How does a VPN work? Whilst VPN security was essentially the reserve of corporations, personal VPN?s are quickly becoming more popular. A VPN can add an extra level of security to your home network or public networks (such as those at work, a cafe or an airport). Which makes sense as the amount of personal data we use on the internet has never been greater, therefore the level of risk of your personal data being stolen has also never been greater! A lot of people also use a VPN to access the internet for the added benefit of privacy.
What is a VPN?
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) acts as a form of encryption between the users devices and the internet. Without using a VPN your ISP (Internet service provider) can keep logs of all your online activity. It is also possible for snoopers, hackers, government agencies to intercept your connection therefore gaining access to not just your browsing history but also your personal data. Think of all the personal data you use whilst on the internet;
- Credit card information
- Banking information
- And much more!
You can think of a VPN as being an ?encrypted tunnel? from your devices to the internet. Not only this but connecting to a VPN add an extra level of privacy. When you connect to a VPN your real IP address is masked with the one of the VPN server. So for instance if your real location is London, UK and you connect to a VPN server in New York, USA your online presence will actually appear from USA.
The illustration below shows how using a VPN adds not just security but also privacy. Without a VPN any connection you make to the internet is public and can be seen by anyone, including hackers. By using a VPN connection any activity from the users device to the internet is basically ?lost? via the connection to the VPN server which in turn connects to the internet.
Hide your IP Address!
Firstly what is an IP address? In simple terms, its a unique identifying number which every device connected to the internet has. Every website you visit has an IP address and every device you use on the internet has one, weather its a computer, smart phone, smart TV etc. It is as unique as a phone number, or car registration plate.
There are a number of reasons as to why you would want to hide your IP address;
- Increase your anonymity
- Keep your physical IP address private
- Get past ISP/Goverment censorship
- Access content only available in other countries
Why do I need a VPN?
Whilst there are manly security and privacy benefits to using the internet with a VPN here are a few other benefits you?ll get from using a VPN; access geo-restricted content, increased anonymity, bypass ISP filters – often great for torrents, stop search engines from tracking your browsing history based on your IP.
Setting up a VPN
Setting up a VPN is thankfully a straight forward process. A lot of providers have walkthroughs on how to setup a VPN on your home router. This means any device connected to your routers wi-fi are automatically protected. If your router doesn?t support this, most VPN providers also offer an app/software for computers, phones and tablets.
All you have to do is download the app to your device, login, and then connect to an VPN server. Most apps will have options to automatically open at startup, they can also automatically connect to a random server. Most VPN providers have a feature referred to as a ?Kill switch?. If enabled this kill switch will detect if a VPN server goes down (We all know technology can go wrong). The kill switch will cut your internet connection off completely, thus not allowing you to be exposed without a VPN connection. You can then simply chose another server and continue to use the internet.
How do I get a VPN?
There are many VPN providers, some good some not so good. Whilst we would argue against anyone from using a ?free VPN?, there are many VPN providers out there and most offer a fast, reliable service with competitive pricing. We compare top VPN providers and review them.
Reclaim Your Privacy Now!
Compare the markets top VPN services now. Secure your digital life and protect yourself from snoopers!