Until a few years ago, VPNs were mainly used by businesses. Businesses allowed their employees to connect to the company network when working remotely. However, what led to the increased use of VPNs is the practice of content providers geo-blocking their sites, preventing access from specific regions. While most people have heard of VPNs, some do not know how a VPN service works.
If you have never used a VPN service before and are curious about it, this post is for you. Click here to learn more about VPNs and how you can use them.
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What is a VPN?
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network. It works by creating tunnels between secure servers and your computer. All your internet activity is encrypted through that server, and you can browse knowing that your data is safe. VPNs are essential, mainly due to the rise of cyber-crimes. With a VPN, you can have a safety cover as you are protected.
VPNs are apps you install on your device to protect your internet activity. If you visit sites that are not secure, the encryption will offer extra protection. Even on a public wireless network, hackers will not have the ability to access your data.
Why websites are blocked
Most websites are blocked to try and control users. The website owners believe they can control who has access to their content and limit areas they do not want their content exposed. Websites are blocked due to one of the following reasons:
- Network blocking is where your network administrator blocks certain websites. This is the case in institution networks.
- Government censorship is where the government decides that certain websites are not allowed to run in the entire country.
- Geo-blocking is where website owners only allow people from certain regions to access their websites.
If you are travelling to a country and want to access blocked websites like The Pirate Bay to download your favourite tv shows or movies, a powerful and secure VPN can help you do that successfully.
Why do you need a VPN
You need a VPN to protect you when browsing. Without one, you expose all your data and our location that can be dangerous. Here are some differences between browsing using the regular internet and using a VPN.
- When you use a VPN, all the data is encrypted at your device and decrypted once it reaches its destination.
- A VPN masks your IP address. With a VPN, your IP address can be from anywhere on the globe.
- Your ISP cannot see your browser history when you use a VPN.
- A VPN can make pages load a bit longer due to the encryption and decryption of data. The speed varies depending on the VPN you use.
Setting up and using a VPN
It is easy to use a VPN. Most VPN service providers have made their software easy to install and navigate. You can sign up and pay to have access to advanced features. Since they are similar in their functioning, Click here to learn more about how you can set up and use a VPN.
- Choose the best VPN service provider who has all the qualities you need. Take your time to browse around until you find the best fit. It is best to look for those who have free versions to get the experience before deciding. Once you have decided on your provider, you can sign up for the service.
- Download the software and install it on your device. Most VPN service providers have different apps suited for various devices.
- Open the VPN and sign in. you need to choose some settings when you get started.
- Choose the country where you want to connect.
- Ensure the VPN works well by going to https://www.iplocation.net/find-ip-address to see if it shows the correct country. You can also go to https://www.dnsleaktest.com/ to see if there is a potential leak.
- All you need to do now is enjoy secure and borderless browsing.
The devices a VPN works with
You can use VPNs on smart TVs, laptops, computers, tablets, and game consoles. When looking for a VPN service provider, you need to ensure you get one that can connect to the devices you need. You can use a VPN router to decide the devices that use the VPN and those that use regular internet.
When VPNs can be switched off
If you are browsing from a place where content is blocked, you might want to leave the VPN on at all times. However, if you are looking for content on a specific site, you can use the VPN and switch it off when you are done.
Make sure your VPN has a killswitch that automatically turns it off when the VPN leaks. This ensures you will know when you are not protected.
Myths concerning VPNs
When connecting to the bank, you need a VPN: Most banks can tell when you use a VPN. To avoid any problems, you are better off using the regular internet. Bank sites are considered secure to keep your information safe.
VPNs can protect you from malware and viruses: VPNs do not protect your device from malware and viruses. You still need antivirus and anti-malware software to protect your device. Also, you need to look at your settings to see whether they run well with the anti-malware software.
Your internet will become extremely slow with VPNs: VPNs make the internet a bit slow because of the encryption and decryption of data. However, some providers provide faster page loading. You can check with your internet service provider to learn more.
VPNs can prevent you from being tracked: Most people think that VPNs make them invincible, which is not true. Website cookies use marketing trackers that can pinpoint your location. You can disable the cookies but lose some of the website’s functionality.
Using a VPN can help you access blocked content on your location. You can get extra protection from hacker attacks with the right service provider. While it is good to use free VPNs, you are better off getting paid versions with more advanced features. If you want to experience surfing without limits, you can consider getting a VPN.
Featured Image by Dan Nelson en Pixabay