VPNs And Their Current Use
According to the GlobalWebIndex, the number of VPN users worldwide increased more than fourfold between 2016 and 2018. In countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and China, where internet use is restricted and censored, one in fiveinternet users uses a VPN. In the USA, Great Britain and Germany, the proportion of VPN users is lowerat around 5%, but is growing.
One of the biggest drivers for VPN adoption in recent years has been the increasing demand for content with geographical access restrictions. For example, video streaming services such as Netflix or YouTube make certain videos available only in certain countries. With contemporary VPNs, you can encrypt your IP address so that you appear to be surfing from another country, enabling you to access this content from anywhere.
How Does A VPN Work
Heres how a VPN works for you, the user. You start the VPN client from your VPN service. This software encrypts your data, even before your Internet Service Provider or the coffee shop WiFi provider sees it. The data then goes to the VPN, and from the VPN server to your online destination anything from your bank website to a video sharing website to a search engine. The online destination sees your data as coming from the VPN server and its location, and not from your computer and your location.
When you connect to the web without a VPN, heres how your connection looks:
Though its the standard, this sort of connection has some flaws. All of your data is out there in the open, and any interested party can peek at what youre sending.
The internet is a collection of servers responsible for storing websites and serving them to anyone who wants to view them. Those servers talk with each other all the time, including sharing your data with each other to ultimately let you browse a page. Great for you to be able to surf, but not great for privacy.
Going online is like taking a commercial airline flight. The ticket agent, baggage handlers, security personnel, and flight attendants all need pieces of data to get you routed between cities. A similar exchange of information happens on the web.
Now, heres how the same connection looks with a VPN enabled:
How To Setup A VPN On Android
Android devices support;PPTP, L2TP and IPsec protocols. To set up your Android device, follow these steps, starting from the Android settings app.
Tip: You can tap the 3-dot menu button to set your VPN to stay connected all the time.
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What Is A VPN Summary
A VPN is a secure connection between you and the internet. It provides its users with more online privacy, security, and freedom. There are several ways to set up a VPN connection, but most private users do so by subscribing to a VPN service.
These are the main reasons people might want to use a VPN:
- Youll be more anonymous online.
- Youll be safer online and your data will be better protected.
- You will be able to circumvent censorship and geographical blocks.
There are a number of major providers thatll give you access to servers all around the world for just a couple of dollars a month. These providers constantly make sure that their security and the speed of their servers is in order. After extensive testing, we have identified the best VPN providers for you.
If you have a burning question about VPNs, we might be able to help you out. Simply click one of the queries below to see the answer. Do you have a question that isnt answered in this list? Feel free to place a comment underneath this article, and well help you out as soon as we can!
When To Use A VPN
There are a number of good reasons to use a VPN:
- It encrypts your activity on the web.
- It hides your activity from anyone who might be interested in it.
- It hides your location, enabling you to access geo-blocked content .
- Makes you more anonymous on the web.
- Helps you keep the connection protected when using a public WiFi hotspot.
Overall, use a VPN if your web privacy, security, and anonymity are important to you. Roughly $3-5 a month is a small price to pay for all of that.
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Download And Install VPN Clients
The simplest way to get your VPN up and running is to install clients from your VPN provider. However, they may not offer software for every platform you need, such as Windows, iOS, and Android. Even if they don’t, it’s better to install what they offer first and then confirm that your VPN account is operating correctly.
Look for the “downloads” page on your VPN provider’s website. You should also download apps for the mobile devices that your workers use since youll want to protect connections from as many devices as possible.
If the initial client you install works right off the bat, then you can contact the VPN provider about clients for other platforms. And if you cant log in at all, then you can pass along that information to the VPN provider’s support team.
VPN Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an internet connection to use VPN?
A VPN is designed to mask and protect your location and data, but you still require an Internet connection.
How much does a VPN service cost?
Like all service providers, VPN companies want you to stay with them for a long time, since thats their income stream. Most VPN service providers offer various terms of payments such as monthly, quarterly and so on. Most times the longer the plan, the cheaper your monthly rate will be, but you will have to pay the entire contract in advance. Expect to pay between $9 to $12 per month on average for monthly contracts, with discounts of up to 75% for long term contracts. Here’s the list of best VPN services where we compare the prices and features.
Will using a VPN slow down my internet speed?
