• Timothy Lord

What you have always wanted to know about Virtual Private Networks

Updated: Feb 23, 2019

Virtual Private Networks

VPN: Why is it important?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a tool that acts as a connection between two computers – and it links these two computers privately and securely.  VPN makes it possible to have a very secure, encrypted tunnel to send data between a remote user and a company network. It encrypts everything that you do online.

There’s also such a thing as a mobile virtual private network (mobile VPNs). Mobile VPNs provides its users with uninterrupted connectivity. It enables them to stay connected to a remote data network while changing the network access medium. Mobile VPN is ideal to use when traveling or commuting, or when working remotely with sensitive data.

You may have heard of VPN but you’re not familiar with it yet.  You may also be asking whether you need one since you have no information to hide. Many people have the wrong impression that VPNs are only used by people who, for some reason, do not want to be detected or hiding because of dubious reasons.  Thus, using them are frequently viewed in a negative light, which is a common misconception.  VPN is important because of the following reasons:

1. It improves your online security and privacy, providing protection for your personal information.2. It is a great way to send confidential and sensitive information over public networks. 3. For personal users, it is also a perfect way to protect their identity on the internet. 4. One very essential benefit of VPNs is that it helps you do online work without hackers accessing your data. 5. You can access blocked content from anywhere.

How do VPNS Work?

Typically, when you go online, data is routed from your computer and onto your local Wi-Fi or network router, then through the ISP’s network into the destination server.  With this system, it is possible to see transmitted data, including its source and its destination. When your computer is connected to a VPN, however, it is able to encrypt all the traffic that goes on between your private computer and the server of the VPN.  Thus, it prevents anyone on your local network, or even at various connection points, to monitor or even alter your traffic. It uses extra steps and various layers of encryption to keep browsing secure and protected. VPNs can be used on mobile devices, laptops, and desktops.

If you’re asking whether VPNs are legal, the answer is yes. However, they can also be utilized for illegal or frowned-upon activities. This is unfortunate because it gives this very useful technology tool a bad reputation. So this means that while they are very much legal, participating in an illegal activity which makes use of VPN is not allowed at all. You need to take note, however, that there are certain countries who have declared the use of VPNs to be completely illegal.  Some of these countries are China, Turkey, Iraq, and Russia.

VPNs have several limitations as well.  For instance, some of them may have a slow connection speed.  There are also some VPN blocks utilized by streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.  Thus, services can be unreliable when you want to access international video services. If anti-VPN software is used, you can’t go past it unless you choose a VPN service that has a way to go past it. Some users also experience connection drops. However, if your service has a “kill switch” it will prevent accidental IP leaks.

What You Should Look for in Choosing a VPN

• Pricing

Some VPNs offer free services or partly-free services. Of course, the most obvious advantage and the top-selling point for free VPN services is its price, since you don’t need to pay for anything at least until a certain trial period is over. However, the security of your data is often questionable with free service providers. With VPN, you always get what you pay for.

• Security

A VPN service should provide you with the utmost security. Before choosing a service, consider how many servers it runs and where in the world they are located. Top-notch VPN services have hundreds or even thousands of servers that are spread out all over the world. Good-quality VPN has 256-bit data encryption. When it comes to protocols, the current standard is OpenVPN. Many providers offer various protocols, but so far, OpenVPN is the best, beating out the more vulnerable and slower PPTP and LT2P/ITSec.

How to Choose a VPN service

Not all VPN services are created equal.  If you’re planning to obtain a VPN service, you should be able to know what it is good for – and what it is not. You should be clear about why you will use it.  Figure out what you need it for. You should be able to identify who will use it – will it be used by an entire household or by a single person?  Will it be used for business or just for streaming movies online? You should be able to clearly identify the features that are important to you. Since VPN might be hard to configure, you should also choose a user-friendly provider.

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