Why Do I Need A VPN
A VPN helps transform your connection to the internet into a safer and more secure experience. It can enhance the security of your personal information and your online privacy. These are the main benefits of a VPN.
For instance, consider the dangers of using public Wi-Fi. Cybercriminals may be able to access personal data you send and receive, even if the network youre on is password-protected. In some cases, the data can be used to steal your personal information to access your online accounts. A VPN can help protect your data in two ways. For one, it can help prevent data from being stolen through a phony public Wi-Fi set up by a cybercriminal. It can also help protect data being passed on a legitimate public Wi-Fi thats been hacked by a cybercriminal.
Whats more, your internet searches on a VPN remain private. And while third parties may only be using this information to target you for advertising, there are other risks
For example, your information could be accessed in a data breach. Criminals might use the exposed information to create spear-phishing emails. If you click on one of these bogus emails, you could become a victim of a ransomware attack.
Spear-phishing emails are often specifically tailored to your interests. They attempt to lure you into clicking on links containing a variety of malware. That includes keystroke logging malware, or ransomware that can lock and encrypt your computers data, making it inaccessible to you unless you pay a ransom.
Your Web Activity To Maintain Internet Freedom
Hopefully, youre not a candidate for government surveillance, but who knows. Remember, a VPN protects against your internet service provider seeing your browsing history. So youre protected if a government agency asks your internet service provider to supply records of your internet activity. Assuming your VPN provider doesnt log your browsing history , your VPN can help protect your internet freedom.
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I need more questions. If you have a computer question – or even a computer problem that needs fixing – please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can’t promise I’ll respond to all the messages I receive , but I’ll do my best.
About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis’ areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service optionally, you can contact Dennis through the websitecontact form.
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Trusted VPN From Avira
Using a VPN on public Wi-Fi can help protect your online financial information, passwords, and other private files from hackers and snoopers. Avira Phantom VPN is free Wi-Fi protection for a more secure Wi-Fi experience. Its important to remember that a VPN cant protect your Wi-Fiit helps keep the data you send and receive over Wi-Fi secure. Plus, like the name suggests, it can make you feel like a phantom as you fly over borders and leave barely a digital trace. Sitting in London? Not for long. There are 38 Avira server locations worldwide. Poland? Japan? Select the country you wish to connect via, and your new virtual IP makes it appear as if youre therein two clicks. Now youre anonymous online and your online data is encrypted. Your favorite box set is at your fingertips, even if youve swapped your sofa at home for a hotel room while traveling.
Whether youre on a laptop or smart phone, the online risks remain the same. Thats why Avira Phantom VPN can be installed on most Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac devices. Theres also a free browser plugin for Chrome. If youd like to do away with data limits on your VPN and are prepared to pay a small monthly fee, consider Avira Phantom VPN Pro. It comes with Avira premium customer support and a kill switch. This non-lethal tool kills only your internet connection if your VPN is disrupted.
Internet Key Exchange Version 2
IKEv2 handles request and response actions to ensure traffic is secure and authenticated, usually using IPsec. It establishes the security attributes of the device and server, then authenticates them, and agrees which encryption methods to use. It supports 256-bit encryption and allows the use of popular ciphers such as Advanced Encryption Standard , Camellia, and ChaCha20. IKEv2 is mostly used to secure mobile devices, in which it is particularly effective.
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Where To Go From Here
Hopefully now you are aware of your options when it comes to using a VPN. Before jumping in, there are a few things you should remember:
Unsecured public Wi-Fi networks are growing part of our everyday lives, and theyre not going anywhere. With Wi-Fi attack accessibility at an all-time high for attackers of all skill levels, I urge you to seriously consider using a VPN anytime youre connected to public Wi-Fi. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to keep your internet access secure and private wherever you are.
Corey Nachreiner, CTO at WatchGuard Technologies, regularly contributes to security publications and speaks internationally at leading industry trade shows like RSA. He has written thousands of security alerts and educational articles and is the primary contributor to the Secplicity Community, which provides daily videos and content on the latest security threats, news and best practices. A Certified Information Systems Security Professional , Corey enjoys “modding” any technical gizmo he can get his hands on and considers himself a hacker in the old sense of the word.
