What is a VPN?
VPN stands for ‘Virtual Private Network’ when it is not shortened to VPN it makes more sense. It’s name itself is rather accurate and descriptive of its function.
The ‘Private’ part of its name is most important as it describes the key benefit of a VPN over a Proxy or a Smart DNS. VPN providers encrypt all traffic transferred across their networks, usually with 128bit or 256bit encryption and connected by one of the following protocols; PPTP, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec or SSTP. The encryption means that ISP’s, Google, Facebook, Governments, Hackers and the NSA cannot see what you are getting up to online. Your normal connection to the internet provided by your ISP is not encrypted and leaves you vulnerable to unwanted spying, so you should always be trying to connect to a VPN – even if you’re just browsing.
Let’s now look at ‘Network’ – VPN providers have servers placed in lots of different countries around the world, this creates a ‘Network’. The VPN provider allows you to connect to their network of servers and use them to securely and anonymously browse the internet.
The last piece of the puzzle is ‘Virtual’. By connecting to one of the servers in the VPN providers network your computer/device appears to the outside world as if you are actually the server in whichever country/location you have chosen. Therefore you ‘virtual-ly’ appear to be somewhere that you are not.
Why Choose a VPN
There are many reasons that you should you use a VPN. Not only does a VPN allow you to appear totally anonymous online, it also provides a layer of protection that you do not get with any other type of security software.
There a numerous horror stories of people bank accounts, social security numbers, facebook accounts being hacked and most of the time this can be avoided. Most hackers are able to obtain your data over an unsecured connection or public Wifi. By using a VPN you create a totally encrypted tunnel between your device and the website you are connecting to – any data that the passes through the tunnel is totally invisible to any would be hacker.
One of the most common uses for a VPN is to allow users to stream multimedia content that would otherwise be restricted in their location. A VPN allows you to appear somewhere that you are not by changing the IP address that the rest of the world can see. Once your IP address is changed you can access previously un-available content.
Security: This is obviously, the main purpose of the VPN. It also works however, with websites and keeps your personal data hidden from hackers and others alike. It can be the only thing to save you from cyber crime. Moreover, in the younger age, it is common for data loss to occur. Thus, most of them, especially students, are provided with a VPN to gain a safer way to access the network.
Safe Downloads: It has become common now-a-days, to get caught up in court for something you didn’t do. Believe it or not, it also happens in normal everyday downloading. You see, pirating is not exactly legal. Therefore, it is always wiser to use a VPN when downloading torrents because you never know; you might have to end up paying a fine for nothing.
Anonymity: For people who think that everything that they say or do, should be private and only known to them, then VPN is the answer. It creates an anonymous profile for the person using it, eliminating every kind of data by which you could be identified for a specific action; all except an IP address. But guess what; with a VPN service you can keep changing that too!
Bypass Filters: VPNs are great when it comes to accessing a blocked website or bypassing web filters. Most people can’t even use common websites of the internet because of a government policy or a similar reason. Fret not! With a VPN, no website is beyond your reach!
Increased Performance – Reduced Costs: Amazingly, most VPN services today, offer great performance boosts to your networking. Once implemented, the bandwidth and internet speed can be increased through a secured VPN connection! Moreover, with a VPN, maintenance costs are almost halved! Even more, a service provider will rid all worries of a network setup and no surveillance would be needed entirely.
So there you have it, you now know what a VPN is. If you would like to try out a VPN, checkout one of our providers.