You’ve probably heard about VPN before.
Let’s face it: the internet is a complex place. While surfing and using the internet we often use our own unsecured Wi-Fi network.
This means that we could be exposing our private information, browsing habits and history, and other vital information related to transactions and other stuff that we do on the internet.
Stories about XYZ’s email getting hacked or privacy exploited are so common nowadays that it is very important to secure our computers and our online activities.
To avoid being in trouble, there are a variety of things that you can do, like updating your social media security settings, creating strong and long passwords, and using firewalls. But one of the best measures to safeguard your computer and your online activities is using a VPN or a Virtual Private Network.
Yes, if you are concerned about your online security and privacy, VPN should be a must for you. Well then that brings us to the question, what exactly is a VPN? In this post, we are going to talk about everything you need to know about a VPN and how it works. Let’s dive in together and find out.
What Is A VPN?
A Virtual Private Network, commonly abbreviated as VPN, is an amazing tool that lets you create a private network from a public internet connection. It keeps your data safe and adds a layer of privacy to protect your identity online. A VPN helps you in getting greater privacy and anonymity over the internet better than even a secured Wi-Fi hotspot.
A VPN hides your IP address, encrypts your internet traffic, and disguises your online identity in real-time due to which your online actions are not traceable (virtually). Thus, no third parties can track your online activities or steal data from you over the internet.
Most of the VPNs can also be used in conjunction with the overlay networks and the proxy servers. VPNs were initially developed in order to aid business networks with a way to connect together securely over the internet. However, now they are very popular and many people use a VPN daily for all of their online activities.
Working Of A VPN
The first thing that a VPN does is that it masks your IP address. It does so by letting the network redirect your IP address through a special remote server. This remote server is usually run by the host of the VPN.
A VPN connects your device to another computer, called a server. This server is located somewhere on the internet. When the VPN connects your device to this server, you can browse the internet using this server’s internet connection. It is actually really easy to use, even for the not so “tech-savvy” ones.
It is common for these servers to be located in different countries. Therefore, it is also common for your device to appear as if it is coming from a different country than from the country that you are located in. This allows you to access sites on the internet that you normally couldn’t do from (and in) your country.
Thus, the VPN server becomes an online data source for you. This secures your online activity and no one can track the websites you visit, the data you send, and other stuff that you do online. It also acts as a filter, turning all your online data into an encrypted form making it useless for someone who by any chance gets his hands on your data.
In simple words, your computer or any other device that you use to surf the internet accesses the internet directly via your internet service provider or ISP. It is fast but at at the same time is less secure and is traceable.
When you use a VPN, your connection is connected to the internet with the help of a special tunnel through a server in another location. This can be a different city or even a different country. This server then uses or access the internet on your behalf.
The following video will give you a detailed idea about the working of a Virtual Private Network.
Why Do You Need VPN?
Let us discuss some of the reasons why you need a VPN.
It keeps your online activity private and secures your data
As we discussed above, a virtual private network masks your IP address and uses a server that accesses the internet on your behalf. This provides you with extra security when you are online. Your browsing history, your passwords, etc are safe and secure when you use a VPN, especially while using a Public WiFi.
It helps you in spoofing your geo-location
Since a Virtual Private Network uses a specially configured server that is generally located in a different city or country, the demographic location data comes from a different place. Thus, they act as your proxies on the internet and lets you disguise your whereabouts.
This is important if you travel a lot and like to use streaming services like Netflix that restrict content based on your location.
Easy File Downloading
They are also widely used to download files from certain services or websites like BitTorrent. If your IP address is making the torrent service very slow, you can use a VPN to get a faster speed and download legal torrents. Similarly, you can use VPNs on other websites to download files as well.
Using a Virtual Private Network can be touted as the best method to secure your smartphone, laptop, or personal computer and all your activities when you are using the internet.
However, despite everything, they are not the ultimate full-proof tool to help secure your computer or online activity. Because no matter how hard you try, you are never completely anonymous or totally safe on the internet.
Still, there is no denying that using a VPN is one of the best steps that you can take to safeguard yourself in an online environment. With a VPN, you can secure yourself online and use a public network like the ones at cafes and coffee shops and be confident that all your passwords and websites that you are visiting cannot be traced back or intercepted by someone else.
Plus, it also lets you spoof your location and trick the internet into thinking that you’re in a different geographical location. This helps you in a variety of things, say, using a streaming service that restricts content based on countries or location.
Thus, needless to say, it is a must-have tool if you use the internet daily. So, what do you think about VPNs? Do you think they are any good? Also, do you use them while surfing the internet? Which one do you use? The free or the paid version? We are all ears! Let us know in the comment section below.
If you are confused about what service to use, here is our list of Top 10 Virtual Private Network service providers that will surely help you out!
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