Before we began developing our solution, we were often asked questions such as What is a VPN useful for? Or what is a VPN?
In this new post, I’ll attempt to explain why you should always use a VPN and what it’s for in real terms. I think that some more knowledge of cyber security is necessary.
I strongly advise against using free VPNs, and I strongly encourage you to read the whole post to learn why.
VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an abbreviation for Virtual Private Network. The best VPNs enable you to alter the IP addresses that websites see when you visit them, ensuring that your privacy is maintained to some extent. Additionally, a decent VPN will encrypt the connection. As a result, data sent and received by your computer, tablet, or phone will be unintelligible for data theft.
Thus, VPNs are technologies that enable the safe and anonymous transmission of data over the internet. Therefore, why should you utilize them and how can you select the best provider?
Originally reserved for businesses wanting to protect their internal network access, VPNs have been extensively utilized to suit the requirements of people seeking internet security and anonymity.
Is it legal to use a VPN?
While the usage of a VPN is allowed in the vast majority of countries, there are some instances when such solutions are restricted or even banned. Thus, in China, you must use VPNs that are approved by the government, since the Great Firewall blocks numerous providers. Other countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, are more stringent, prohibiting the use of VPNs outright, as is the case in Iraq, Turkey, and the Sultanate of Oman, for example.
How does a VPN operate?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a network infrastructure that enables you to connect to another computer (or server) through an encrypted connection. The network is configured transparently for computers or connected devices, with the various “machines” interacting as if they were part of a local network. Thus, a gateway, or external link to the internet network, may be used to connect to a distant server. Additionally, since you are connected to the internet through another computer, your IP address may change. As a result, this virtual private network offers many advantages:
- The data exchanged between your computer (smartphone, tablet, router, etc.) and the internet’s gateway server is encrypted, which means that your internet provider has no idea what is sent through your connection.
- The computer serving as the gateway to the internet has a different IP address than your own PC. This gateway computer may be situated in the country in which you are now residing, or in another country of your choosing. This enables, for example, the circumvention of geographic connectivity limitations.
Simply stated, VPN software establishes a kind of internet connection tunnel that renders any data sent via it unintelligible to outsiders. Additionally, altering the computer’s internet connection keeps you anonymous and protects you from cyber assaults.
Reasons to always use a VPN
While companies often use VPNs to enable workers to safely access their internal network from the outside, these systems are best known to the general public as the perfect technological solution for illicit downloading.
Individuals may use a VPN for two primary reasons: to circumvent geographic censorship by using an IP address from another country through a VPN, and to preserve their privacy on networks by disguising their actual IP address.
Indeed, the VPN obfuscates the user’s identity and location by masking it behind the VPN server’s IP address. Surfing the web sometimes entails the danger of revealing your information to other users on the local network or even to governments that can monitor connections, such as those in China.
It is thus better to use an encrypted VPN on a public network, at a railway station, or in a hotel, since this prohibits anybody on the network from monitoring its activity.
Confidentiality and anonymity
Using a VPN is not intended to prevent fraudulent downloads. Indeed, virtual private networks enhance the security of internet connections, particularly while conducting online transactions. VPN software may be advantageous and comforting for the following reasons:
- obtain access to a public Wi-Fi network, such as one in a restaurant, library, or park. Open Wi-Fi networks are a haven for hackers attempting to steal your data. Additionally, hackers may establish bogus Wi-Fi hotspots to gain access to your data.
- access to internet services that are geographically restricted. Certain operators restrict access to their services to citizens of their own nations. This is sometimes the case with television networks and certain financial institutions. If you travel or live overseas, it’s fascinating to be able to circumvent this restriction. On the other hand, bear in mind that links from overseas to your bank account may be regarded as identity theft by the financial system.
- access to the internet in difficult countries (China, for example) that limit internet access or monitor conversations.
- have access to the internet through a secure internet connection. When you connect to a VPN, your connection is encrypted point-to-point, which means that no one can read or intercept your data while you are connected. This maintains a very high degree of secrecy.
Without succumbing to state surveillance hysteria, it is well established that certain governments conduct wiretaps and monitor internet connections. Thus, the Five Eyes Alliance brings together the intelligence services of five countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America), who exchange information and conduct mutual population surveillance.
