How To Use A VPN
Ill be demonstrating NordVPN, as I personally use it on almost a daily basis.
VPNs Might Help You Avoid Online Price Discrimination
Online retailers and airline companies sometimes like to display different prices to their website visitors based on which geographical region they are from. They usually do that to better segment their markets, and also to drive more profit. Of course, having to pay more money for the same product/service just because youre from a different part of the world is hardly fair.
Since a VPN hides your IP address, it masks your real geo-location too. So, if youre from a more developed country , you could try making it seem like youre from a less developed area of the world to get a better price.
Advantage : Access To Your Companys Network
More and more companies are giving people the possibility to work from home, or abroad for instance. Some people connect to the internet via a VPN to access the company network at home. This enables people to work from home safely and efficiently.
To read more about the different reasons why people use a VPN please read our article on the subject: What are the advantages of a VPN?
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A VPN Can Help You Save Money
You might have come across expansive claims about how a VPN can help you save thousands of dollars. You can supposedly do so by finding cheaper subscription plans for software, streaming services, and other apps and programs. Even airfare, rental car rates, and hotel prices could be much lower when using a VPN.
Im not going to scoff at this claim as it does work in theory. Certain pieces of software, streaming service subscriptions, and airline booking rates are priced differently across the world. You can use a VPN to see the differences, and its certainly worth the purchase if you can save big. However, you either have to be very, very lucky or make a lot of trial and error to save thousands of dollars.
There are undoubtedly some differences in prices. That difference will likely get covered in currency exchange rates, bank fees, and other transaction charges, though. Other restrictions might also come into play, like a website not allowing the use of a credit card that isnt from a local bank.
Granted, you may see significant savings in the long-term or if even youre planning a long holiday. Even five to ten dollar savings on everything will eventually add up to a pretty good amount. That said, you might want to re-think things if saving a lot of money is the main advantage youre looking for from a VPN service.
A VPN Can Slow Down Your Connection Speed
A VPN keeps your connection secure by encrypting all your online activity, but this can come at the price of a very slow connection and lets face it, nobody has the time and patience to sit around waiting for websites to load or for streaming content to finish buffering.
You want to be sure to get a VPN that can handle the job. Choose one that offers high speeds without compromising your security, such as Hotspot Shield.
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VPN Connections: You Can Protect Multiple Devices
Most paid VPNs provide multiple simultaneous connections. So you should be able to protect all your devices, be it a computer, smartphone, tablet, and even smart TVs and gaming consoles, at the same time. How many simultaneous connections a VPN allows varies from service to service, but you can choose one that best suits your needs. Between three and seven VPN connections are generally what you get from most.
What if you have a lot of devices you want to protect? Or youd rather not go through the trouble of downloading and signing into the app over and over again. Maybe you want to ensure that all the devices on your network are always protected without remembering to connect to the VPN. A VPN router sounds right up your alley in that case.
These routers can run VPN software directly with little fuss and lets you connect all your devices to it without needing any additional software or apps. Of course, a VPN router helps you bypass the issue of limited simultaneous connections as well.
Is Using A VPN Safe For Banking
Because a VPN encrypts the data you send, such as when you enter your log-in credentials, it can protect you while you are visiting your banks online portal. Snoops wont be able to see your log-in information if you first connect to a VPN. This is especially helpful if you must access your online bank through a public Wi-Fi connection. You should only do this in an emergency because such online connections are so vulnerable to hackers. But by logging onto public Wi-Fi through a VPN, you can block your browsing activity from cybercriminals, hackers, and other spies.
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Number Of Locations And Countries For Servers
Paid VPN providers will offer servers in several different countries. As an example, Norton Secure VPN has servers in 31 different countries.
Why does this matter? Having servers in different countries offers you more flexibility and could boost your connection speed. Usually, your internet speed will be greater if you are connecting to a server that is closer to you. When you choose a VPN provider, then, it makes sense to select one that has servers in your country.
