A VPN (Virtual Private Network) gives you online privacy and anonymity because it creates a private network from a public internet connection. Here are 5 things you should know about VPNs.
1. VPNs Keep You Secure
VPNs play an important role in two ways. Firstly, they hide your computer’s actual IP address and assign it a random one, and secondly, they send your data encrypted through a secure tunnel called an exit node so that no-one can see it. This is to prevent online attackers from recording your activity and hijacking your accounts. So, wherever you land on the Internet, your location is hidden, and your information is secure.
2. Connect to the Office or Home When Travelling
VPNs are frequently used when traveling on business to access the network, share files and information with colleagues in a secure environment. You can also access your home network when traveling. This is in exactly the same way as if you were at home, but safe in the knowledge that you are doing so on a controlled and private connection.
3. Pricing and Set-up
Organizations usually have their VPNs built to cater for their infrastructure and business needs. However, as an individual, you do have the option of choosing either a commercial service or a free VPN service. A free VPN usually displays advertisements, has fewer servers, and the connection speed can be slower. This is because those servers can often get overcrowded. However, for the occasional user, a free service might be just enough. Commercial VPN services pricing model will vary depending upon how much bandwidth you’re likely to use. Some antivirus software companies also offer VPN services if you subscribe to their antivirus license.
4. Auto Connect and the Kill Switch
The weakest link of the security chain is you, the user. So, a VPN with an auto-connect feature that kick starts whenever a connection to an insecure network is made is ideal. Having a Kill Switch feature is also useful, as it will drop you off the network if your connection gets patchy or if a device has been sitting idle for a while, and you are still connected to the VPN.
5. VPN Additional Benefits
If you enjoy watching TV programs, films, or videos online, you will find that sometimes you get a grainy picture or the streaming will buffer. This is because your computer’s IP address has been used to identify you and your location. The site you access then decides how much bandwidth to give you, and this will make a significant difference in the quality of the streaming. It is called throttling. Accessing the service through a VPN will mask your identity, so you are unlikely to experience throttling, and the quality of your entertainment will be much faster and of higher quality.
In addition, eCommerce websites change product pricing, airline ticket prices, and hotel packages depending on your geolocation. You can alter your virtual location by clearing your browser from cookies or go online in private mode to benefit from the available discounts.
VPN technology is an extremely effective way to use the Internet, without worrying that your private data will be publicly available. All devices, such as mobile phones, desktops, and laptops, should be connected to a VPN for that very reason.