Protect Your Privacy Online
The basic way that a VPN protects your privacy is by changing your IP address. Its like your home address, only for the internet and you leave that address plastered wherever you go. You dont post your home address in real life, so why would you do that online?
But once youre connected to a VPN server, youre only leaving the servers address in hand, which cant be traced back to you. This ruins cross-site tracking and other ad tools and tracking plans that rely on IPs. And, you know, the IP no longer points at your real home.
It Hides Personal Details
VPNs increase your overall security online by separating your internet activity from your IP address. A VPN prevents others online from tracking your location and learning other details about you through your connection or information on your computer.
Devices without VPN protection are vulnerable to hackers who may want to learn more about you. This can be more of a risk if you’re involved with online communities or games where you actively interface with other users, some of whom may decide to target you.
Your VPN can also hide your details when downloading files. Normally, downloading files is like having a package delivered to your house, where the package represents a file and your house represents your IP address. Whoever is delivering the package now knows your name and where you live. Using a VPN is like having a neighbor accept your packages for you so they cannot be connected to your location or identity. Your VPN prevents website hosts and other entities from gaining information about you just because you downloaded or streamed one of their files.
Guarantee Your Privacy & Anonymity
Even if everything you do on the Internet is legal, many people dont like the idea of someone being able to see their web activity. It may make you feel uneasy knowing how many companies and government agencies are able to see everything you do online, down to the most minute actions.
A VPN, with its powerful encryption, gives you the peace of mind that absolutely nobody can see what you do online. Whether youre browsing the Internet in your home or on a crowded subway, you have the right to keep your data and activity private.
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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.
Stay Private From Your Isp
Without a VPN to hide your IP address, your online activity is almost certainly being monitored by your internet service provider or the government, even on your private Wi-Fi. A recent study by the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. found that ISPs collect and use much more user information than expected, including sensitive personal details.
The solution? You guessed ita home VPN.
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Get Better Shopping Deals
VPNs cloak your identity and keep companies and other third parties from collecting data about your online activity. But theres another reason you might want to stay anonymous while browsing online you can save money.
When you shop for flight tickets, hotel rooms, or car rentals, these websites often track your activity and hike up their prices on your next visit. Online shops also change their prices depending on your location. Thats why using a VPN combined with a browser with anti-tracking features enabled can let you compare prices and snag the cheapest offer.
Do They Offer Good Speeds And Unlimited Bandwidth
If you intend to use your VPN to stream, game, or download large files, speed is imperative. And you should never have to sacrifice security for speed.
Youll always want to make sure the VPN you choose offers unlimited bandwidth to its users and high download speeds. We recommend taking advantage of free trials and refund periods to ensure you can get good speeds in your area.
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Manually Flashing The Current Router
As in the second method, buying a VPN router can be expensive. But if you still need a VPN router without buying a new one, you can upgrade your current router by manually flashing it.
As flashing a router can be a tricky task, buy a pre-configured or pre-flashed router already flashed. But this option can be expensive.
First and foremost, toTo flash the router by yourself, you need to check if your router supports flash firmware like DD-WRT, OpenWRT, and Tomato. Then find out the instructions to follow on the firmware providers website.
Using A Cloud Computing Service
As we are now in the cloud computing era, another method is to use a cloud computing service provider like , , DigitalOcean, Scaleway, etc., to rent out Virtual Private Servers . If you are using AWS services, you can get the first year free of charge if you are free tier eligible.
However, this can also cost you money. Another problem associated with this method is routing the traffic through the hosting service rather than your home network. But, on the other hand, you do not need to worry about maintaining the servers as the service provider does this task on your behalf.
Always make sure to follow the guides from the respective cloud provider when setting up a VPN server in the cloud. For example, you can to set up a VPN server in the AWS cloud.
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Tips For Using A VPN To Stay Safe
VPNs can add a layer of security and privacy to your web browsing, but its a relatively thin layer considering how good the tech industry has become at tracking people.
