Online Privacy and security have become a major issue lately and cyber crimes are happening more than ever before. Yesteryears the cybercriminals were targeting only small-time companies and individuals, but these days, they are targeting even Fortune 500 companies.
What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is capable of securely rerouting your network traffic through multiple servers that are strategically placed all around the world. A VPN is further capable of concealing your computer’s Internet Protocol Address, commonly known as IP address. A VPN also is capable of protecting your online data and allows you to maintain anonymity while browsing websites from literally anywhere.
Technical features of a VPN
A VPN is capable of hiding your IP Address.
Masking your location.
Encrypting your data. A decent VPN is offering military or banking grade encryption.
Wipes out your browsing history as your traffic cannot be tracked.
Your Internet Service provider (ISP) connects you to the internet. But, these ISP providers are constantly monitoring your online activity without your consent. What a VPN service does is rerouting your online traffic, thus confusing this surveillance network so that your online activities become impossible to monitor.
Also protects you from data leakages.
ISP speed throttling prevention.
Unblocks restricted websites.
Stops targeted ads.
Helps you to shop for better deals as geographical limitations won’t stop you.
Gives you the option to choose your virtual location. VPN software reroutes your online traffic t through an encrypted server in a location of your preference.
How to get started?
This may sound complicated to a novice user, yet it is quite easy to get started. There are many VPN service providers who are offering easy to use products to keep their customers happier.
Most of the VPN services are offered as a subscription service and most of these subscription plans come with the capability to cover up multiple devices. Usually, a VPN service offers multiple plans to give you the ability to choose the best as per your requirements.
Usually, a downloadable app is offered and once downloaded the installation process is easier if it comes with an automatic configuration wizard.
Once the app is installed, it is easy to activate the VPN with the click of a button. Another feature that is available on a decent VPN is the ability to choose your location. This helps you to keep the anonymity and to experience more online freedom without geographical limitations.
Though there are many free VPN services in the market right now, most of them do not provide military-grade or bank-grade encryption nor unlimited bandwidth nor unlimited downloading ability.
Many free VPN services promise you that they will provide you encryption to secure all the inbound and outbound communications, cloaking your IP address to hide your location to give access to geo-blocked websites and web services. Yet, is it safe to say that they are providing stellar and safer service?
Disadvantages of free VPN services
Displays advertisements on their VPN apps. Sometimes these advertisements are questionable.
Free VPNs often sell your personal data to marketing analysts, marketing groups and agencies. These details are often used to advertise products and services targeting your IP address. Sound familiar?
Free VPN services do have limited resources at their disposal and most of these resources such as servers are rented and not managed in-house. Which means questionable privacy issues regarding your data.
Limitations regarding network bandwidth and download caps.
Encryption is weak when it compares to military-grade or banking grade encryption based paid VPN services.
This is why it is best to purchase VPN services offered by trustworthy cybersecurity companies.
Why you should purchase a VPN service?
Paid VPN services listed here don’t log your online activities.
No advertisements nor questionable contents viewed in the VPN app.
There are many server options to choose from, this ensures higher network speed and higher bandwidth.
These VPN services offer stellar encryption, usually banking grade, and military-grade encryption.
Paid VPN services don’t have a network bandwidth limitation or a download cap.
Provides fast, reliable, and stable network connectivity.
Outstanding customer support.
Article: best free VPN software for 2020
Things to consider when purchasing a VPN product
Availability of high-speed servers.
Encryption level provided by the VPN service providers.
A number of locations to reroute your traffic to maintain an online anonymous presence.
Ability to change your virtual geographical location to bypass geographical restrictions.
The ability to hide your personal and financial data by ensuring anti-tracking procedures to keep the trackers out of the reach of your data.
ISP independence. This feature makes sure that your Internet Service provider (ISP) won’t be able to log your web browsing history, data transactions. What’s more important is that by maintaining ISP independence, your ISP can’t sell your data nor throttle your usage.
Cookies, ad pixels, and malware can’t contact you. Even on your public WiFi, you will be safe and sound from cyber threats.
Services offered by a VPN in detail
1. Traffic Rerouting.
Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) connects you to the internet, yet they monitor and keeping track of your online activity without your consent. A VPN is capable of rerouting your online activities to confuse the surveillance network. Because of this, your online activity becomes impossible to keep a track of or to be stored.
2. Logging data
The Internet service provider of yours keeps track of everything you do online. This is called Logging. This is done to make money out of your data by selling your preferences to network marketing companies, leading to getting targeted by ads and unwanted digital profiling. A VPN is capable of wiping out all browsing history and data logs to keep you out of trouble.
3. Encrypted servers
A reputable VPN has a hundred or if not thousands of servers with military or banking grade encryption. These servers must be available as much as possible to turn your online data into uncrackable code strings.
4. Switching locations
More servers in more locations allow you to access the internet from literally anywhere. This also means that you don’t have to rely on one IP address to access the internet. The ability to jump from one location to another helps you to get rid of any geo-restriction.
5. IP Address Masking
Your IP address can be used to identify your location instantly. With the IP address masking feature, you don’t have to worry about censorship or regulations that your local governments forced upon you.
6. Security and defense against cyber threats.
Using a free hotspot or Wi-Fi networks with unrestricted access might put your computer in danger as the computer may have vulnerabilities to third parties and hackers. With a VPN, your data is not vulnerable to anyone, whether it is an individual or a corporate, government, or cyber-criminal.