Oftentimes, you will find yourself flanked by a number of obstructions when either surfing the web domestically or abroad. Access to certain channels or websites will be prevented as some countries have some channels or websites blocked for a number of different reasons. Such circumstances will call upon the help of a little service known as a VPN, which is a Virtual Private Network. Its uses are many and each VPN may come with different features and specs, which will all come down to which brand you go with. Contrary to popular belief, the use of VPNs is in fact mostly legal, with several countries, including the United States, having no sanctions against it. This is your ultimate tech guide to the ins and outs of a VPN, so just keep reading.
What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a service that allows you to encrypt your internet connection so that you will not get hacked or tracked. By creating this secure connection, you can roam freely around the web without fear of having your activity tracked by the prying eyes of hackers or other entities.
This service has become increasingly popular, especially in places with restricted websites. That means if you are a resident of China, by using this obscure service, you’ll be able to access websites like Google and much more. If it’s restricted, it will not be anymore. However, you might like to know that they were originally created to grant businesses a secure network and allow people to access their businesses ’ networks from the comfort of their homes.
Why is it Important?
By turning your one-time traceable network into one that is virtually untraceable you will enjoy surfing the web as you never have. Connecting through a VPN will prevent your traffic from flowing into your ISP’s (Internet Service Provider) server in its unencrypted form, which will then reach all the servers in the world. And the world is very big, had you not known that. Basically, imagine being caught in your natural state of complete and utter nakedness. If you wish to avoid that from happening, then all you need to do is put some clothes on. That way, no one can see what is underneath, and that is pretty much what a VPN does, it conceals your identity.
VPN’s don’t only hide your IP address, but some are also capable of not logging any of your browsing data. This means there is nothing at all that can account for your online activity, as nothing was registered at all. It is like you were never really there, and it is not like the perks of the ever-generous VPN stops there, you can use it to access any blocked site as well.
How to Pick a Good VPN?
For the most part, a good and trusted VPN will offer you all of the services mentioned, and then some, depending on the brand. However, when you pick your chosen service, some research will have to be conducted quite thoroughly.
Since you are getting a VPN to protect your privacy, you may want to see if the service you will be getting supports this. Of course, there is a common issue that must be considered, which is cost, and that must be included as part of your plan. Another issue which may arise could be that you are unable to set it across multiple devices. This will be extremely inconvenient, as you will probably appreciate it better if your privacy can be enjoyed and savored from any device.
Another thing you will have to do is look to see if they are running the most current protocol. This basically makes sure the VPN client- the VPN server communication is stable and works well. There are many different protocols such as OpenVPN which provides stronger security than most other protocols. So make sure you’ve got the most current and updated one, as well as the one that works best for you.
After considering everything you are looking for in a VPN and knowing exactly the kind of service you want, you must then check the reviews circulating on the different and leading brands out there. Canada is one place with the usage of a VPN that has caught on pretty quickly, for instance. The VPN wizards at VPN Gorilla explain in depth the different types of VPN Canada works best with, by a list of the top 10 best VPN’s for Canada. They also explain how Canada can be sharing the details of your online activities with the government and other countries and goes further to explain that this disturbing situation can be easily halted by the use of a VPN.
Pros of a VPN
By employing the unrestricted use of a VPN service, your life can become a whole lot easier. It will aid and support you in relinquishing your worries and provide you the ability to visit certain websites. Here are some of the things you can do with a VPN:
- You Can Access Blocked Content from Literally Anywhere
It does not matter where you are. If you are in the northern hemisphere or the southern hemisphere, you will be able to enjoy all the world has to offer and it is as easy as just installing a VPN software. For example, you might be abroad and all you want to do is watch your local football team compete; a VPN does that by bypassing any geolock. It literally means you can get back your online freedom.They will also help you counteract governmental censorship, which you will find imposed in many countries around the globe. In areas where bans have been placed against some of the social media outlets on which we as humans now feed off, you can expect to be no longer cut off from your daily dosage of Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- A VPN Will Keep You Safe
Technological advancement has come to a point where you are not sure if you are safe or not anymore. With all your information being traded on the internet, whether it is by someone snooping or through other means, it has become greatly terrifying. Rest assured, as a VPN takes care of all that. It encrypts your data and allows you to remain active from the midst of the shadows. Some brands will even come with military-grade encryption, which makes it certain that no one is tracking your activity, reassuring you that it is all done in private.
