What’s a VPN, and why you need one…Today!

VPN stands for virtual private network. When computers connect with each other, they form networks and share information among themselves. Computers that are situated between each other in a local office is referred to as a local area network. Depending on how each network is configured, it is essentially a Pandora’s box where hackers could get inside if the proper security protocols aren’t in place. 

Think of all of the public places you go to where wifi spots are essentially open to attack. Airports, coffee spots, and restaurants all have public wifi access points for people to use the Internet. Public availability makes it possible for malicious users to operate unhindered. People’s browsing habits and personal data would basically tell these hackers that it’s open season, and they will steal whatever they can get their hands on. 

VPNs were developed as a response to protecting company networks where sensitive information would be transmitted from one location to another. VPNs that connect to an office server would allow users access to company resources whenever you’re not on-site at the corporate headquarters. They also provide the added benefit of allowing users private browsing of the web. In an age where viruses and malware is ever rampant, it is very important that you take all the necessary steps to protect your data from falling into the wrong hands. 

By no using a VP network service, your ISP will know your entire web browsing history. The opposite is true if you purchase and use the service, hiding your search history. VPNs could essentially have servers all over the world, making it almost impossible for anyone to track you. How VPNs work – What they can and can’t do 

How VPNs work

VPNs enable safe browsing and online privacy by creating a private network via a public internet connection. This is achieved through utilizing a tunnel provided from a VPN service, where data that is transmitted between your computer to any other location is virtually encrypted and prevents prying eyes from seeing the moving data. Instead of your device’s IP information being displayed, the server’s information is shown instead. 

Here are some instances in which VPNs would be utilized: 

  • Streaming: If you’re using a streaming service in one country, it wouldn’t necessarily work in another one due to contractual agreements between the two countries. Using VPNs will negate loss of access if you were to ever move between the two.
  • Browsing: You’re looking for cheap products to buy on Amazon. Utilizing VPNs would prevent outside parties from knowing about your buying habits.
  • Privacy: Any electronic device you use publicly displays your IP information. VPNs help maintain privacy and allows safe browsing of the Internet. 

PCs and laptop computers can operate VP connections and make your private browsing anonymous. Smartphones can operate VPNs but only to a limited degree. Because of the hardware required to operate a VPN connection, it is difficult to get them working on smartphones. VPNs however, do not protect your electronic devices from malware. You’ll need to purchase additional software separately to ensure that you’re fully protected from digital threats.

Areas of concern

Online privacy is a huge worry for individuals, where personal data is sometimes stolen outright without their permission. After the FCC hearing rolled back rules regarding net neutrality during the Obama administration, it enabled ISPs to profit off of anyone’s data.

Organizations such as Google and Facebook have essentially been given the green-light to sell your personal data online. The end result is a barrage of ads that are targeted at you and your friends, creating an unwarranted irritation in a similar fashion to telemarketing calls. 

After the FCC hearing rolled back rules regarding net neutrality during the Obama administration, it enabled ISPs to profit off of anyone’s data. 

Organizations also have other methods available at their disposal to track your online activity, such as cookies from your internet browser. The National Security Agency has significantly expanded its surveillance capability to monitor citizens and their use of anything communications related. This would be troublesome if you’re subject to a surveillance mission where the government suspects you conducting any criminal activity (not that we would recommend you do that sort of thing).

VPNs have become just as important as protective software to enable a safe browsing experience. Regardless if it’s on a public or home based network, VPNs provide users a measure of security and anonymity when browsing through the web. Ideally, they are geared more towards desktop and laptop computers because they have the necessary hardware to ensure that they run smoothly. If you haven’t done so already, you should purchase it for yourself to keep your data safe.

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