VPNs are designed first and foremost to protect your identity and keep your data safe. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of encryption that is used to protect your data is that it slows down your Internet connection. As a rule of thumb, expect to achieve no more than 70% of your actual line speed when using a VPN. Other factors such as distance from VPN server, server load and so on will also affect your Internet speed while using a VPN.
How fast can VPN connections go?
Most VPN service providers will tell you that they will not limit your speed. However, there are other circumstances to consider as well. As mentioned above, expect to get no more than a maximum of 70% of your actual line speed.
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Could A VPN Somehow Fail To Ensure My Safety
While the right VPN can be a definite asset in terms of your online safety, then, there are ways in which a VPN provider can conceivably let you down at least in some cases.
As we just discussed, while your ISP may no longer be able to see your internet traffic when using a VPN, the VPN provider can instead see what youre up to online or at least thats possible.
Again, this is why its important to use one of the best VPNs and well-known providers which have been around a long time, and have built a reputation as being trustworthy. Another thing to look out for is VPN firms which dont just make privacy promises and claims, but actually have their security and no logs procedures independently audited and verified.
A good VPN should also ensure that it guards against DNS leaks where data about your online activities leaks out of the VPNs encrypted tunnel and it should use a kill switch in its app. A kill switch steps in to save your privacy and stop data being sent out unprotected if the VPN connection drops .
Any well-thought-of VPN will have all this, and we do the hard work for you, scrutinizing apps and privacy policies alike in our VPN reviews to ensure that these vital features are present .
Do I Really Need A VPN To Stream Popcorn Time
Yes, I strongly suggest you use a Popcorn Time VPN for your safety. Popcorn Time isnt the same as Netflix, YouTube, or other streaming platforms it can be dangerous without a VPN. Popcorn Time is a torrent streaming client and uses P2P networks, which makes it easy for other users to see your real IP address.
Not only is your privacy at risk, but you could also get into trouble with the authorities and your ISP. You mightve unintentionally watched copyrighted material. Torrenting could even be illegal in your country. You can avoid all these issues by using a VPN to protect your privacy when streaming Popcorn Time.
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Getting Started With A VPN
Once you’ve settled on a service, the first thing to do is to download the company’s app. There’s usually a Downloads page for this on the VPN service’s website. Go ahead and download the apps for your mobile devices as well: You’ll want to protect as many of your devices as you can. If the VPN service you’re considering doesn’t offer an app for the devices you use, consider finding a different service.;
We have found that when releasing VPNs for Mac, companies occasionally have different versions available in the Mac App Store and on the company website. This appears to be for compliance with restrictions imposed by Apple. Figuring out which will work for you can be tricky, so be sure to read the company’s documentation carefully.
Once you’ve installed the apps, you’re usually prompted to enter your login information. In most cases, this is the username and password you created when you signed up for the service. Some companies, such as IVPN, Mullvad, and ExpressVPN have unusual login systems that provide customers with more privacy but can be confusing at first. Be sure to read the instructions carefully.
Once you’re logged in, your VPN app usually connects to the VPN server closest to your current location. That’s done to provide better speeds when using the VPN, as performance degrades the farther the VPN server is from your actual location. That’s it: Your information is now being securely tunneled to the VPN server.
Will A VPN Service Help Me Connect Securely To My Office Network
If you’re trying to connect to your on-premises corporate network, you’ll most likely be assigned;a VPN application by your IT department. This will allow you to establish a point-to-point connection between your local device and a server owned and operated by your company.
But, if your company is cloud-based, and you’re connecting to SaaS applications like Salesforce or Google, you should probably use a VPN service since you’re not actually connecting to your company but instead to a public cloud application.
If your IT department does not specifically identify a VPN service you should use for accessing their public cloud applications, definitely look at our;VPN directory;and choose one of the higher-rated service providers.
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Is A VPN Safe
You may wonder how safe you are with a VPN provider. Your internet traffic is redirected and runs through the servers of the VPN provider. The provider can see everything you do if it would want to. Therefore, its important that you have confidence in your VPN service. Most VPN services do not log what you do and wont store your data.
However, there are VPN services that abuse the data that travels through their servers and sell your data to advertisers, for example. This is especially the case with free VPNs. These are often not safe. Before using a VPN, it is therefore important that you do research in advance. Well give you a few recommendations for good and secure VPN services later in this article.
