VPN – Protect Your Online Identity
What Is VPN?
VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network“. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic by building a secure tunnel for your data, helping to protect your online identity by hiding your public IP address and surfing habits from prying eyes.
What Is The Point Of A VPN?
When you access websites on the internet, requests are sent through your internet service provider (ISP). As you surf the internet, all of your traffic is passing through the ISP’s servers allowing them to track, log and potentially monitor everything you are doing online. In some cases, your web surfing ‘logs’ or histories may be handed over to the highest bidder, including ad agencies. AD agencies aren’t the only ones though, government agencies and other third party services may also be able to obtain your history.
Enter the VPN… By redirecting your internet traffic through a remote server before sending to the destination, you are hiding your data from snoopers. Your public IP address is hidden, using the remote servers IP address and location. No one will know what city or country you are coming from. This is important to protect your online footprint.
- Online Privacy: VPN changes your public IP address, hides your location and encrypts your connection to enhance online privacy.
- Digital Security: VPN can shield you from cyber threats, such as man-in-the-middle attacks, dangerous ‘free’ public wifi networks and packet sniffing.
- Remove Restrictions: With VPN you can avoid online censorship and certain geo-blocker restrictions.
- Encrypted Connection: Surf the web and even share files, securely, where snoopers cannot see the data you are doing.
How Does A VPN Work?
VPN prevents the above from occurring by sending your internet traffic through a remote server (locations all over the world) via a secure, encrypted connection. The VPN hides your IP address because your traffic will show it is coming from the VPN server you are connected to, versus your ISP provided IP address(es). VPN fully encrypts the data tunnel on everything you send and receive. It is impossible, with the ciphers offered, on VPN for the data to be intercepted.
A New Freedom!
When you are connected to your VPN, all of your data is encrypted and your IP address(es) are masked, showing your traffic is coming from the selected regions VPN server that you connected to. This prevents data collecting ISPs, cyber criminals and government agencies from gathering data on you and your web surfing habits. Since VPN servers are available for you to connect to worldwide, you can also avoid ‘country’ or geographic content blocks. If something is only available in Great Britain, for example, you could connect to a VPN server in the UK and the site using geo-blocking would not know any better, allowing you to view the content.
I Have Nothing To Hide…
So you might be saying to yourself… “I have nothing to hide, WHY would I need a VPN?”. Well, simply put … Enhanced Privacy! We’re not saying your ISP is tracking your EVERY move, but many ISPs do collect anonymous browsing histories and have been known to sell this data.
Who Is This Best Suited For?
- Anyone who wants to stop their ISPs from spying or collecting metadata on them.
- If you are a regular traveler and use hotel or company guest networks.
- If you travel overseas and still need access to content (such as from Netflix) in your home country.
- You frequently use peer to peer file sharing services or torrents.
- You connect to public WIFI hotspots, like those at coffee houses or your favorite stores.
- You want to enhance your online privacy overall.
Addition Information Regarding ‘Free’ Public WIFI:
If you use free WIFI at local stores, your favorite coffee shop, even friends houses … Did you know the owners of those networks have the ability to also monitor activity? A cyber criminal can sit in a coffee shop (for example) with a laptop and less than $50 of hardware and sniff your wireless traffic, even setup a fake WIFI hot spot in hopes you’ll save them some effort and connect to the fake ‘wide open’ free WIFI they are offering.
VPN protects you in these types of environments, even if a bad actor was able to intercept your traffic (which is fairly easy to do on WIFI with a couple of cheap pieces of hardware and software easily found on the internet), with the encryption layer on the VPN tunnel, the snooper will not be able to decipher it, in turn protecting your surfing activities and password transmissions.
A VPN encrypts your internet traffic and hides your IP address making any tracking extremely difficult. It conceals your online footprint and provides ISPs no useful data to track. There are many mixed opinions on VPN, sometimes getting into debates that are almost political, so certainly make your own choices. We do, however, recommend NordVPN based on our own experiences.
Features At A Glance
- Strong, selectable encryption
- A leading VPN provider
- P2P support
- Supports multiple VPN gateways
- Can be integrated into firewalls
- Instant setup
- No logs kept!
- Use on up to 6 devices simultaneously
- Unlimited traffic/bandwidth
- Auto blocks ads, trackers and malware content
- Network includes over 5,000 servers in 60 countries
- DNS leak protection
- Low cost (and allows payment via crypto if desired)
- Apps for all major devices (including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iPhone/iPad IOS)
- Extensions available for all major web browsers (including Opera, Chrome and Firefox)