A lot of people have the misconception that when they browse on the internet, their data is accessible to them only. They bask in the belief that no one else can hack information sensitive to them like login details to social media accounts, internet banking details, email logins, etc. However, the fact remains that several organizations most likely have sensitive information about you gathered with many other individuals with them.
The medium through which you connect to the internet is facilitated by a telecommunications firm. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) possesses the capability to gather information about you through tracking your device activity. The ISP performs the privacy-breaching action by collating a huge number of activity logs from various clients and selling them to other organizations or people. With this wealth of data at their hands, firms can target different consumers based on their interests, location, gender or age.
You probably already know this – a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is the answer to geolocation blocks and censorship. It allows anyone from anywhere to access all that the internet has to offer, and that’s more than enough reason to use one. For example, using an optimized Amazon Prime VPN, you will be able to watch shows only available in the US.
What’s more, a VPN’s advanced traffic encryption is great for privacy and security. According to Consumer Reports to the New York Times to the Federal Trade Commission, if you care to keep your web browsing private and secure, you should make use of a VPN.
The world of VPNs could be confusing. However, in due time, you’ll get to understand how a VPN works and the humongous advantages a virtual private network poses to users.
How a VPN Works
A VPN works by routing the internet connection of a device through the VPN’s server, instead of that of the internet service provider. This way, when information is sent from your computer to the internet, it is directed from the VPN. The VPN behaves like a transitional connection between your device and the internet, thereby hiding your IP. In the event that your internet connection is impeded by a hacker, your data would be shown as a series of undecipherable symbols and numbers, rendering your information useless to the hacker.
When your computer is linked to a VPN, your internet data is sent through a secure tunnel that encrypts the information. What’s more, your location is hidden by the VPN since your IP address would be the same with that of the location of the VPN server you’re connected to.
Advantages of Using a VPN
Security of Information While Using Public Wi-Fi
When you link your computer to public Wi-Fi, your information potentially becomes exposed to a hacker that connects to the same Wi-Fi network. Even if the Wi-Fi is password-protected, the hacker could still find a way to gather sensitive information about you from your computer be it internet banking details, social and electronic mail login details, browsing history, etc. If the hacker eventually cracks your computer’s internet traffic, the data gotten would be useless as everything gotten would just be numbers and symbols jumbled together due to your VPN’s encryption.
Also, when you make use of a VPN while utilizing public Wi-Fi, the VPN acts as an intermediary between your computer and the Wi-Fi’s internet service provider and encodes your web activity. A study conducted by GlobalWebIndex has revealed that more internet users are getting security conscious and as much as one-third of all internet users use VPNs.
Watching Geo-Restricted Content
Individuals that travel internationally frequently have complained that there are certain regions in which their favourite content is restricted from viewing. In a particular region that has geo-restricted content, you could connect to a location in the VPN that allows access to the content and enjoy the services. While using a VPN, it would seem like you never left home.
VPNs experience peak subscriptions during events like the Super Bowl which is restricted from viewing in certain regions. Users in these regions make use of VPNs to stream the sporting event. Another example is Netflix. A certain number of series and movies aren’t accessible in particular areas which could lead to frustration of Netflix users in the region.
Netflix has taken numerous steps to totally block the use of VPNs from their websites, but some VPNs can still access Netflix without a hitch.
Accessing Remote Workplace
Some firms make connections to VPNs compulsory for employees to access remote workplaces from home. This is because the firms aim to stop third parties from getting access to sensitive data about clients and projects in the company. There are VPNs that connect your device to your office’s server to access your remote workspace from home.
Identity Security in Politically Harsh Countries
Not all nations in the world are first-world countries that allow freedom of speech. There are some countries that make certain its inhabitants don’t get to have freedom of speech or expression on the internet where the truth could be seen. Citizens have been jailed for speaking their minds against the system of government in a country.
When you make use of a VPN, no matter how much government officials try, they would not be able to get your location, thereby shielding your identity and exercising your rights as a free person. This will then further go on to encourage you to speak your mind freely on the situation of the country
Using a VPN is very essential because of the massive privacy breaching that takes place every day. In fact, let us assume a case where your internet service provider does not sell your data to third party companies. In the event that government officials command your ISP to give up details of your internet activity, the company would have to obey, leading to a gross privacy breach of your data.
You can avoid this and the aforementioned disadvantages associated with using the internet by making use of a VPN.