What Happens If A VPN Connection Fails While I’m On A Remote Connection
A lot depends on what VPN you’re using, how it’s set up, and where you’re connecting. That said, let’s look at the most likely scenario.
Recall that when you’re online and connected to an internet application through a VPN, a few things are happening: Your data from your computer to the VPN service is encrypted by the VPN. Your data from the VPN service to the internet application may or may not be encrypted via https, but the VPN service does not encrypt it. And your IP address is spoofed. The online application sees the IP address of the VPN service, not of your laptop.
When a VPN connection drops, you might just lose your connection. But because the internet is very good at routing around failures, what is more likely to happen is your computer will reconnect to the internet application, simply bypassing the VPN service. That means that — on failure — your local IP address may “leak out” and be logged by the internet application, and your data may be open to local Wi-Fi hackers at your hotel or wherever you’re doing your computing.
There is a reasonably robust solution to that problem, and that’s next.
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Cyberghost Great For Easy Streaming And Torrenting On Desktop
Whilst not the fastest VPN on the market, CyberGhost has over;6900 servers meaning youll still get decent speeds.;It has a strict no-logs policy, a kill switch feature, and even some self-managed servers based outside the 14-eyes countries. Some of its servers are optimized for various streaming services, so you can unblock Netflix and more with one click. The service is very affordable and allows you to connect up to 7 devices at a time. You can try CyberGhost risk-free with the 45-day money-back guarantee, which is one of the longest refund periods of any VPN. You can also try it out free with no credit card required for 24 hours.
How Does A VPN Change My Ip Address
Your public IP is the address of your device on the internet, and is the digital equivalent of the postal address of your house .
When you use a VPN, as weve already seen, your device connects to one of the VPNs computers elsewhere on the internet. In effect, your device and that server become part of a private network of sorts a virtual network, hence the name Virtual Private Network. To all intents and purposes, the VPN server is then seen as the origin of the data coming from this private network.
So your real IP, the digital address of your device, is effectively hidden, and the source of the data appears to be the VPN server, which has a different IP address. In effect, that different IP now appears to be your IP address.
To summarize, then, technically this isnt a case of changing your IP, so much as hiding your real IP away behind the IP address of the VPN server.
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Secure Your Online Privacy
Have you sent your bank details to friends online? Do you ever use public WiFi networks? If so, youve just risked exposing your personal information to hackers .
A quality VPN will use the most advanced encryption to secure your data. Itll also ensure that any websites receiving your private data cant trace your device, which keeps you as anonymous as possible.
Three Great VPN Providers For Beginners
If youd like to start using a VPN, its easiest to choose a trustworthy provider and access the internet through their servers. We have tested most major VPN providers of this moment on their usability and quality. Most good VPN providers offer trials so you can check out their service free of charge. If youd like to get started with a simple yet great VPN, we recommend ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or Surfshark.
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Bypass Censorship And Firewalls
Many countries around the world censor the internet because certain content doesnt align with political or religious beliefs.
If youre living in or traveling to a country with internet restrictions, youll need a VPN to freely and securely browse online especially in heavily-censored countries like China. Without a VPN, simple tasks like Googling or updating your status on Facebook are impossible.
A VPN helps you unblock these sites and keeps your online activity safe from any prying eyes, including the government. You can even use a VPN to get around firewalls in office or school networks.
Is VPN Perfectly Secure
If we pay for VPN service, does it mean we will never be vulnerable to malicious attacks? Well, the answer is that nothing is perfect. Depending on how VPN is set up, the level of security might be different. The diagram above demonstrates remote access VPN. Although it helps us hide our identities, bypass government censorships, and protect our traffic from most malicious attacks, this type of VPN setup still has some security flaws. For example, hackers can still intercept our packets at step 4 or 5 in the diagram. Traffic traveling between the VPN server and whatismyipaddress.com server is actually not protected by VPN, and thus IP packets are not encapsulated and encrypted. If we are online shopping at a non-secure website , hackers can still intercept our traffic and illegally obtain our credentials and personal information. Therefore, it is not recommended to share our personal information with non-secure websites even if we are using VPN. The last point I want to make might sound a little bit scary. Shopping at an HTTPS website only means we are connecting to a legitimate server that owns the associated certificate, however, there is no way for us to know what the server is going to do with our payment information. It may send it to a third-party payment processing company via an unprotected connection. Who knows?
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