The term VPN might leave you thinking of super hackers and people wanting to buy dodgy things on the dark web, and as such, it might not be something you’ve ever researched much yourself, but actually, there are many benefits to the average person having a VPN.
What does VPN stand for?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and is simply a secure connection between your phone, tablet, or laptop and the internet. Your data is then sent via an encrypted connection to an external server before going through to the internet, which is why it looks as though you are visiting from a different IP address. The encrypted VPN tunnel keeps your data secure, and the VPN server encrypts the information from the internet when sending things back to you from the internet. The VPN-software will then need to decrypt the data so that you can use it. It sounds like a long process but it is incredibly quick.
Changing your IP address
Your IP address is unique to your location and with this, you can be traceable online. By using a VPN, your IP address is masked, and therefore your online privacy is much more protected than it is without using a VPN.
Why is a VPN useful?
By encrypting your data traffic, you are reducing the risk of hackers being able to intercept this information. This is important when we do important things such as online banking, or access sensitive information. Not only that. But you have a lot more anonymity in your online actions, and your VPN shields your data from groups such as the government, your employer, your internet provider, and the websites you visit. Most people are not aware of just how much people can find out about you just from your online presence. Even if you don’t feel you have something to hide, privacy is important.
Another important thing that makes a VPN so useful is that you can use it to get around location-based restrictions. Perhaps you want to watch the Great British Baking Show the same day it comes out in the UK, but without a VPN, you are unable to access any of the online streaming sites that show it, for example. With a VPN, you are able to browse the Netflix catalog of different countries and watch shows that aren’t available where you live.
Will it change the way I use the internet?
Yes and no. It will open up a new world of content for you, and you’ll be able to browse without worrying about security, but at the same time, you won’t notice any real change in the performance of your internet as things happen in the background. Once it’s all set up, you don’t have to worry about anything.
So although you may never have considered a VPN before, hopefully now you understand better the benefits of doing so and just how easy it can be.