Everything You Need to Know About a VPN
Around 63% of all people connect to the internet on a regular basis, making this the single most shared resource on the planet.
Does this mean the internet is a safe place to be? The short answer is no.
But how do you protect yourself and your data? Fortifying your connection with 256-bit encryption is a great start, and that’s exactly what a quality VPN can do.
In this article, we’ll go over the definition of a VPN and go over the way these tools work. We’ll also tell you what you can use your VPN for, explain the abilities of this type of tool, and give you tips for choosing the best platform.
What Is a VPN?
How would you feel if you noticed somebody following you and tracking everything you do?
This is exactly what happens to billions of individuals who browse the web daily.
A VPN is a tool that allows you to encrypt your internet connection and increase your privacy levels while you’re on the web.
This means that snoopers can’t see what pages you’re visiting, intercept your connection, or figure out what you’re doing.
Just like an imaginary stalker would suddenly lose track of your activity.
Why Do You Need a VPN?
In the US alone, almost 112 million individuals have their data compromised every single year.
Having your data leaked can result in further privacy and cybersecurity issues. For example, if your information falls into the wrong hands, you can become a victim of identity theft and get charged for a debt generated by someone else.
The worst part is that most authority institutions don’t have a clear protocol to solve this type of crime. This, in turn, means that most people who experience this type of crime also face severe financial issues for a long time as a result.
What Is a VPN Used For?
VPNs were developed to help people connect to sensitive databases safely, even at a distance.
This type of tool encrypts your internet traffic, which encodes all the information sent to and from your device.
On the other hand, a VPN can help you secure any internet connection, even public wi-fi networks at cafes and other establishments.
This makes it extremely difficult for malicious parties to monitor and steal your data.
How Does a VPN Work?
Simply put, a VPN creates a secure network of servers.
All of the connections within this network are inherently private and are encrypted, which keeps the information being transmitted safe and secure.
Here’s a step-by-step explanation of how VPNs work.
- Once you connect your device to the VPN, it links you to the VPN servers in the country of your choice;
- The connection gets encrypted, and all data is transmitted through a secure tunnel;
- Finally, when you access a piece of content or download a file, your information can’t be intercepted.
What Can a VPN Do?
The main functionality of a VPN is to encrypt your connection and protect your data from snoopers.
In addition to this, there are several features that you can find in a VPN.
These vary depending on your provider, so review your VPN of choice to ensure it has the extras you need.
The features you can find in a VPN include:
It’s no secret that ads can contain malicious code that may potentially infect your computer. Some VPN providers have implemented robust ad blocking that minimizes the number of ads loaded on every site.
IP masking is one of the basic features found in all VPNs. The technology used to provide this capability varies tremendously. So, always partner with a provider that’s known for its robust IP masking.
GPS Location Changing
Unlike location IP, GPS takes your time zone into consideration, along with several other signals. While most VPNs don’t mask your GPS location, it’s possible to find providers who have implemented this as a special feature.
Compatibility With Multiple Devices
Most people around the world use mobile devices to connect to the internet. Therefore, it’s important to get a VPN that’s compatible with your smartphone as well as any other device you use.
There are many great VPNs for multiple devices you can work with. Just remember to review the list of features and ensure that the VPN you choose can be used on various devices at the same time.
What Does a VPN Hide?
Even VPNs with the most basic functionality can help safeguard your information. But, the more powerful the VPN, the lower the chances of third parties monitoring your connection.
As long as the VPN tool you choose comes from a reliable provider, it will hide:
- Your connection details and the data being sent, like credit card numbers;
- Your online identity, by masking your IP;
- And your GPS location, as long as you find a VPN with this feature.
How Do I Get a VPN?
To choose a reliable VPN, all you need to do is:
1. Consider Your Requirements
Start with creating a list of requirements you need from a VPN. Then, do your research and eliminate VPNs that don’t have the features you absolutely need.
2. Research Providers
Once you have a list of VPNs that bring the features you like, it’s time to research individual providers. Read reviews and access each VPN provider’s site to learn about additional features you didn’t consider.
3. Compare and Choose
Once you have all the details, it’s time to compare the best options and make a final decision. Everyone is different, so take the time to review each VPN to identify the best price/feature combination for you.
How to Choose a VPN?
There are dozens upon dozens of VPN providers to choose from. So, how do you select the best one for your individual case?
The first thing you need to do is figure out if you want a paid or free VPN.
As the name suggests, free VPNs have no cost to download and operate. However, free VPNs don’t usually feature the same level of security as paid tools.
Additionally, free VPNs often generate revenue by collecting and selling user information. Plus, their overall performance also leaves a lot to be desired.
Paid VPNs come at an additional cost, but they tend to feature top-notch technology. Plus, paid tools have a bigger feature list that can include GPS location masking, ad blocking, and additional features for safer browsing.
Once you know what type of VPN you want, research the leaders in each field. Then, narrow down your options and make a choice based on the tool with the features that are best suited to your needs.
Downloading a VPN is an effective and easy way to improve your security levels across the board. It can also help you mask your location and access digital resources without additional risks.
With that said, you need to compare the different providers, understand the available features, and choose a VPN suited to your needs.