What Is VPN Encryption
VPN encryption is the process of using data encryption to create a secure tunnel for your data to travel through. If anyone examines your VPN connection, theyll see scrambled data. Only your device and the VPN server youre using can encrypt and decrypt, or unscramble, your data.
While many encryption methods, or algorithms, exist, most VPNs use the 256-bit AES algorithm. This level of encryption is so secure that its used by banks and governments worldwide as well as by AVG Secure VPN.
What Is A VPN In Simple Terms
A virtual private network, better known as a VPN, protects your identity and browsing activity from hackers, businesses, government agencies, and other snoops. When connecting to the internet, your data and IP address are hidden by a type of virtual tunnel. This keeps others from spying on your online activity.
Common Reasons For Using A VPN
People use VPNs for countless reasons. Some of these reasons are specific, while some people just have a VPN as another layer of security in addition to a good antivirus program and practicing generally sensible internet usage.
- As previously mentioned, a common reason to use a VPN is to prevent anyone from ISPs to public Wi-Fi hotspots– from tracking what youre doing online.
- Another reason many like to use a VPN is to gain access to region-restricted content, whether that be a TV show on your countrys Netflix, or to get around a certain jurisdictions internet censorship laws.
Ultimately, why people use a VPN is to have greater anonymity online. In a day and age where revelations of public data being used in shady ways have become a daily occurrence, keeping private information private is more vital than ever.
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Advantage : Prevent A Digital File
Advertising networks such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter are constantly collecting information about you through your online traffic. With this information, they can show you tailored ads but more importantly, they are free to sell this information to a third party. By encrypting your data using a VPN these networks will have a harder time collecting information on you. They will also have less influence on what you see online
What Is A VPN And How Does It Work
If you have a general idea of how the internet works, you probably know that your internet service provider and some other organizations have ways of tracking your online activity. Your browsers private browsing mode cant help protect your data and give you peace of mind, while a VPN can do more than that.
VPN is a technology that protects your online activity by adding an extra level of encryption to your data. It connects your computer or a smartphone to a private network, allowing your data to go through an encrypted tunnel.
It travels from your device to some other point on the internet, often in another country, before making its way to the public internet. Your data stays hidden the entire time. All an ISP can see is that youre connected to a private network.;
When you connect your device to a VPN, it behaves as if it was on the same local network as the VPN. It allows you to access local network resources even if physically youre accessing the internet from a different country. You can also browse the internet as if you were based at the VPNs location. For example, if youre using a USA-based VPN from outside the US, the websites will see your online activity as if it was coming from within the country.;
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Norton Best Overall Antivirus With VPN
Nortons comprehensive 360 packageincludes everything I expect from a good quality antivirus including an excellent VPN with unlimited data.
Nortons Secure VPN is simple to use, effective, and allows connections from 73 servers in 29 countries. This worldwide coverage is coupled with a;100% no-logs guarantee,;which means that even Norton isnt logging my data and tracking what I do online.
With a kill switch and DNS leak protection,;its simply;a top-of-the-line VPN. In terms of malware protection, Norton returned perfect scores during our in-depth review.;Its also packed with essential tools for the best protection, including a password manager and comprehensive parental controls.
Unlike most other antivirus companies, Norton offers an unlimited VPN in the lowest-tier package, Norton 360 Standard package which covers 1 device. However, this isnt the best deal, so I recommend upgrading to the Norton 360 Deluxe package which covers 5 devices and gives you an extra 40 GB of cloud storage .
Nortons VPN is great for secure browsing, but;its not the fastest VPN on this list I saw a noticeable drop in upload/download speed while the VPN was running. This isnt likely to be an issue for most users I was able to easily stream high-quality video; but its worth noting if youre looking for a super high-speed VPN. While its not as fast as the best standalone VPNs, Nortons Secure VPN comes at a great value and is more than enough for most VPN needs.
What A VPN Can’t Do
For a VPN to be useful, it’s important to understand its limitations. Its main function is to protect your internet traffic and make it harder for observers to trace online activities back to you.
Even with a VPN, advertisers and snoops may still be able to gather data about you. We recommend using a tracker blocker, like the EFF’s Privacy Badger. The built-in tracker blocking capabilities of browsers such as Firefox are also important for protecting your privacy.
PCMag also strongly recommends using antivirus software on your devices, enabling two-factor authentication wherever it’s available, and using a password manager.
