What is a VPN? Virtual Private Network or VPN is a technology that provides a safe connection over traditional networks by encrypting users’ traffic and routing it through remote servers.
Nowadays the VPNs are very popular. However, the reasons why people use them today are different from the initial ones. When Microsoft introduced its first VPN, the company aimed at allowing the employees to work from home avoiding data leaks.
Today, people use VPNs to enjoy a secure connection when browsing the Internet and going shopping online. But this is not the only reason. They also want to protect their anonymity, avoid hackers’ attacks, and enjoy freedom by accessing geo-restricted content. VPN can provide all of those. It is a simple, reliable, and affordable solution.
Why do you need a VPN service?
When surfing the Internet or making financial transactions via an unprotected connection, you risk exposing your browsing data and private information to anybody smart enough to get access to it. And if you use public Wi-Fi networks often, you should take security measures and consider getting a reliable VPN.
A VPN will hide every single piece of your traffic in its tunnel and will protect you from identity theft – no one will be able to steal your credit card information or passwords to your accounts. Advertisers won’t know which websites you visit and what you are looking there for, so you won’t get annoying ads convincing you to buy something.
Travelers can use a VPN to go around geo-restrictions wherever they are. There is much content on the Internet which is available in certain countries only. So, if you want to have access to your beloved TV shows or stream movies thousand miles away from home, you need a VPN.
Besides, a VPN can help you go around censorship applied by governments in certain countries. There are places where you cannot use social networks and open certain websites, but the best VPNs can solve this problem quickly. They will mask your real IP address and hide your traffic so that you could enjoy boundaryless Internet securely.
Finally, a VPN can save you cash. Many e-commerce websites (Amazon, airlines) track your location and gather information about you. They may charge you more just because you live in the US and not Puerto Rico (they are sure you can spend more on the same product which is ridiculous.) With a VPN, you can virtually re-locate to any place in the world to trick the dodgers.
How Does a VPN Work?
Every time you go online via a regular connection, different servers exchange your data for providing that connection. If it is not protected, your ISP or public Wi-Fi provider can easily track your activities. And this is not the worst part. There are more dangerous people out there continuously looking for careless users.
A good VPN will guarantee no one sees you. It will encrypt all the traffic going from and to your computer so that nobody can encode it. Besides, the data flow goes through a secure tunnel, and not a single party can enter it, including your ISP. Finally, all the data goes via remote servers in different locations and thus, your search activity would appear to have roots at any of those.
What is even more interesting is that the whole process takes less than a second and you will hardly notice any difference in speeds.
Our VPN Recommendations
By now, you should have an answer to the question ‘What is a VPN?’ and you might have decided to get one. But how do you choose the best service? There are so many of them! Obviously, there are no two VPNs which are similar. Below are a few tips to help you make the decision.
- Check whether the provider has a no-log policy. This means they will never track you and keep logs of your online activities. The good idea is to check the provider’s jurisdiction as well because they have to obey their country’s legislation. This is all about your privacy!
- Find out whether they use the most reliable protocols. Choose those providers that run OpenVPN which is the most secure protocol as of today. But still, go for a service that supports some other protocols too – sometimes it is more convenient to use a PPTP, for example.
- Check whether the VPN sets any data limits. If you plan to stream videos, go for unlimited bandwidth.
- Have a look at the servers’ network. The number of servers and their locations matters a lot because this is your key to Internet freedom at high speeds. The more servers the provider has the better.
- Check whether the VPN will cover all of your devices. An average user has three to five devices, and it would be great if you can use one VPN on all of them simultaneously. Find out whether there is a VPN app to set up on your iPhone, Android, and computer.
- Compare prices and check payment methods. Although a VPN can offer so many benefits, you don’t want to spend a fortune on it. Moreover, if privacy is your number one priority, you want to stay anonymous when paying too. So, check whether you can pay with Bitcoins, for example.
You may even opt for a free VPN; however, be sure you are aware of the risks.
- Read reviews to get an idea about ease-of-use, customer support, speeds, and other issues. If there is something wrong with a provider, you will know that right away.
Using a reliable VPN is a necessity. It is your way to avoid troubles and enjoy safe surfing on every single device you have. Using technology is simple, and you don’t need any specialized knowledge to do so. Doing some research will help you choose the best provider capable of satisfying all your needs.