Are VPNs Helpful for IoT? [Find Out the Right Answer]

IoT has truly transformed the world into a global village. The internet of things is used by more and more industries, whether they are in healthcare or manufacturing. Thus, companies need to be able to securely share data across their network without having to worry about security breaches.

One way to protect online privacy is to mask your IP address with the help of a VPN. For this purpose, people can try out surfshark VPN service. You may wonder if VPNs are useful for IoT as well or if they are limited to PCs and mobile applications. 

To make these things clear, we’ve written an extensive guide. If you are interested in learning, we highly recommend you keep on reading!

Role of VPN in IoT

An IoT device is basically any system that connects to the internet. It could be anything from a smartwatch to a refrigerator. Most of them connect to the internet via Wi-Fi networks. However, there are also some devices that use cellular connections like 3G/4G.

VPNs are used to secure the connection between the IoT device and the internet. They do so by encrypting all the traffic going through the device. Therefore, even if someone manages to intercept the traffic, he will not be able to read what’s inside.

How does a VPN work?

The first thing you should know about VPNs is that they don’t actually hide your identity. Instead, they create a virtual tunnel between your computer and another server somewhere else on the internet.

The server acts as a gateway between two different networks. When you send information to the server, it sends it back to the other network. In return, it gets encrypted before sending it back. So, when the server receives the information, it decrypts it and forwards it to its destination.

So, in essence, a VPN creates a private network within the public network. That’s why it is called a Virtual Private Network.

What makes VPNs useful for IoT?

There are many reasons why VPNs are useful for the IoT. Let us see how:

1) Security 

One of the biggest problems faced by IoT devices is the lack of security. These devices usually have very little storage space and therefore cannot store all the required credentials needed to log in to the website. This leads to security issues where hackers steal the credentials and gain access to the device.

With VPNs, you can easily change your IP address and thus avoid getting caught up in such situations.

2) Privacy

Another problem with IoT devices is that they often collect sensitive data. This includes personal details like credit card numbers, bank account details, etc. Such information needs to be kept safe at all times. But since most IoT devices don’t have enough storage space, they can’t store such sensitive data.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of VPNs here too. Since they allow you to change your IP address, you can now safely transfer such data over the internet.

3) Accessibility

Many IoT devices are designed to be used remotely. This means that they can only be accessed using their IP addresses. As mentioned earlier, most IoT devices don’t come with much storage space. So, storing the necessary credentials becomes difficult.

This is where VPNs come into play. By changing your IP address, you become completely invisible to the network. Thus you can simply access your IoT device using the IP address provided by the VPN service provider.

4) Remote management 

If you own an IoT device, the chances are that you would want to monitor it remotely. For example, you may want to check whether the device has been tampered with or hacked. Or maybe you just want to make sure that everything is working fine.

In such cases, VPNs can help you out. You can use them to connect to the device from anywhere on the internet. And once connected, you can perform any action remotely.

5) Connectivity

Most IoT devices need constant connectivity. This means that they need to stay connected to the internet even if there is no activity happening. This is because they need to receive updates and instructions from the manufacturer.

If you have an IoT device that requires constant connectivity, you will need a VPN. Otherwise, you won’t be able to keep your connection active. Why? Because in most cases, your ISP may reduce your activity to save their bandwidth which is called ISP throttling.

Using a VPN can help you stay connected as your ISP will not be able to monitor your activity at all. 

6) Unblock Restrictions

Some devices may have geo-restrictions, which makes them unable to work in specific areas. While most of the time, these geo-restrictions are GPS-based, where a VPN can’t help you much.

However, if IP address-based restrictions are imposed in some cases, a VPN can be pretty handy. It will mask your IP address, making it appear somewhere else, which completely evades the restrictions. As a result, you will be able to access your desired data without any issue at all. 

Last Minute Thoughts 

To conclude the above article, we should mention that while VPNs can be helpful in many ways, they also have their downsides. Here are some of the cons of VPNs that you may face at one point while using them. 

VPNs can slow down your internet connection, resulting in more data usage.  The main reason why it slows down the internet connection is that it sometimes has limited resources per server. When these servers become congested, the performance of VPNs degrades severely.

However, virtual private networks are essential tools for getting connected to the internet without the risk of getting hacked. It masks your true identity, making it unable to detect while browsing online, which increases the layer of security. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our guide on VPNs for IoT devices. 

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by Matt
I am Matt, Author on Foofighters. I love to explore different technical things around me. I do share my thoughts throgh this blog. I am an EX-Computer Technician. I have worked in this field for 5 years. I am determined to share extensively researched articles with you. Keep reading.....

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