There might be times when you want to connect to a server outside of your country. Maybe you live in a part of the world where the government censors the internet. By connecting to a VPN based in a country without this censorship, you can browse the web more freely. Even so, it might be smart to adhere to a particular governments regulations and laws.
Or maybe you want to access online content that is only available in a country other than yours. If you connect through a server outside your country, the providers of this content wont see that your actual IP address is coming from your home country. Keep in mind, though, you may be violating your user agreement of your content service.
Again, there is no right number of countries or locations for a VPN service. Instead, look for services that offer a large number of locations in a variety of countries. This will give you the most flexibility.
Number of server countries/locations compared:
Not Built For All Devices
There are many devices like Linux, Chromebook where VPNs are still unsupportive. Most VPN services support operating systems like Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS. If a VPN is not supporting your operating system, then you need to set up a VPN connection on your device manually.
There are certain platforms like gaming consoles, set-top boxes, etc. that do not support a VPN at all. For this, you need to buy a router on which you can set up a VPN for security, safety, and privacy.
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What Is A VPN And Do I Need One
A VPN is a virtual private network that encrypts data as it moves from one place to another across the internet. Instead of your information traveling across the exposed highways of the world wide web, a VPN keeps your search history, downloaded files, online activities, and geolocation secure in a private tunnel.;
The reasons for needing a VPN will vary from person to person, but it’s not just ultra-sleuths or spy agencies who benefit from using a VPN. One purpose of a VPN is to protect yourself from hackers and dangerous cybercriminals, but theyre also great for getting unrestricted and anonymous access to the internet.
VPN Blocker Technology Exists
Many times the star of all the services- Netflix also comes in the path of VPN connections with the availability of VPN blockers. It might happen that in spite of your VPN connection, you are not able to access the content according to your choice. But, there exist some preferred VPN services like Nord VPN and Express VPN, which can combat the VPN blocker technology of Netflix and other streaming services.
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Browse The Internet Securely On Public Wi
Who doesnt like free Fi-Wi? I do and use free Wi-Fi all the time at airports, malls, coffee shops etc. But did you know it can be quite dangerous to surf the web through public Wi-Fi connections? Because they dont offer any type of encryption for their users.
Youre on your own, anybody with a bit of knowledge can snoop into your browsing activities and steal all your sensitive data. To have a peace of mind, after you connect to a public Wi-Fi, immediately connect to a VPN to have your data encrypted and cloaked from any prying eyes.
Selecting A Secure VPN Provider
It is also important that you choose a VPN provider that you can trust. While your ISP cannot see your internet traffic, your VPN provider can. If your VPN provider is compromised, so are you. For this reason, it is crucial that you choose a trusted VPN provider to ensure both the concealment of your internet activities and ensure the highest level of security.
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How To Set Up Your VPN
Setting up your own VPN connection is simpler than it might seem. Your VPN provider will do most of the work for you. First, you will need to find a VPN service that you like. On our site you can find reviews of the different providers as well as some recommendations.
When you find a VPN that fits your needs, you subscribe to their service and download and install the software they provide. Most VPN providers offer software for all types of devices and operating systems. You can download a VPN client for Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, and sometimes Linux. Within this software, you can choose which protocol to use and which VPN server you wish to connect to. In just a few clicks youll be connected to a server. Now you can use the internet in a safe and anonymous manner, free from any restrictions or censorship that your geographical location might impose!
Installing a VPN is easy. Below, well tell you how to do this in three steps.
How Does A VPN Work
To answer this question, first, we need to zoom in on what is called open connections . In a connection that has no VPN enabled, your ISP is in charge of assigning you an IP address.
Your IP address is a key part of your digital fingerprint. When unprotected, it can be seen by many, which can lead to dire consequences.;
Your ISP may be required or choose to share your browsing history with the government and other third parties. In addition, if your Internet Service Provider suffers a cyberattack, hackers will be able to see your data and use it for their malicious purposes.;
So, one of the top reasons to use VPN protection is to decrease the vulnerability of your online activity.
