February 9, 2023

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What is a VPN and How Does it Increase Your Online Security

Online security is a top priority, and everyone using the Internet for browsing, shopping, playing games, or watching Reels is showing significant concerns regarding protecting their private data. That’s why the term VPN is heard more times than ever before.

If you have come across this term but don’t know what it means or does, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will teach you the meaning of VPN and how it increases online security. Take a look.

What is a VPN?

A VPN or virtual private network is a service that protects users’ online activities, privacy, and Internet connection by hiding their true IP address. The service creates a secure encrypted tunnel to access the web. As a result, no trackers, snoops, or other third parties can trace the online activities back to the users. This also means users can fearlessly use public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Furthermore, VPNs allow users to gain a new level of Internet freedom. The service hops servers across different countries and circumvents geographical restrictions. It enables users to view and access restricted content.

Once you have downloaded and installed the VPN software, your device will be secure, and you can access global content with a single click. You can even leverage a VPN trial for free and decide if it is the right software for your requirements.

How do VPNs increase Online Security?

VPNs increase online security by encrypting Internet traffic and disguising users’ network identity. Therefore, it becomes difficult for third parties to track online activities and steal personal information.

Thanks to encryption, the data is scrambled, and only authorized parties can comprehend the information. VPN takes readable data and changes it so that it appears random to hackers or anyone trying to intercept it. Therefore, it establishes encrypted connections between devices and often uses the SSL/TLS or IPsec encryption protocols.

The effect of this is that connections remain private even if they are stretching across public Internet infrastructure.

Different Types of VPN

Remote access VPN

It creates a tunnel between a company’s network and its remote employees. The tunnel is private and allows remote users to connect safely to their company’s server. Users can access company-restricted websites, applications, and data stored on the servers. VPN ensures all data sent and received are encrypted. This type of VPN has proved beneficial for organizations with employees working from remote locations or their homes. Many companies have adopted this to help their employees remotely connect to the company server, making sure the resources and files are freely and safely accessible.

Router-to-router or site-to-site VPN

This type of VPN is essentially a private network designed to disguise private intranets and enable users of these secure networks to access each other’s resources freely. Site-to-site or router-to-router VPN is a connection between two or more networks, and large corporations primarily use the technology with offices in several locations. Users on the same network can easily share resources and files without hassle.

Why Do You Need a VPN?

It is not mandatory that you must have something to hide to use a VPN service. The service is used so third parties like hackers and cybercriminals cannot track or monitor your online activities and steal your personal information. Browsing through a VPN means your Internet traffic is encrypted, which keeps snoopers out.

Some more reasons why you need a VPN are:

  • To access your home content while you are traveling the world.
  • Stay safe online and prevent marketers, government agencies, and third parties from collecting your messages, browser history, and other data.
  • To create a safer gaming environment where bandwidth throttling and DDoS attacks can be prevented from your online opponents.
  • Your personal data is at risk if you use public Wi-Fi connections regularly. A virtual private network service is used to browse privately even when connected to public Wi-Fi.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a VPN

By now, you must have a basic understanding of what a VPN is and how it works to safeguard your private information online. However, with so many services available, choosing one may seem challenging. Here are some factors to consider when trying to pick the best service that caters to your specific needs.

Your Internet speed might be affected when using a VPN service. Therefore, you must pick a provider with a good number of locations and servers. As such, your bandwidth will not be pre-throttled. If you come across providers having data limitations, always opt for one with an unlimited or higher data limit per month.

It would be best to look for a provider offering the most sophisticated and the latest ciphers, such as 256-bit AES end-to-end encryption. This is critical because the VPN service must encrypt your Internet traffic and hide your IP address, so your online activities are disguised.

Reliable VPNs will not keep your browsing activity, online transactions, or payment information logs. This must be clearly outlined in their privacy policy. So don’t forget to go through the policy before signing up.

The VPN service you select must automatically protect your Internet connection by blocking and filtering malicious websites and protecting you from Internet scams and online frauds.

A kill switch feature ensures that your data won’t be exposed accidentally, even if the connection to your VPN service provider’s server drops. But your device will be unable to access the Internet temporarily until the VPN’s connection is restored.

  • Supports multiple devices

It would be best if you chose a VPN that is compatible with the OS of all your devices. It must also support simultaneous connections.

The Bottom Line

Opt for a VPN service if you want to enhance your online security and keep your personal information safeguarded. Install the service and leverage its benefits. Besides online security, VPNs also allow users to access geo-restricted content.

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