Read on to find out how VPNs protect your data, as well as their other benefits.
If you have spent any time on the internet over the past few years, you have probably heard or read about a VPN. Advertised as a way to access foreign Netflix or get deals on online shopping, a VPNs main job is to protect your identity and data.
Notably, there are several VPNs in the industry. You can also check out Surfshark vs NordVPN comparison. VPNs can hide your identity and online presence, allowing you to keep your private data secure and making it harder to be the victim of identity theft or a hack.
Table of Contents
What is a VPN?
A VPN is a technology to protect your online activity and the data you store online. A VPN, or a virtual private network, masks your IP address, allowing you to browse and use the internet freely without anyone, or anything, being able to track you.
What does a VPN do?
When it comes to protecting you and your data, there are three primary purposes a VPN fulfills to ensure that happens.
Conceals your Internet activity
The first thing a VPN does is hide your Internet activity. While this may sound suspicious, it is anything but. Search engines and websites will track what you do, what you search, what you read, and what you buy.
The websites and search engines then sell this data, allowing companies to pinpoint what you like and your interests. We often think our Facebook page or Instagram account is “listening” because we will get ads for exactly what we were looking for.
Blocks malware and trackers
Data thieves and hackers can’t access your system unless you give them your device or they access your IP address. As mentioned, no one can find your IP address if you use a VPN to hide it.
Encrypt your data
Lastly, a VPN can encrypt the data you send online. This means it scrambles readable data to the point that even the most powerful computers will struggle to unscramble and read it.
Encryption is one of the most robust and reliable ways to protect your data, and combining an encrypted system (your PC or phone) with a VPN will give you two layers of excellent protection.
READ ALSO: Basic Tips To Ensure Online Safety
Secondary Benefits Of A VPN
Access geo-blocked content
Being able to hide your IP allows you to access content that has been geo-blocked. Many websites, online shopping sites, and entertainment sites are made only to be used by local residents; however, a Virtual Private Network helps you get around this.
Many will know how a VPN can also change your Netflix experience. The service doesn’t offer every show and movie in its library to every country; a VPN allows you to watch everything simply by changing your location.
Secures your internet connection
Considering so many of us work on the move, whether having meetings in a restaurant or finishing a project in a cafe. You will often use the free WiFi provided, but this is also the easiest way for hackers to access your system.
Free WiFi services are often not well protected, and hackers can access your system if you are connected to the network. A VPN makes this near impossible as they won’t be able to find your IP address.
A VPN is a very cost-effective way to protect your system from malware and hacks. Anti-virus and firewalls can add up, especially if you use them on multiple systems. A VPN is incredibly cheap for what you get in return.
Lastly, a Virtual Private Network can drastically improve your gaming experience. When playing online games, you don’t get to choose which server you play on, which often means you don’t play on one that offers you the best performance and low lag.
However, with a VPN, you can change your country and then get placed on servers that match. This means you can get the most out of your game if your internet is fast enough to keep up.
Downsides of a Virtual Private Network
While there are multiple benefits to using a VPN, there are a couple of negatives. The first is that it will often slow your internet connection down. Maintaining a VPN takes a lot of bandwidth, and you will see slow connections if multiple devices use a VPN simultaneously in your home.
Another main downside is that with the rise of VPNs, there has been a rise in VPN-blocking software. Websites can install a VPN blocker, which will either stop you from using the site altogether or treat you as a visitor that isn’t from the home country of the website.
Even with these minor downsides to consider, for the most part, using a Virtual Private Network is a cost-effective and efficient way to protect your data while offering an array of other benefits.