The most important thing to do about this is to use the safety steps I listed above, such as a password manager, multifactor authentication, and tracking blockers, and to follow standard safety advice to avoid online dangers that have nothing to do with your ISP or IP address. VPNs do not protect against most known online risks, such as phishing, tracking, malware, and ransomware, says Roya Ensafi, assistant professor at the University of Michigans computer science & engineering department and principal investigator of VPNalyzer.
White is quick to point out that theres ultimately no guarantee that a VPN provider is on the level, even when testing like Consumer Reports comes back with good results. The best we can do is to get an assessment for symptoms and hints of trustworthiness when we evaluate a VPN, he says.
That said, choosing a VPN that seems solid is much safer than one without those signals of trustworthiness. Not doing so could put you at risk. If you use a VPN with a default configuration thats insecure, it could allow for lateral movement, where an attacker can move through your home network and access all of your devices.
Should I Get A VPN Yes
In a world filled with inherently risky WiFi networks and data mining companies exposed to breaches, VPNs are an essential component of an effective cybersecurity suite. So when you ask, Should I get a VPN? the answer is simple. VPNs are affordable, easy to use, and provide solutions to a huge number of use cases. There isnt a reason that you shouldnt be protecting yourself with a VPN.
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How Many Devices Can Connect To The VPN At Once
Think of how many devices in your home connect to the internet. You have your laptops, tablets, smart phones, and voice assistants. You might even have smart appliances that access the web.
Thats why its important to work with a VPN provider that allows several devices to connect to it at one time. That way, you can have both your laptop and your childrens tablets routed through a VPN at the same time.
Some VPN providers might offer different plans that allow for a higher or lower number of simultaneous connections. In general, you can expect to pay more for a greater number of connections. Top providers allow you to connect 10 or more devices simultaneously.
Number of simultaneous VPN connections:
- Norton Secure VPN 1, 5 or 10 based on plan level
- PureVPN 5
- Tunnel Bear 5
The Complications Of Privacy
VPNs do have have practical drawbacks. Some sites and services look at VPN traffic as suspicious and won’t let you connect. That’s a real problem, especially when it’s your bank that blocks you. In situations like that, you can try a different VPN server, but you may have to wait until you can use a trusted network without a VPN.
Chromecast and other streaming systems send data over your local network, but that’s a problem when you’re using a VPN. The same for printers, drives, or any other devices on your network. Those machines are looking for data from phones and computers on the same network, not from a distant VPN server. Some VPNs have options to allow local network traffic, or you could try using a VPN on your router, but the simplest solution might be to switch off your VPN.
Do you like Netflix? That’s too bad because Netflix does not like VPNs. The problem is that Netflix has a complex global web of regional licensing arrangements, and they don’t want you using a VPN to access Netflix content that’s not available in your home country. Some VPN services, however, work hard to ensure their customers can still stream movies and TV shows. It’s something of a cat-and-mouse game, and a VPN that works with Netflix today might not work tomorrow.
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Leaving Your VPN On Increases Privacy And Security
Leaving your VPN switched on means your browsing is constantly encrypted and private. This is particularly important when your online activity commonly involves sharing sensitive information, connecting to a public Wi-Fi hotspot, or accessing websites that arent fully encrypted.
If you frequently use public Wi-Fi then its vital your VPN is kept on because these networks tend to be insecure, which means hackers and snoopers could easily gain access to your online data/activity. The same thing applies if youre sharing personal information , banking online, or visiting websites that arent fully encrypted with a secure HTTPS extension.
In all these scenarios, your VPN keeps you safe by making your presence hard to detect and your data encrypted, so its crucial to let it run continuously. Additionally, make sure you use a VPN with a kill switch feature, which instantly turns off your network connection should your VPN stop working.
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Safely Access Send & Receive Sensitive Content
If you need to access, send, or receive sensitive content whether it be religious, political, or personal you may find yourself in need of some protection if youre in a region that doesnt respect freedom of expression.
A VPN is one of the few tools that can provide anonymity when youre transmitting data online no government, law agency, or other prying eyes will be able to see what youre doing.