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Advantage : Fight Online Censorship
In a lot of countries governments heavily censor the internet. These countries block access to certain internet services and websites. Examples of apps and websites that are often blocked are WhatsApp, Google, Instagram, YouTube, Skype, Spotify and Facebook. Moreover, news websites and journalist platforms are often blocked because they are seen as a threat to the sitting government. In these countries this censorship heavily impacts the freedom of speech of their citizens.
In some western countries there are also online restrictions.; For example, many countries block the Pirate Bay website because they do not want their citizens to download illegal materials.
A VPN can help you bypass censorship and restrictions by allowing you to connect to a server in a different country. By doing this you can go online as if you were in that other country. This way you can gain access to websites and services that are not available in your own country.
How A VPN Protects Your Privacy
VPNs essentially create a data tunnel between your local network and an exit node in another location, which could be thousands of miles away, making it seem as if youre in another place. This benefit allows online freedom or the ability to access your favorite apps and websites from anywhere in the world, as if you were at home.
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Key Considerations Before Choosing A VPN
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how a VPN works. Before we send you on your merry way, heres a checklist of things to look out for before you choose a VPN:
- Is it free or paid? – When it comes to a secure, speedy service, it really is worth it to pay for a VPN. Many free VPNs tend to offer only the PPTP protocol which, as we said earlier, really isnt very effective these days. They have fewer server locations and less bandwidth to offer. Very often with these free options your data is tracked and sold to third-party businesses. Paid VPN options more often than not have more powerful security protocols on offer than their free counterparts. A good paid VPN should have more server locations and more bandwidth, providing you with a faster service. They will also have customer support on hand if you run into any issues.
- Are VPNs legal in your jurisdiction?
- Where is the VPN server located?
- Does the company log your activity?
- Does it protect your whole device or is it just an add-on?
- What are the protocols of the VPNs encryption mechanism?
- The number of servers and amount of bandwidth a VPN service has if both are low it could make for a very slow web-surfing experience.
How To Buy Virtual Private Network Software
Requirements Gathering for Virtual Private Network Software
VPN software can meet a variety of business needs depending on a businesss specific requirements. When developing the list of requirements and priorities for selecting a VPN software solution, companies should be mindful of the following:
End-user use cases: Companies should determine the use cases of the software by asking the following questions:;
- Who are we trying to allow network access with the VPN solution, employees or contractors?;
- Are we trying to create a private connection for an individual user?;
- Do we just need a site-to-site VPN to connect remote offices to a companys headquarters?;;
Strength of protocol: Businesses should determine which protocol they require based on the speed, encryption strength, stability, streaming, and downloading capabilities. A VPN protocol is the instruction a VPN uses to communicate with the VPN client and the VPN server. The protocol is comprised of transmission protocols and encryption standards.
There are several types of VPN protocols with differing speed, encryption, stability, streaming, and downloading abilities. The most secure and mobile-friendly VPN protocols are OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, while PPTP and L2TP/IPsec are less secure protocols.
- PPTP: Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol
Pros: speed, stability, streaming, downloading
Cons: poor encryption
- L2TP/IP Sec: Layer Two Tunneling Protocol and Internet Protocol Security
Pros: speed, streaming, downloading
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What Is The Best VPN Protocol For Torrenting
When it comes to torrenting with a VPN, you are definitely going to need a VPN protocol that is stable, fast, and secure. Based on that, you should use IKEv2 or WireGuard. SoftEther is also a speedy option, but its not for all users since it requires an initial setup that might seem difficult to some.
L2TP/IPSec is also a good option since its pretty secure and fast. But dont use PPTP! While its very fast, its encryption is too weak .
You could also try using OpenVPN UDP to download torrents, though we recommend only doing that if you use a VPN that offers a Kill Switch since it doesnt offer perfect stability. And you definitely dont want your torrenting activities being exposed if your VPN connection suddenly goes down.
Our Recommendation: WireGuard, IKEv2, OpenVPN UDP, or SoftEther
DISCLAIMER: We here at CactusVPN dont encourage illegal copyright infringement and illegal torrenting. However, we do understand that for some people file-sharing is the only possible way to get access to entertainment and work or school files.
Is A Free VPN Worth Getting
Honestly, there isn’t one easy answer to this question. It depends on what you want to use your free VPN for. If it’s just about having a bit more security on your laptop or mobile when using public Wi-Fi, they can be just the ticket. Jump on the service, turn on an encrypted server connection and crack on with your online activities safe in the knowledge that no prying eyes will be able to see your private information.
