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What's a VPN? —and 5 Reasons You Should Probably Already Have One

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In today’s world, the internet has become more than a source of entertainment. For many, the internet is a tool and a utility, used to communicate with colleagues, work around the world, sell products, and so much more. The importance of the internet is unquestioned, but despite the focus on internet security, many leave their connections completely unprotected. More than ever, cyber security should be an important part of your life. As the government works toward allowing your internet service provider to sell your private data, protecting and making your data online anonymous is one of the most important things you can do to create a safe environment for browsing and working online.

VPNs connect your computer to a private server and encrypts all information passing between your computer and the VPN server. VPNs require access to a public network- The Internet- but privatize the data travelling through them, hence their name as a virtual private network.


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The best way to protect your online life is through the use of a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. There’s been a lot of talk about VPNs online lately, but if you’ve never heard of the utility before, you aren’t alone. Using a VPN, your computer or device connects to another computer through a private tunnel secured on both ends of the device. When your VPN is active, instead of using the standard route between your PC or smartphone to access an article, video, or anything else online, the VPN uses the private tunnel to reach its estimation. That tunnel is only decrypted at the starting and ending points of the destination, a function known as end-to-end encryption, so your PC and the web page know you’re there, but your ISP can’t view the content you’re seeing beyond a generic “data” level. With the help of a VPN, your ISP can’t see any of your activity—and therefore, also can’t sell your data to advertisers.

Benefits of a VPN Connection

So, what’re the real benefits of using a VPN connection?

With a VPN, your data is safe. Even on a public network, VPNs protect you from data snooping that could result in valuable personal information being stolen from you over Wi-Fi. Nobody can see your data except you. Nobody can snoop into your business. VPNs also shield the contents of your downloads and browsing from ISPs and government agencies alike, allowing you to avoid censorship, ISP penalties and other concerns. Do note that what you’re doing on the public Internet is still available for third parties, though.

Those are the main benefits: better privacy and avoiding censorship/ISP penalties. Here’s a few downsides, too: VPNs can be slower than your normal connection. Don’t expect your speeds to be maxed out on a VPN, unless you’re paying really good money for it. On that note… VPNs come at a price. Most quality VPNs will charge for their services, and if you don’t have any extra money laying around that could be a concern.


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1. Keep Your Data Safe

An IP address is kind of like a personal online tracking device. It lets servers know where to send information back whenever you do anything on the internet. You can also think of it as a public, online ID. There are many sites out there that will log these addresses in order to provide you with personalized ads. Google is definitely among these that attempt to profit off of your information.
Read More: How To Hide Your IP Address »

2. Keep Your IP Address Hidden From Prying Eyes

An IP address is kind of like a personal online tracking device. It lets servers know where to send information back whenever you do anything on the internet. You can also think of it as a public, online ID. There are many sites out there that will log these addresses in order to provide you with personalized ads. Google is definitely among these that attempt to profit off of your information.
Read More: How To Hide Your IP Address »

3. Unblock Websites At School, Work And Home

If you use computers in a corporate workplace, libraries, or educational institutions, you have probably run into the problem of the institutional IT department blocking certain websites and making it impossible to access resources that you may need or want. It’s not just the obvious blocked sites that we’re talking about here (sites with recipes for chicken soup, of course – what were YOU thinking of?), it’s social media sites like Facebook, video resource sites like YouTube, and so on.
Read More: How To Unblock Websites At School, Work And Home »


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4. Access American Streaming Services While Traveling Abroad

Netflix is such a powerful streaming platform that it has become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon. With thousands of titles available, there’s something for pretty much everyone. Unfortunately, this is mostly true if you live in the US. While Netflix is available across the globe, many countries’ catalogs don’t come even in terms of content variety.
Read More: Watch American Netflix in France »

5. Download Torrents Safely — and Avoid Getting A Virus

Netflix is such a powerful streaming platform that it has become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon. With thousands of titles available, there’s something for pretty much everyone. Unfortunately, this is mostly true if you live in the US. While Netflix is available across the globe, many countries’ catalogs don’t come even in terms of content variety.
Read More: How To Download Torrents Safely And Avoid Getting A Virus »

Conclusion

Security and privacy go hand in hand. If your VPN uses robust security, it enhances your privacy. Higher levels of protection and encryption means all your data is secure and your identity is safe whatever you do online.

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Affiliate Disclosure: If you make a purchase after clicking a link on this site, we may receive a small commission.

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