Lets dig a bit deeper.;
What Does a VPN Actually Do?;
With a VPN enabled, you connect with a server of your choice. Depending on the service, you can pick from many VPN servers distributed around the globe. This allows you to switch your IP address to a completely different location.;
So, if you select an Australian server based in Sydney, the websites youre connecting to will see your Australian IP and not your real one.;
Keep reading to learn why.
Now, back to the working mechanism. The connection between your device and the chosen VPN server is secured with encryption protocols that make your data practically undecipherable. Encryption strength is one of the most critical VPN features to keep in mind.;
Types of Encryption
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Download Files Safely And Anonymously
Because your IP address is hidden and your connection encrypted, third parties will no longer be able to figure out what exactly youre doing online, nor who you are. Theyre unable to read what is being . For those working from home and handling sensitive company information, this is a particularly useful advantage. Privacy and anonymity are guaranteed, or at the very least greatly improved.
However, even with a VPN its important to remember the golden rules of using the internet. Dont download anything you wouldnt ordinarily download. This means no clicking on suspicious email links or attachments and no downloading .exe from untrustworthy websites.
What Are The Benefits Of VPNs
- Enhanced Online Security Most VPNs use powerful encryption protocols to make sure your Internet traffic and online data are protected when you browse the web. As a result, you wont have to worry about cybercriminals stealing sensitive info from you not even on unsecured networks.
- Access to Any Online Content A VPN can mask your IP address, and replace it with one from a different country, letting you bypass geo-blocks and giving you access to any website or online services you want.
- Online Privacy Since a VPN hides your IP address, it can make you anonymous online to a certain degree, of course. This is a good way to secure your online freedom of speech if you live in a country with more oppressive laws.
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Is A VPN Really So Secure
It is important to note that VPNs do not function like comprehensive anti-virus software. While they protect your IP and encrypt your internet history, a VPN connection does not protect your computer from outside intrusion. To do this, you should definitely use anti-virus software such as Kaspersky Internet Security . Because using a VPN on its own does not protect you from Trojans, viruses, bots or other malware.
Once the malware has found its way onto your device, it can steal or damage your data, whether you are running a VPN or not. It is therefore important that you use a VPN together with a comprehensive anti-virus program to ensure maximum security.
What Limitations Do VPNs Have
A VPN has a lot to offer when it comes to privacy and security. However, its not the end all be all of cybersecurity and privacy. To browse the web safely and anonymously, youll need to observe some extra privacy measures, on top of using a VPN connection. For instance, youll still have to clear your cookies regularly. Moreover, there are also things a VPN simply cant do.
Say youre logged in to your Google account, you can be connected to a VPN on the other side of the world, Google will still be able to create a profile of you as a internet user. After all, theyll simply correlate your search history with your account information, regardless of whether you change your IP address or not. The same is true for services like Facebook.
There are more ways in which online entities can determine your identity which a VPN doesnt protect you from. When using Google Maps, for instance, youre often required to turn on GPS. This means Google Maps can see exactly where you are. There are also more advanced ways that are used to identify internet users, such as browser fingerprinting. This method uses your browsers and devices settings to distinguish you from other internet users.
Moreover, a VPN can slow down your internet. Your data has to be sent through the VPN server, which means it can take slightly longer to end up where it needs to be.
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VPNs Can Bypass Firewalls
When youre at work, school, the airport, or even in a hotel, you might have to deal with annoying network firewalls that prevent you from accessing certain websites. Network admins do that because they often need to comply with various regulations, but that doesnt make it fair for you.
Luckily, you can easily bypass any firewall you encounter with a VPN since it hides your IP address the address the firewall restrictions have been applied to.
And yes, a VPN would even let you bypass government-enforced firewalls , so you wont have to deal with any government censorship while browsing the Internet.
Which VPN Should I Use
Our roundups of the best VPNs and the best cheap VPNs are excellent places to research the top choices, but below is a quick list of our top picks if you just want to get started with online privacy protection right now.
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