The internet is a pretty amazing place. It has allowed us to progress so much as a society and the sheer number of things we are able to do on it is astounding. We can talk to people who live in completely different countries at the touch of a button, keep up with any news and videos we want to and have access to an almost infinite amount of knowledge when we search online. These things are all great and are a perfect example of how to use the internet correctly and safely; if we do this, it can be a safe haven for everyone.
Unfortunately, however, there are a lot of people out there who want to take advantage of innocent internet users for their own personal gain. Another downside is that these people tend to be pretty good at what they do- hacking. This is one of the biggest worries whenever we log into our computers and onto the internet; being hacked and having the most private of our details stolen. There are a lot of people out there that can do this and that’s why you need to make sure you protect yourself in the best ways possible. Now, there are a number of ways to do this but I believe that VPNs are among the best ways to achieve complete safety. What actually are these, though, and how could they help you? Read on to find out.
So what actually is a VPN, then? Well, VPN stands for a Virtual Private Network; it’s virtual; because it’s not actually a physical thing and is set on your computer. IT’s private because you are the only one who can access your own VPN and use it- it provides online privacy. It’s a network because once you connect to one, you’re put into a network of a variety of different computers, but we’ll touch more on that later. They are designed in a specific way to be able to protect you against hackers and other potential online criminals, and they’ve become particularly popular in recent years.
How do they work, you ask? They work by altering your IP address (which is your Internet Protocol address) and this is more or less your unique identifier in the online world. This means that you almost become invisible on the web; people can’t track what you’re doing and won’t be able to find any of the servers you’re connected to. If you want to think of it in non-computer terms, VPNs act like a sort of tunnel. Whenever you connect to one, your IP address is changed and digs a tunnel to a server somewhere else- usually a different country entirely. You then use the internet services provided by this alternative server and this makes it very difficult to track your goings-on when you use the internet.
All of these factors mean that once you connect to a VPN, you are almost guaranteed online anonymity and people will be hard pushed to find you at all. It’s usually really easy to sign up for a VPN and once you’ve done so, it normally only requires the click of a button to activate it each time you’re online.
Now, there isn’t only one kind of VPN either. In fact, there are a lot of them out there and before purchasing one I’d recommend checking out as many as you can. They each come with their own positives and negatives and certain ones will be better suited to your internet use than others. For example, some are a lot faster than others and so if you use a lot of tabs and high-maintenance programs, you should look for the VPNs with the best connection rates. On the other hand, you may be looking for the cheapest VPN; finances could be tight and there are a lot of VPNs out there at good prices. Remember, however, that you tend to get what you pay for and if you want the best protection possible it could be worth paying that little bit more. Other VPNs allow you to access servers in different countries which may be necessary depending on what you’re using it for, so make sure you get all the details nailed down before you buy one. To review VPN services, follow our handy link.
So what kinds of people actually use VPNs? The truth is simple; anyone can use them. They are really handy, however, if you use public wifi networks a lot. These kinds of networks are really easy to hack into and if you use them, nearby hackers could be on hand to access all of your data. If you often visit cafes and connect to their public wifi systems, I’d definitely recommend purchasing a VPN for times like these. This will ensure you’re always protected as best as possible.
Big companies also tend to use VPNs. It’s not hard to see why this is the case; these kinds of companies tend to have all their computers connected to the same server so if one computer is hacked, the entire company could be hacked. This could result in lots of secrets or personal details being leaked to the public and companies want to avoid this at all costs. By having VPNs in service, they protect both themselves and their employees.
You also need to base your VPN decision based on what you actually want it for, as a lot of them have different features. For example, if you’re looking for sheer and utter privacy and protection, you should search for VPNs with the best security ratings that you can find. However, a lot of people buy VPNs so they can access area-restricted content. For example, there may be a show you want to watch on Netflix and it’s only available on another country’s version of the app. You could connect to a VPN server in this country and would, therefore, be able to watch these shows. It’s all about figuring out what VPNs suit your needs the most, so make sure you do the research!