Bear in mind, however, that using a VPN does not automatically render you “invisible” on the internet. It is implausible to use a VPN to connect to your Facebook account, for example, if you want to safeguard your data. On the internet, security and anonymity need a particular level of rigor and an end-to-end connectivity strategy.
Consider the following while selecting a VPN
Ascertain if the VPN software is compatible with the platforms you use at home. Again, the more options you have, the more versatile your solution will be. The majority of solutions are now compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux. Ascertain if the supplier provides an Android / iOS application to protect your internet connection on a smartphone. If you need to secure all the devices in the home fast, the simplest option is to install the VPN on the router. However, the process is difficult, if not impossible, with ISP-provided hardware. Additionally, some subscriptions limit VPN use to one or two concurrent users, while others are more liberal.
The cost. We suggest the best cheap VPN.
Why would anybody pay for a VPN service when there are free alternatives? Operators must pay the expense of setting up VPN servers, and therefore these businesses must be compensated. There are two potential options, which may be combined: show ads during usage or resell user data to other businesses for advertising purposes. The cliché “when it’s free, you’re the product” takes on new meaning, and anonymity loses its luster…
As previously said, I strongly advise against utilizing a free VPN:
- There are just too many premature disconnections (remember that in the event of disconnection, your real IP address will pass through the network).
- Consider why it is free. If the VPN’s developer knows everything about you, and the service is free, may he utilize the data that goes through his servers? Is the data really encrypted?
VPN service costs are very changeable and, more importantly, they are often susceptible to promotions. As a result, establishing a comparison table in this area is challenging. Additionally, there are VPN providers that provide trial offers that enable you to evaluate the VPN in real-world circumstances, such as when a user connects to a VPN.
To do so, I recommend that you utilize the premium version. It does not cost an arm and a leg; in fact, I believe the rates are very reasonable in comparison to the services provided. You can simply discover the finest VPNs on the most reputable software marketplaces and quickly download the one that is suitable for you after reading the VPN reviews. Additionally, several VPNs provide a 30-day trial period.
No data logging
As previously said, one of the primary advantages of VPNs is anonymity, and some providers promise to retain just a minimal amount, if any, of information about their customers’ internet activity. However, it is difficult to verify this accusation, since it is often a straightforward statement. To ensure transparency, several service providers commission audits to get certificates of data deletion.
Server count and regional distribution
This is a critical aspect to consider while ensuring a high level of service quality. The more servers a service provider has, the more capable it is of providing a high-quality connection. Additionally, it must be capable of providing a diverse range of geographic excursions. As a result, it needs to have servers in several nations. Please keep in mind that the existence of a server is not always sufficient to access geographically limited services. Indeed, several streaming service providers, such as Netflix, Amazon, and the BBC, have taken more or less stringent steps against VPNs to safeguard their content.
Service in high-risk regions
If you want to use your VPN while traveling, you should ensure that it works in each of your locations, particularly in sensitive regions such as China, Turkey, or the United Arab Emirates.
Protocols for encryption and communication
We are now approaching the “difficult” phase. Encryption of data is a critical component of a VPN. It is thus critical to verify that service providers use high-quality algorithms that guarantee the transmission of data is completely secure. To read your encrypted data, you’ll need a decryption key. The greater the “length” of the key, the more difficult it is to decode using specialist software. The number of potential key combinations is proportional to the length of the key.
The majority of VPN software use 192- or 256-bit keys, which would take thousands of years of computation on even the most powerful machines available today. You have nothing to worry about on that side.
Protocols for communication are also critical in creating a secure “tunnel.” Currently, the following systems are available:
If PPTP is to be avoided, alternative protocols, such as OpenVPN or IKEv2, are very safe.
Speeds of connection
Using a VPN may impair the performance of your internet connection to a greater or lesser degree. This is a critical aspect to consider while making your selection. With certain providers, the deterioration may be imperceptible, particularly with a high-speed connection (fiber); with others, slowing down may be very inconvenient, if not debilitating. Indeed, a service provider’s performance may vary depending on the number of users connected and the time of connection.
I use NordVPN, which costs less than $5 per month for a yearly subscription. There are no unexpected disconnections, the speed is excellent, and most importantly, I have my own private internet connection.
In summary, this is an excellent reason to use the new NordVPN; it also comes with a money-back guarantee and 24/7 customer support.