What is VPN for? VPNs are increasingly becoming the talk of the town among the web community. Most important, they are essential if you want to stay safe online and protect your sensitive data.
Therefore, you need to give an answer to this two important questions:
- What is VPN for?
- Why should you use a VPN?
Simply put, a VPN connection is your gateway to true digital freedom and a must-have if you are concerned about security online.
A VPN server is the gateway to true DIGITAL freedom
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What Is VPN? An Overview
Are you part of the “I don’t have anything to hide” club? This is what most Internet users believe. They don’t think they may be a target. Maybe they don’t do much more than reading a few emails or connecting to the home banking, and for this reason, they believe their profile is unappealing to cybercriminals.
Well, as you will discover later on in this post, just having a simple email account exposes you to more risks than you might imagine.
Even though you may have nothing to hide, what a hacker, cybercriminal or government agency can discover about you and your personal life just because you are online may be shocking to you. Even more appalling is what they can do with the information they collect.
Here is a brief video that gives you a quick idea of how a VPN work and what are its benefits for you. We will go deeper into all the details in this article.
How Does VPN Work
First of all, let’s try to understand how a VPN connection works, a crucial step in understanding all the benefits in store for you.
The term VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Basically is a series of computers networked together over the Internet.
In brief, when you connect to the internet through a VPN, you bypass the server of your ISP (internet service provider). Instead, you connect through a different server that can be located in your country … or anywhere else in the world.
As a result, your real IP is hidden, and the one assigned by the VPN server will show up instead. Most importantly, all your traffic will be encrypted so that nobody can snoop into your personal affairs.
In tech lingo, this is known as a “VPN tunnel.”
Let me explain that with a simple example.
Try to imagine you’re driving your car, and for some reason, a traffic control helicopter decides to follow you. You’re totally exposed. Whatever you do and wherever you go is clearly visible.
But what if you were to enter into a tunnel? Now it’s a different story. The helicopter pilot can keep flying for as long as he likes, but there’s no way he can pry inside the tunnel. What happens inside the tunnel is your business and yours alone.
This is how comfortable a VPN connection can make you feel.
Even if running a VPN business is a pretty complicated business, it’s easy for you to benefit from the service. You don’t need to know any technical jargon—being a geek is not required.
Even though you may find countless offers for free VPN services, these are highly unreliable and do not offer adequate protection. The best and most reliable VPNs on the market will cost you just a few dollars a month. For such a small cost, there is no point in putting your security and privacy at stake.
But let’s see all the benefits you will enjoy by subscribing to one of the best VPN services.
Benefits of Using a VPN Connection
If you use the Internet for any reason, you’re exposed to risks. There’s no doubt about that.
The Snowden case revealed the scope of the problem.
But if you think this example is too extreme and doesn’t have anything to do with you, think about what has happened with some Internet-connected toys. It was shocking to many parents to discover that Internet-connected toys pose a privacy risk since they collect data from kids. How this data will be used is not quite clear, but the idea alone is scary.
The point is quite straightforward: The very moment you access the web, you’re exposed to dangers like privacy violation, identity theft, online banking fraud, government surveillance, credit card fraud, and the list goes on.
All these problems may be just a nuisance but often they involve legal issues or will cost you a lot of money.
You can prevent any of the above protecting your internet privacy through a VPN connection.
This is what the VPN is for and why you should use one:
# 1 Protecting your Online Privacy
When you connect to the web through a VPN provider, your real IP address will be hidden. Your real IP will be substituted for one assigned by the server you’re using.
Just to give you an example. If you’re in San Francisco but you connect to a server located in LA, to the websites and potential hackers, you will appear to be in Los Angeles. In the same way, if you select a server in Japan, you are officially connecting from Japan even though you are comfortably sitting on your couch.
Once your real IP address is hidden, your identity and internet privacy are protected from hackers.
#2 Increasing your Online Security
Remember the tunnel illustration we mentioned before? When you connect through a VPN connection, all your data will remain secret. Nobody can pry into it.
Have you ever noticed that every time you search online for a product, a vacation destination or whatever else, it is just a matter of time before you get a lot of banners and pop-up ads featuring what you searched for? Is it just a coincidence? I don’t think so.
All your data on the internet is tracked and used to understand your habits. Companies use these data to send you targeted ads. But the same data can be intercepted by cybercriminals, government agencies or ill-intentioned people. The risk is high.
Try to think how much information about your personal life can be collected just by hacking your email account. And a lot of info sent via email can be pretty sensitive. Just dealing with identity theft is enough to give you a serious headache.
A safe and reliable VPN connection will hide all that information. The data will be encrypted, which means that even if a hacker intercepts your information, it will be impossible to read and therefore useless.
With a VPN your private life will stay private.
#3 Connecting to Public Wi-Fi Safely
How often do you use public or free Wi-Fi connections? We all use free WiFi whenever we can, especially when we travel or go to our favorite restaurant or coffeehouse.
Did you know that public Wi-Fi hub-spots are a favorite fishing pond for hackers? WiFi hubs are highly unsafe and unprotected. Since they are often free, nobody will invest the money needed to make them safe. Hackers even set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots just to steal your data.
Every time you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, you never know who is looking at your data unless you protect it using a VPN connection.
#4 Protecting your Portable Device
I’m sure you’re quite careful about protecting your computer at home. You may do a periodic cleanup, install an antivirus software and so on.
But what about your smartphone or tablet? Do you have an antivirus software installed?
Many of us do not feel the same urge to protect our mobile devices as we do our laptops and desktop computers. That makes these devices highly vulnerable. Being the case that they’ve become the preferred way to get online, the risk to internet privacy and security is extremely high.
#5 A Better Online Shopping Experience
We just mentioned above that all your activity online is monitored. Online shops are interested in your activity too, and they use it to their advantage.
For example, if you shop online for air travel, it’s a common practice for websites to increase the prices as you keep looking for flights. Your search is a signal that you really want those tickets and may be willing to pay a little higher price to get them.
If you shop online through VPN connection, the companies will not have this info about you, giving you a chance to find better prices.
#6 Avoiding Geo-location Restrictions
Some websites or their content are reserved only for users connecting from certain countries.
For instance, if you have a US Netflix account but you want to watch it when you’re outside the US, you can’t. If you are addicted to Spotify but you’re in a country where the service is not active, forget about your music. The geo-location will block your account.
The same is true when you are in countries with strong censorship. Try to use Facebook while in China, and you will quickly see that it doesn’t work.
A VPN connection will guarantee access to all the websites and content you want. Remember that you can fake your IP address and appear to connect from the country where your favorite website or content originates. This way you can easily geo-spoof location-restricted websites.
#7 Safely Downloading BitTorrent and P2P Files
Warning: This practice may involve copyright violation, so it is not recommended.
But if you’re crazy addicted to Torrent downloading, A VPN will hide your activity preventing legal problems. In this case, you need to select highly reliable VPN provider with a strong “no logs” policy. You can read more about no logs VPN here.
What Is VPN For? Conclusions On VPN Connections
So, did you get what is VPN for?
As online risks keep rising, a VPN connection is becoming more and more a necessity for any internet user.
Hackers are increasing their activity, government agencies are more interested in your private life, marketers desperately want to sell to you. Any of these can become a real nuisance and in some cases an expensive problem to fix.
Take a look at our selection of the best VPNs. We chose only the most reliable and trustworthy companies on the market. In our reviews, we clearly explain the pros and cons of each service to help you find the best VPN for you.
Many of these VPN services even offer a free trial period so you can experience internet security and digital freedom firsthand without any risk.