But if your main purpose is to have a streaming VPN say, or want to use it while downloading terabytes of torrent files, a free VPN just isn’t going to do the trick. For starters, most of them limit you to a daily or monthly data allowance that you’ll rinse through in no time at all. While most don’t have the kind of easy access support or server range required to make those activities easy with a virtual private network.
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Do I Need A VPN On All My Devices
Yes, you will need to install a VPN client on each device you want to connect to the VPN. For the most part, VPN clients offer the same features across platforms but that’s not always the case.;
For mobile devices, the situation is a little thornier. Most companies offer VPN apps for Android and iPhones, which is great because we use these devices to connect to Wi-Fi all the time. VPNs don’t always play nice with cellular connections, but it takes some serious effort to intercept cellphone data. Law enforcement or intelligence agencies may have an easier time gaining access to this data, or metadata, through connections with mobile carriers or by using specialized equipment.
Do you use a less common OS? We offer a roundup of the best VPNs for Linux, as well as tips for how set up a VPN on your Chromebook.
Note that you can skip client apps altogether and connect to the VPN service simply using your computer’s network control panel. It comes with major drawbacks, however. For one thing, it’s tedious. For another, client apps give you access to more features. Since you’re paying for the bells and whistles VPN companies offer, you may as well be able to use them. VPN apps will also always be up to date with the latest server information, which will save you a lot of trouble.
Types Of VPN Tunnel Protocols
A tunneling protocol, or a VPN protocol, is software that allows securely sending and receiving data among two networks. Some may excel in speed but have lackluster security and vice versa.
At the moment of writing this article, the most popular tunnel protocols are OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and L2TP/IPSec. However, the next-gen WireGuard protocol is being implemented in many premium VPN services.
Below you will find a list of VPN tunneling protocols, ranked from best to worst. Don’t forget that not all providers offer the same set of protocols, and even if they do, their availability will be different across desktop and mobile devices.
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How Can A VPN Help Protect Against Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs when thieves steal your personal information and use it to commit crimes in your name like taking over or opening new accounts, filing tax returns in your name, or renting or buying property. A VPN can help protect against identity theft by helping protect your data. It creates an encrypted tunnel for the data you send and receive thats out of reach of cyberthieves.
If your smartphone’s Wi-Fi is enabled at all times, your device could be vulnerable without you ever knowing it. Everyday activities like online shopping, banking and browsing can expose your information, making you vulnerable to cybercrime.
A VPN can protect the information you share or access using your devices. Thats especially important when using a public Wi-Fi network, where a cyberthief on the same network could capture your login credentials and the credit card number you type in when you shop online.
You cant prevent identity theft. No one can. Some security aspects like a data breach at an organization where you have an account are out of your control. But a VPN can help safeguard the information you send from and receive on your devices.
Advantage : Bypass Geographical Restrictions
Its not just countries that impose restrictions on the internet. Some online services also restrict access to their content in certain regions. This happens with streaming services that only have broadcasting rights in certain countries and not in others.
If you are on holiday or you moved to a different country, you might be unable to view your usual streams. A VPN will also enable you to connect to the internet via servers in your home country, so you can watch your favorite show or access blocked websites again. It also works the other way around: if you want to gain access to websites or streaming services from a different country , you can do so with a VPN.
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What’s The Best VPN For Working From Home
If you’re working from home, you may be sharing your internet connection with multiple devices and family members or roommates. That’s a lot of simultaneous connections to a VPN and a lot of drag on a network. Pick a VPN that lets you use one subscription on as many devices as possible and has excellent speeds so your Wi-Fi isn’t bogged down. If your job involves handling sensitive information like financial or medical records, however, your priority VPN criteria is security. Our top three VPN picks are the most secure we’ve found, and each has a different number of connections they’ll allow for a base-level subscription. There are a few other factors worth considering for a home-office VPN, though, so check out our guide to;picking the right VPN now that you’re working at home.
What Is A VPN Virtual Private Networks 101
A Virtual Private Network is a type of network that imitates a private network over a public one.
What does it mean for you? Well, a VPN allows you to use the internet with enhanced security and privacy.
In a nutshell, a VPN:;
- Helps you to stay secure when using public Wi-Fi hotspots.
- Hides your IP address.
- Encrypts your internet traffic, making your browsing more secure and private.
- Allows you to access more internet content and
It also ensures that your internet traffic isnt tracked and recorded, later to be sold by your internet service provider , ad brokers, or snoops.
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