Are There Any Disadvantages To Using A VPN
Yes. For one thing, users can expect a reduction in their base internet speeds. With a VPN, youre using a VPN server to relay data from your device to a website or app so some increase in latency is unavoidable.
Fortunately, this can be largely mitigated by using an optimized VPN server. Thats why its important to choose a VPN service with a reputation for fast speeds and stable network connections. In some cases, the use of a VPN may increase your internet speed, particularly in cases where the connection is throttled by the ISP .
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Setting Up A VPN At Home
If you frequently work from home or want additional home protection, setting up a VPN for your entire home network is a good idea. This means that any device that connects to the internet at your home will be using a secure and protected network. However, adding this extra step can slow down web traffic, which may lead to longer loading times for all users.
When setting up a VPN at home, there are a few options that you can choose from:
The Dangers Of Public Wi
What are hackers after when they take advantage of public Wi-Fi? Any and all your personal information. Here are just a few examples of the valuable data you could expose:
- Your email login.
- Your personal photos and videos.
- Your home address.
And here are just some of the things hackers can do to take advantage of public Wi-Fi:
- Evil Twin attack. Its easy to rename routers to literally anything. Cybercriminals will create fake Wi-Fi networks to fool you into connecting. Youd probably connect to a public Wi-Fi called Starbucks_Wifi_Free in a heartbeat without knowing that a hacker might be running it.
- Malware injection. An insecure connection may result in difficult-to-detect malware slipping into your computer. It can steal your bandwidth, damage your system, and provide hackers with a backdoor to all your personal files.
- Man-in-the-middle . The cybercriminal places their device between the connection with your device and the Wi-Fi spot. This discreetly allows them to monitor your activity and even control your traffic, potentially redirecting you to a site of theirs that will fool you into entering your credentials or banking details.
- Wi-Fi sniffing. More of a passive act rather than an active assault like MITM. With the use of basic and legal software, a hacker can monitor and log all data packets passing through a Wi-Fi network.
Protect yourself on public Wi-Fi.
Browse securely with a service you can trust
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Note: It Is Perfectly Normal To Experience A Slower Internet Connection When Your VPN Service Is Active
However, if you start to notice that the speed is a lot slower than the usual, then it is possible that there are other factors that might be affecting your computers efficiency. In this case, we recommend using Auslogics BoostSpeed.
Resolve PC Issues with Auslogics BoostSpeed
Besides cleaning and optimizing your PC, BoostSpeed protects privacy, diagnoses hardware issues, offers tips for boosting speed and provides 20+ tools to cover most PC maintenance and service needs.
This reliable tool will clean out junk files, restore system stability, and improve your computers speed. Whats more, it reinforces your privacy protection by eliminating traces of your online activities and safeguarding your sensitive personal information.
On the other hand, if the problem lies within your VPN connection, you will experience the following symptoms:
- You notice that youre not connected to the wireless network. You would then have to look at the list of available networks and re-connect to one of them.
- You would have to turn on the wireless card by pressing a button on your keyboard.
- You notice that the wireless network and VPN connection are still active, but you cannot access the Internet.
Use Https Websites And Ssl Whenever Possible
If you are using websites on public WiFi then you must use HTTPS to be safe. Most websites these days do automatically load as HTTPS. You are advised, however, to keep your eyes on your navigation bar to ensure you are visiting HTTPS sites. Also, look for the little padlock on the left-hand side. If for any reason the padlock isn’t closed, leave the website at once and leave what you were doing until you are on a more secure network. If you use a software email client , you should also set it to SSL – do this in Advanced Settings.
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Does The VPN Block Ads
Pop-up ads can be annoying and dangerous. They can slow your browsing speeds and clutter your screen when youre trying to watch videos or read a blog post. Even worse, cybercriminals often use pop-up ads if you click on them to infect your computer with malware.
Thats why ad blockers are so important: They help to keep these ads from showing up on your screen when youre surfing the web. This can improve speed web pages load faster when theyre not bogged down with ads and help keep your devices safe from ads littered with malware.