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Should You Always Use A VPN It Depends On These 7 Things
A virtual private network, or VPN, is a powerful tool that prevents corporations and cybercriminals from accessing your personal information. When you use a VPN, your data travels to a remote server via a secure connection. The remote server masks your IP address, so it looks like you are accessing the internet from another location, which also allows you to .
Because of this, VPNs have grown in popularity over the past few years, particularly in countries like China, where online censorship is rampant and sometimes dangerous. However, people all over the globe use VPNs to protect their privacy, anonymity, and unrestricted access to the internet. But is it necessary to have your VPN switched on and connected at all times?
Well, it depends on why youre using a VPN. To help you decide if a constant connection is necessary, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and their answers.
Adaptable To Numerous Smart Devices
While many of us may first try a VPN on a company-loaned laptop, many VPN services also protect other smart devices such as your phones, tablets and desktop computers. Each VPN company may offer slightly different protection plans and have different capacities to protect different devices, but many providers offer plans that help keep you safe on multiple devices.
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Advantage : Anonymous Downloading
Downloading certain Torrents is illegal in some countries and more than ever before tracked down and sometimes even prosecuted. Of course, we are not advocating any illegal actions. However, we do understand people want online privacy and anonymity, not just when browsing the internet, but also when uploading and downloading files.
To make sure nobody knows what you are downloading or uploading you can use a VPN. Because of the encrypted traffic and the rerouted IP address you can with a VPN.
Do You Really Need A VPN While Browsing The Internet
A VPN is a service that encrypts your internet traffic to provide security and privacy when you surf the internet. Theyre a great way to protect yourself against hackers when you use public Wi-Fi.
However, do you really need a VPN, especially if youre only using your home internet connection?
Before discussing if VPNs are useful for at-home use or otherwise, you should know that a VPN is not an ad or tracker blocker by itself. While some VPNs do come with a blocking tool, they cant, by themselves, protect you from advertisers trying to collect your data.
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Your Ip Address And Location
Anyone who captures your IP address can access what youve been searching on the internet and where you were located when you searched. Think of your IP address as the return address youd put on a letter. It leads back to your device.
Since a VPN uses an IP address thats not your own, it allows you to maintain your online privacy and search the web anonymously. Youre also protected against having your search history gathered, viewed, or sold. Keep in mind, your search history can still be viewed if you are using a public computer or one provided by your employer, school, or other organization.
Your Work Is More Private
With many of us working from home nowadays, its important to keep your work private. While having your home network hacked is fairly unlikely, if you have an important job, its certainly possible. By connecting to your works network via a VPN, you can keep things more secure. That means you can work just as securely from home as you would if you were at the office. Your employer will be grateful but you also wont have to worry about being responsible for any security breaches.
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Which Different VPN Protocols Are There
VPN connections use an encrypted connection also called a tunnel. There are several ways in which such a VPN connection can be set up. These protocols ensure that your data remains safe and cant be read by others. The most common VPN-protocols are:
If youd like to know more about the different VPN protocols and how they work, you can find a complete overview right here.
Do I Need A VPN For Streaming
You might need a VPN for streaming if you want to bypass certain geographical restrictions on streaming platforms. This is because services such as Netflix have different content catalogs in different countries.
For example, Netflix in the U.K. has different content than Netflix in the U.S. You could potentially use a VPN to change your IP address and watch streaming content from another country.
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Data Privacy From Your Government
While many ISPs, apps and internet data hubs suggest they dont sell your browsing data to governments, the information nonetheless finds its ways into their handseven in the U.S.
Since 2013, when Edward Snowden first revealed that Verizon had been selling users internet and phone data to the NSA, Americans have become more aware of the different ways the government surveils and collects their data. Following the Snowden leaks, and subsequent outrage, several laws were enacted to curb government surveillance.
However, as recently as January of this year, the Defense Intelligence Agency bypassed a law demanding that government agencies produce warrants before compelling phone companies for their user data by paying third-party data brokers for that same data, according to the New York Times.
If you have qualms about governmental overreach, a VPN is a good investment in protecting your data.