- Access Your Network Even While Traveling
If you are going abroad, and are going to do some traveling, you can take your home network with you without having to move anything. Apart from the obvious perk, which is less luggage to carry around, you will be given the seemingly unrealistic power of having access to your home network remotely. This is done over the internet, which works almost perfectly as if you were on the same local area network (LAN).This works as well with your work network as well. There will be no need to expose your information to the internet and have it shared without your consent, as you will be able to get your work done from any place in the world, as long as it provides you with internet access.
- VPNs Can Save You Money
By bypassing a geolock and any other form of lock, VPNs ends up granting you access to all sorts of websites and services that may require a subscription. This is done by having the VPN change your IP address. This will end up saving you money for things like shopping even. If you access a website from a first world country and then access that same website from a third world country, what you will often find is that prices drop rather significantly. It could work with almost anything, even hotel bookings.
- They are Cross-Platform Compatible
What this means is that a VPN will grant you the ability to reap the benefits of this service on more than just one platform. Though, yes, many other devices and services will give you a lot of what a VPN is offering, not all of them will work on both hardware and even the internet. This is usually a pro that is frequently overlooked, though, make no mistake, as it is just as important as any other.
- Cheat the Throttling Web System
Have you ever wondered why some websites may open quicker than others? It is simple, it is done by something called selective throttling. By hiring the services of a VPN, you will be equipping yourself with the requirements to cheat that system. This is done by obscuring the data that is being sent and received, via an ISP, making it impossible for that system to be applied, thus cheating the throttling web system.
Cons of VPN
Yes, they are affordable and end up saving you money. Yes, they are clearly a piece of technology that is almost seemingly perfect in every way. Only they are not perfect, and may actually bring along a con or two that may have you end up changing your mind, so keep on reading.
- VPNs May End Up Slowing Down Your Connection Speed
Since one of the main jobs a VPN carries out is encrypting all your online activity so as to keep it secure, it also works counter-intuitively and may end up slowing your connection speed. You may think it is not that bad, but think about it; who has the patience to be sitting there all day waiting for an episode to buffer so that they may watch it? No one, quite frankly, is that patient.The overhead applied by a VPN may end up slowing down your connection, especially if you are connected to an unthrottled network. Though, in order to defeat this setback, you may want to try out different VPNs, seeing as how they are not made equal.
- Anti-VPN Software Is Getting Stronger
While VPN is becoming more prevalent, streaming services have taken notice and are now trying to combat that source of humiliation. Even though some VPNs may end up tricking and defeating streaming service, some actually fall to their defeat instead. So, it is that the system by which a VPN operates is not utterly invincible to the firewalls of some streaming services. This uprising was started by Netflix when they went global. However, some services may end up putting a good and honorable fight against Anti-VPN.
- VPN Connection Can Suddenly Drop
This sort of anomaly can happen from time to time, even with the most reliable services. In that moment, your IP address becomes exposed and you are no longer anonymous. This may become problematic in instances where you are dealing with sensitive information that must not, under any circumstance, be exposed to any potentially prying eyes.By offering this false sense of all-time security under the pretense of reliable service, you may find yourself being attacked by the pestering and nasty little creatures, malware. In order to counter these efforts placed by the malicious folk of the world, you will want to avoid accessing dodgy and sketchy websites and perhaps use a strong password as well. Also, an antivirus will aid and supplement the protection a VPN will give you and help you combat any viruses, malware, etc.
VPN’s & Routers
Some people care for that extra length of security measure, rightfully so. By going that extra mile and applying your VPN to your router you will have equipped certain devices, such as your gaming console, with additional encryption for your data. Though, setting up a VPN service on your router demands deep and extensive knowledge as well as extreme care, similar to a surgical operation. A misconfiguration may have your network end up vulnerable to any bystanders around to come in and snoop around your data.
VPN’s are definitely a needed service in both households and workplaces alike, seeing as how they hold what seems to be an infinite source of perks to benefit from. Granted that there are indeed a number of upsetting and even worrying qualities, still, the good seems to outweigh the bad on a larger scale. However, find someone that is tech-savvy and somewhat knowledgeable to install it onto your devices and brace yourself for the joyride of your life.