One of the most vital skills a computer user should be equipped with is the ability to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to enhance security.
Sadly, a large number of these users, either don’t know what a VPN is or if they know, probably don’t use one. In this post, we are going to look at what a VPN is, its importance, and why you should start using it.
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How Does a VPN Work?
The best way to think of a VPN is as a virtual encrypted tunnel between your PC and a remote server operated by a VPN service. All internet traffic is routed through this tunnel to enhance data security. Your PC connects to a server located anywhere in the world.
This means that you are surfing from the server’s geographical location, not your computer’s location. Once the data reaches the VPN server, it then exits onto the public internet.
The most important thing to know about a VPN is that it secures your PC’s internet connection to ensure encryption of sent and received data as well as defending it from prying eyes. It’s not always guaranteed that a VPN will make you invisible to spies or ISPs.
It will, however, make it harder to correlate the online activities to you. For this reason and more, go for the best VPN routers that help secure your web traffic and protect you from snoops and hackers.
How Can You Benefit from Using a VPN?
As we have discussed, a VPN enhances your internet security and helps access resources on a network you’re not physically connected to.
However, what you use your VPN for is an entirely different story. To understand the benefits offered by a VPN, let’s have a look at some scenarios whereby a VPN comes in handy.
1. Browsing The Web Securely On Public Wi-Fi
Consider a café or an airport with a bold and tempting ‘Free Wi-Fi Available’ sign. There’s a high probability you will connect to this Wi-Fi network without a second thought.
However, have you ever paused for a moment and thought; how secure is the network? Might it be operated by a thief who’s after your data? With banking data and credit card numbers now being transmitted online, the risk is too high to ignore.
Plenty of problems may arise from this risky affair, including the transfer of malware from another computer to yours, or even a phishing scam.
Also, just because a network is called ‘JFK_WiFi’ doesn’t necessarily mean the airport owns it. Now imagine connecting to the same public Wi-Fi network using a VPN.
This time you are assured that no outsiders can intercept your data or spy on your online activity.
2. Secure Your Browsing History
A large number of people aren’t aware that the ISPs and web browsers have a record of just about everything you do online. With this information, these two can track your search history and tie it to your IP address.
Here’s an example of why you may want to keep your history private. Say you have a medical condition and lately, you have searched the web for information on treatment options. Without a VPN, these so-called private browsers automatically receive this information.
In no time, you’ll start receiving targeted ads that draw further attention to your condition. Also, the ISPs may be able to sell your browsing history.
Any online activity conducted with a VPN app running is encrypted. This ensures that data and browsing activity is made safe and inaccessible to ISPs and law enforcement agencies. All your online events will be routed via the VPN improving web privacy and security.
3. Private and Secure Voice Chat
Did you know that it is possible for conversations done online to be overheard? Yes, you read it right. There are a group of malicious individuals out there waiting for your personal information to use it against you.
While some of the Chat apps have built-in encryption, most Voice-over-IP (VoIP) apps don’t have this feature. A VPN can deal with this, however. It ensures that online conversations are kept between the relevant parties.
4. Safe Torrenting
Many nations consider torrenting as the leading cause of piracy and copyright infringement. On the other hand, it’s so widely used by legitimate services that it’s almost impossible to ban.
Whether you are accessing the torrent sites legally or illegally, you should be able to do so with privacy and security, and that’s precisely what a VPN does.
It is evident that VPNs deserve the ‘Lifesavers Award.’ Whether you are accessing location-specific content or securing your internet connection, you can never go wrong with a good VPN.
This finally brings us to the question, do you need a VPN? We say Yes!