The thing is, people don’t like to be tracked and watched. That’s the main reason they use a Virtual Private Network – a VPN. If your device connects to the internet, your internet service provider can see everything you do. Every search. Every file you download. Everything. A VPN is an app that keeps your internet connection private, whether you’re connecting to unsafe public Wi-Fi or your network at home.
Give me a word picture
When you’re browsing through a VPN, your traffic is encrypted. No one can see what you do online, nor interfere in any way. What the VPN does is, it creates an encrypted “tunnel” over the internet. A VPN secures the data traveling between you and your destination — anything from a search engine to an online banking account.
This tunnel is created by first authenticating your client with a VPN server. The server then applies an encryption protocol to all data you send and receive.
To ensure each data packet stays secure, a VPN wraps it in an outer packet, and then encrypts it through encapsulation. It keeps the data safe during transfer, and it is the core element of the VPN tunnel. When the data arrives at the server, the outer packet is removed through a decryption process. This encryption turns words and data, like text files, into a secret code. If someone tries to read encrypted data without the password, they’ll see random gibberish.
It’s easier than you think!
VPN software (a “client”) can be installed on most popular devices, like your phone, laptop and desktop. Just download the software, create an account, and tap a button to connect. Once your VPN has been set up, just pick a country and turn it on. The VPN runs in the background as you browse. The most noticeable difference is that you should have access to websites you didn’t have access to before!
It is important to remember that a VPN provider isn’t the same as an internet service provider. You’ll still need an ISP to connect to the internet, your VPN runs on top of that connection.
Many people are intimidated by the idea of trying a VPN. They think it’s going to be complex to set up and opaque to operate. But top VPN service providers design their apps to be intuitive and easy-to-use. The fact is, you need to protect yourself from privacy threats just like you need to protect your computer from viruses. And nowadays, it really easy and affordable.
You might want to think about a VPN service…
…If you use public Wi-Fi. Criminals have many methods to steal your data on public hotspots, but using a VPN means that you can stop worrying about that. With a secure VPN connection over Wi-Fi, you can browse online in full privacy.
…when browsing from your own home. A VPN will protect your internet traffic and keep you from leaving online footprints. This way, your ISP won’t be able to sell your entire browsing history to the highest bidder.
…if you don’t want the government spying on you. Some people are funny about this. Go figure. But government agencies track and collect your browsing activity, messages, social posts, and other private data. And they share this information across country borders. A VPN will make it difficult to do by encrypting your traffic and hiding your IP.
Other reasons to use a VPN
VPNs also can add functionality. For example, you can keep up with current events or local news when you’re travelling. And you can even stream video better. ISP’s often throttle services. But with many VPN services, you can avoid throttling by keeping your browsing private from your service provider.
Advantages of a Virtual Private Network
|Hides your online activities
|Doesn’t log websites visited or app usage
|DNS leak protection
|Won’t slow down your connection speed