this is the case if you are using a high-quality VPN service. Unfortunately, there are not all that many high-quality VPNs that can give you the highest level of safety and protection. You should know that a lot of them do happen to have bugs, flaws, and problems that could be a threat to your security, so you must take time researching your options first before opting for one.
Nevertheless, we encourage you to use VPN services since they have so many advantages. We have already said it, but we’ll say it once more since you must do so – make sure to do your research on what VPNs are the best and the safest so that you can enjoy all the benefits without having to worry about anything.
Are VPNs Legal?
Throughout the Western countries, the answer to this question is, in general, yes. VPNs are perfectly legal to use to have enhanced online privacy and security. Actually, a lot of businesses use VPNs on a daily basis both for network security since it’s a necessary tool for their online security, and that is probably not going to change any time soon.
However, you should know that there are a few exceptions in places like the United Arab Emirates, where VPN use happens to be restricted. Some Middle Eastern countries, like Saudi Arabia and Iran, for instance, restrict the use of VPNs since doing so allows people to get around internet censorship efforts.
In the end, VPN is a great tool to have when it comes to enhancing your internet browsing experience. It’s easy to use, it isn’t going to leave a hole in your wallet, and overall – there is an immense number of benefits while the cons are scarce.
Now that you know all the important aspects of having a VPN, all that’s left is to do your research on different providers to make as informed a decision as possible and to start using it.