You want a VPN service that blocks ads, then. Again, most paid services will do this. And you can see that each VPN provider in our list does block ads.
Does the VPN block ads?
- Norton Secure VPN no
- Tunnel Bear yes
Enjoy Using Public Wi
Thats practically it! To summarize, you need to first connect to a public WiFi. As soon as you do that, proceed to connect to a VPN server. As long as your VPN session is active, everything you do online will be hidden under several protective layers. Thats precisely what makes using a VPN on public WiFi networks so secure.
Once you no longer wish to access the Internet, feel free to terminate your VPN session . Its interface will turn red, indicating that youre no longer connected. However, since your public Wi-Fi connection will still be active, feel free to disconnect from it .
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Why Do I Need A VPN For Public Wifi Hotspots
Whether youre in your local cafe or in a hotel abroad, public wifi hotspots can be highly convenient. The problem is that public wifi hotspots can also be a threat to your privacy and are something of a hackers paradise. Unfortunately, many public wifi hotspots arent secure and are used for phishing your private information.
For example, Man in the Middle attacks involve hackers positioning themselves between your device and a web server. This allows them to see what youre doing online, from the websites youre visiting, to the content of messages youre sending. Needless to say, this can be highly detrimental to your privacy. In some cases, this results in the loss of your data and even identity theft.
By using a VPN, you can create a private tunnel between your device and the VPN server. Traffic is encrypted in the process, protecting you from snoopers such as your Internet Service Provider or the hotspot provider. The best VPNs for public wifi hotspots offer important security features such as encryption, protection from DNS leaks and a kill switch. There should also be a strict no-logs policy to protect your privacy.
Reason : Hide Your Browsing Habits
If you dont use a VPN, there are risks you take by not protecting your data. They can be minor, such as receiving targeted ads. When your ISP collects your data or you forget to log out of your Google and Facebook accounts, your search history and preferences may trigger these ads. Similarly, your location can be found through your IP address.
Thats why when connecting to these platforms, it is important to keep in mind additional information may be collected and it might be possible to identify your physical location. This happens on every site that you visit. Your IP address also allows your employer and other entities to monitor your movements online and determine your identity.
Also, those annoying ads for coffee pots will not follow you on every website you visit, including Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc.. This is considering you log out of these platforms and clear your cookies. Without recorded data of what you have searched for and clicked on, these third-party companies will have a harder time tracing your browsing path.
Although a VPN acts as a layer of privacy, and can help you search somewhat anonymously, if you do not log out of your personal accounts, these websites will still find traces of your browsing history.
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How Safe Is It To Use Public Wifi With A VPN
Both the Federal Trade Commission and Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency recommend the use of VPNs while using public WiFi. Even so, many people still wonder exactly how safe it is to use public WiFi with a VPN.
Generally, a VPN is an important security measure to have in place. But there is a vulnerability that occurs at the moment you connect to a public WiFi network.
Most public networks will allow devices to automatically connect to the WiFi. However, you must open a browser to whats called a captive portal. There, you manually agree to local terms of service before actually being allowed to access any websites.
Despite being connected to the internet and having a VPN, there is a gap in coverage after you connect to WiFi but before you can turn on your VPN. This brief period leaves you vulnerable to risks associated with public, unsecured networks.
Although you face risks during this vulnerable period, it is only for a very limited amount of time. Using a VPN in public is still much safer than logging onto a public network without any additional digital protection.
VPN For Public Wifi On Any Device
KeepSolid VPN Unlimited service is the best VPN for school WiFi and any other free public hotspots that you might connect with various devices. Hence, your personal information is protected anywhere and anytime. VPN Unlimited offers easy-to-use apps for all major platforms:
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What Should You Look For In VPN Services
The VPN market is crowded with options, so its important to consider your needs when youre shopping for a VPN.
Think about what is important to you. Do you want to be able to surf the web anonymously by masking your IP address? Are you afraid that your information could be stolen on public Wi-Fi? Are you a frequent traveler who wants to be able to watch your favorite shows while youre on the go.
A good VPN can help you check all three boxes, but here are some other points to consider.