Last Updated on April 29, 2021 by Melody Reyes
The Virtual Private Network or VPN technology has been around for some time now. It is known to provide us with higher security with our online activities. If you want to learn more about VPN – about how it works, its benefits, and safety, read on.
Here are 5 important facts you need to know about VPN to make informed decisions for your Internet usage.
1. What is VPN
VPN or Virtual Private Network is a service that sets up a private and protected network from public internet connections. This will provide your with greater anonymity, privacy, and security. VPN makes it hard for third party trackers to know your identity, trace your online activities, or steal your data. Virtually, your online activities will be untraceable with a VPN.
2. How VPN works
VPN uses higher encryption that is why it can give you higher level of security. Encryption is the process of scrambling your data into codes or symbols that make it difficult for the information to be understood when intercepted over a Wi-Fi network.
When you connect to the internet, the VPN also redirects your private IP address to a configured remote server of your VPN host. As a result, the VPN server would come out as the source of your data and activities, instead of your IP address. This feature allows VPN to hide your IP address.
3. What are the benefits of VPN
With the way VPN works, it can let you enjoy a safer and more private internet usage. You may also be able to get more online access to content that your country is restricted from.
Safer online access
VPN can make sensitive online activities safer for you. Because of higher encryption, your activities and your data will be safe from anyone who could be prying around. If you want to reply to your emails or do online banking transactions while you are in a coffee shop, for instance, VPN can protect you from trackers who are in the same public Wi-Fi network you are in.
Data transfer security
Important files and data that need to be accessed or shared online needs a very secure connection. A VPN can do this job for you. With a private server that uses higher encryptions techniques, your data will have a lower risk of getting leaked.
Because your IP address is masked with the use of a VPN, you can browse the internet anonymously. However, you need to remember that VPNs do not provide complete anonymity. It just makes it more difficult for hackers to do their job.
Access to blocked content and sites
VPN masks your IP address by using the address of one of its remote servers. This remote server could be anywhere in the world. This will give you access to more content over the internet, including those that are blocked in your country. You may now be able to access websites, movies, TV shows, and more that are normally inaccessible in your country.
No data selling
I am not sure if this comes as a surprise to you, but ISPs (internet service providers) have the right to sell your browsing data to advertisers. VPN providers on the other hand, keep your data, but do not sell them. They only keep your data in case (1) there are network problems that need to be identified and solved or (2) when the government asks for certain data through a subpoena. Before you sign up for VPN service, learn about their terms and conditions to see what they do with your data.
4. Is VPN safe
The main purpose of a VPN is to provide you with a safer way to use the internet; so yes, a VPN is generally safe. However, not all VPNs are the same. VPN hosts vary in the level of security they provide their users. Be especially careful of free VPNs since some of them may still sell your browsing data as a way to make money. Again, it is best to read the provider’s terms and conditions.
5. How to choose a VPN
From free to paid VPN service providers, it can be difficult to choose the best VPN host. Here are some things you can do:
- Check how the VPN provider uses your data. Does it sell them to advertisers or does it keep them only for reasonable and legal grounds?
- Look at the data and bandwidth. Does the provider offer unlimited data and bandwidth?
- Consider the location of the VPN servers. Does it have a server in the locations you want to access?
- See if the VPN host has been independently audited to ensure privacy protection.
- Know if other features match your needs.
- Find out about customer service. Does the VPN provider offer 24/7 customer support? Are they responsive to queries?
- Read customer reviews. How do other users find the features and service of the VPN host.
Using a virtual private network provides many security benefits. Since providers are not the same, it is important to choose one that suits your needs. Choose a reliable VPN provider so you can get the protection, privacy, and anonymity you need.
Suggested reading:: Have You Considered These Privacy-Focused Tools When Working from Home?