Every device that connects to the internet has a unique ID and geolocation. It's this information that enables marketers and Internet companies to identify you. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) connects your Internet device (phone, tablet or PC) to another computer or server and lets it browse the Internet anonymously using its connection. Hiding your identity and location can be useful for shielding your browsing history, accessing region-restricted websites and more.
What is a VPN?
When you log onto the Internet, your device is given a unique identifier called an Internet Protocol (IP) address. Your IP address is how search engines, ad companies, Internet service providers (ISPs), and anyone else who cares to look can identify you. Your identifier is marked on every search, website visited, click and comment you make online.
A VPN lets you connect to the internet privately, anonymously and safely. The technology uses IP masking, data encapsulation and encryption; it makes it difficult for ISPs, search engines, websites, and advertisers to track your activities.
Why is a VPN Important?
For all their altruistic claims, Internet companies have been proven to stray from their users' interests. Our data is their currency, which they harvest at every turn and sell to the highest bidder along with government agencies. It is difficult, if not impossible, to work and study without using online information.
Additionally, people on the Internet have to contend with hackers who have become more sophisticated and determined to steal data and financial information. The measures needed to foil their attacks are getting harder, numerous and tedious, all of which benefit the hackers.
VPNs are a single tool that can help Internet users grab their power back across multiple vectors. You can now restrict access to your private data and use secure networks in peace.
What Does a VPN Do?
VPNs were originally used to connect users to a private business network. The secure connection would enable the user to access the business's resources from anywhere, especially from home.
A VPN can protect your data when you use public Wi-Fi at airports, hotels and cafes. Most public networks promise that they are safe and respect privacy, but there is no real way to know this. The malicious act of snooping on your data may not be done by anyone attached to the public network provider. It could be hackers, as public networks are their favorite hunting ground. In any of these scenarios, a VPN will protect your data.
A VPN can give its users a level of anonymity. Data is highly valuable to companies and marketers who's efforts to acquire and use that data can become a bit intrusive. The uncomfortable truth is that ISPs and government agencies are also accessing user data. VPNs not only hide your location, but they encrypt your data and provide an extra level of privacy
The Internet is not as open as it used to be. Some websites cannot be accessed from certain countries. The reason behind this could be because of government restrictions, copyright laws, no service or international law. A VPN enables a user to access a website as if they were connecting from a unrestricted region.
What are the Benefits of Using a VPN?
Using a VPN provides the following benefits:
● They protect your data, especially over public networks
● Using a VPN prevents bandwidth throttling by ISPs
● They let you be anonymous over the internet
● VPNs can unblock geo-restricted services
● A VPN can enable Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing
Where Can You Find the Best VPN Service?
The best VPN service to use largely depends on your needs and resources. Some workplaces provide VPNs. You may also create a VPN server or host one out of your location. Alternatively, you could search through public best-rated VPN services. When comparing VPNs, you should consider the following:
■ Do they have a no-log policy? No log means that they do not record and keep your online activity.
■ Where are their services located? This question is particularly important if you are trying to access geo-restricted services.
■ Do they impose data limits? This limit usually applies to free or freemium services, so match your data needs with what's offered.
■ What is the cost? Free services typically come with ads and lower security features. Be mindful that you can only demand what you pay for.
■ Can you use the service on multiple devices?
■ Are they using the most current protocols?
Protect your data
The amount of private data collected can be jarring. VPNs hide your IP address and enable you to surf the internet in anonymity, privacy and safety. By using a VPN, you can prevent your data from being collected or compromised.
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