VPNs: Why you need them for your security online?

Do you ever get to worry about whether somebody could be snooping on you online?

If your answer to this question is yes, then you need to consider using a VPN. If green and new to this subject, you may want to weigh your options on the different types of VPNs.

BestVPN.com casts a wide net on the different types of VPN services to provide you with the information you need for making wise choices.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. If you are always surfing the internet or your work requires you to be online a VPN can protect you against hackers, and any criminal online with the intention of monetizing your data.

How it works

If you choose to use a VPN service, it means all your internet traffic is routed through a tunnel that is encrypted. This tunnel is encrypted between two points; a remote access server and your point of location. Any online user with hacking intentions will have no access to your data. This keeps you secure online.

With a VPN service, your computer’s IP address gets masked online by an IP address from a VPN server. This makes it difficult for cybercriminals to trace your computer.

Technically, what this means is that data from your computer first goes through a VPN server before it gets access to the public internet.

While on the public internet, it is important to note that not all websites are secure. Websites that contain SSL security certificates are usually abbreviated as HTTPS. Insecure websites lack an SSL certificate and are abbreviated as HTTP.

When accessing a website that is insecure, you are advised against entering sensitive information such as credit cards. Hackers are likely to steal your private data and use it for malicious intentions.

That said, a user on an HTTPS website is not completely secure as their connection could still be intercepted by hackers. However, the hackers wouldn’t be able to trace back the information to you since your VPN gives you a different IP location.

Typical examples of using a VPN

 

Have you ever stopped to think that the coffee Wi-Fi you are using to access the internet could be at the mercy of hackers?

Hackers can watch traffic on a given public Wi-Fi. If using this Wi-Fi to access your bank account, hackers could steal this information from you and gain access to your bank account using your credit card details.

Some of the public Wi-Fi networks that appear legitimate could be mere creations of hackers with the intention of stealing sensitive data from their victims.

However, with the use of a VPN, your online data is encrypted preventing attackers from tracking your activity online.

Another way a VPN proves useful is its ability to access geo-blocked websites or websites made inaccessible by the government. Some governments for security reasons choose to prevent access of particular websites.

To bypass government restricted websites, you want to make use of a Virtual Private Network. A VPN masks your internet activities by tunneling your data keeping it encrypted from government surveillance. This allows you access restricted websites. With a VPN, you have no reason to fear the government’s reprisal for gaining access to a restricted website.

A VPN also changes your location putting you in a region with limited website censorship.

Some jobs such as that of an activist come with more risk compared to a typical job. An activist could land in trouble with his/her government if he were found to access information that is quite sensitive to the public.  Repressive governments could crackdown on their online activities. An activist could use a VPN to bypass government surveillance.

VPN service providers

VPN service providers have made the use of VPN service by their clients easier by the day. Whether you have a gadget running on Windows or Apple, there is a VPN service that has been tailor-made for the operating system in your device.

As matter of fact, VPN clients are both the same for the Mac and Windows OS. However, app VPNS are roped into performance differences that you don’t want to get yourself it into. Alternatively, you could sign up with a VPN, and get access to its service through the control panel in your computer’s network.

VPN services also take care of mobile phone users. VPN service for the iOS system for the Android is also available in the market. Though functioning, some of the Android VPN services have been found to contain malware and spy on their client’s information.

They are not known to sufficiently protect phone data. It should be noted that phone data is also not easy to intercept. Apple products such as the iPhone have VPNs for their OS that is different from their Android. However, beware against using gadgets that have an operating system that’s way less common.

Concerns about using a VPN

  • Limits your internet speed

A VPN tunnels and encrypts your online data. However, some VPN protocols have heavy encryptions that could reduce your internet speed. A VPN increases your latency while decreasing your downloads and uploads data speed.

  • Does not guarantee Netflix access

VPNs are known to bypass restrictions put in place by online streaming services such as Netflix. Interestingly, Netflix has a complex set of licensing agreements that vary from country to country. For instance, Netflix in England is not the same as Netflix in Australia. Netflix has also an issue with VPNs because of its ability to break through some of their restrictions. It has a keen eye on persons attempting to break through these restrictions.

The bottom line

We live in a connected world more than ever before. More connection means more exposure of your private data to the outside world. In terms of keeping your data private, technology hasn’t made things easier but has only served to aggravate the problem given the many gadgets you can now use to access the internet. With all the loopholes that threaten to expose your online activity and private data, use of a Virtual Private Network remains your most viable option.