What is a VPN?
Most likely, you know already what a VPN is. Chances are you even used one before. But do you know what it does?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, which exposes your privacy online. Originally VPNs were only used in business settings where big businesses, organizations or governments want to secure their data.
However, since people work remotely and need to connect online, companies needed to create a secure connection; otherwise, they were at risk to be hacked or lose their data. Times have changed, and now VPNs are used by everyone, precisely because it ensures your location stays private. Your data is encrypted so that you can surf the web anonymously.
How Does a VPN Work?
Firast we need to understand how the internet works. When you visit a site like Facebook or Twitter, you type in the domain name.
That domain is a “nickname” for the websites’ IP address. An IP address is just like your home address; only it consists of numbers, and not street names or post codes. And because it is much easier to remember names than a string of numbers, websites have a domain name such as Facebook, Twitter, PayPal, YouTube, Insta and so on which the server translates.
Your phone and laptop have IP addresses too, and every other device browsing the internet. Whenever you are browsing the web and type the domain name in the search field, Chrome, Firefox or even Internet Explorer your data gets forwarded to the internet until it reaches its destination server–the website or information you are looking for. The destination server translates the data and sends you back the site you requested. The problem is when you send that data to the server; you are also sending them your IP address and a lot more information. This is where hackers can intercept to get to your information.
Imagine the following scenario:
You are sitting in your local coffee shop at lunch, using their public WIFI on your phone to check your bank account. On a table near to you sits another person with a laptop or phone. He connects to the same network and has somewhat easy access to your passwords, emails, and other information. However, if you use a VPN, nobody can access your data accept you.
All the websites you are visiting are also gathering up your information. However, they intend to study it for their demographics. Most of the time, there is no problem. But there are many situations where you want to protect your identity and privacy.
How does a VPN protect my privacy?
When you send information online, a VPN creates a tunnel, which encrypts your data. If someone gets hold of your data, they are not able to read it. The tunnel makes it also harder to hack, but do not be fooled. Hacking is still possible; it is just a little harder to do.
The VPN adds a new server. This means for you, if you go on the internet and search for a particular website, your information goes first to VPN server and from there to the website e.g. to Facebook which keeps your data secure.
Unlock Streaming websites
Firstly, the VPN can change your location. All the big video streaming websites like Netflix and Hulu have strict content your allowed access depending on your geolocation. For example, you want to watch your favourite new show on Netflix, but it is not available in your country. Using a VPN you send your information to one of the VPN servers in America, which then sends your request to the Netflix website. Netflix now thinks you are in America, and you can stream your show with no problems. The VPN tricks Netflix (or any other server) into thinking you are in a different location because the signal is coming from a different server.
Changing your location can also be valuable when booking a hotel or flight. Research has revealed that hotel and flight prices vary depending on your location, and a VPN could potentially save you lots of money. However, back to your privacy issue. Remember how we mentioned websites sometimes collecting your data? Well, many times, governments can request this information and use it (IP addresses) to track your movements and location. However, with the VPN, the information only reaches the VPN server. They cannot track you back to your original IP address.
Many VPNs also have a no-logs policy, which means they do not record which websites you visit. If the government requests the VPN provider for tracking logs, your information will not be there.
What a VPN can do for you!
With all those safety measures in place, it is no longer a surprise that so many people use VPNs.Now it is your turn to get your own VPN. To help you make the right choice, we have provided two options for you: