A VPN? What is it and should you bother knowing about one?
If you have a curious mind like mine, you definitely should as it could be the next best thing you ever got to know.
A VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is used by companies, organizations and persons who want to protect and keep their online activity secure from hackers or government surveillance.
We live in an era where big data is used to drive key decisions, run projects and find answers to lingering questions. Also, data is useful for forming a basis for research and determining funding opportunities by the world’s major philanthropists.
These data are sought after by companies, organizations and governments alike. It is no longer a hurdle to collect data as the world becomes more digital.
Digital data influencers
More of the world’s information is now online which means there is more digital data that is accessible by data scientists. Thanks to social media, it’s now easy for companies to access personal information.
Other factors that have led to an increase in digital data include online books, videos, music and the increased use of sensors. Machines and equipment today are equipped with sensors that can measure the weather.
Smart devices including Smart watches, smart TVs and smart locks to name a few come equipped with sensors. These sensors could go as far as tracking your speech and monitoring your movements in the house.
With most of these devices, Wi-Fi enabled, your personal information could easily get online.
What your internet connection looks like without a VPN
Smartphones are the most used devices to access the internet. So, imagine visiting your nearest fast-food restaurant to snack on a bacon only to get a Wi-Fi connection as well. As expected, you would want to upload and download any data as much as you want.
In your excitement about the new found free Wi-Fi connection, you fail to see the potential dangers that could come with a free Wi-Fi connection.
The data transmitted from your Smartphone to the internet is unencrypted. If by chance, the free Wi-Fi happens to have been created by a criminal nearby; your goose is cooked already. The connection doesn’t need to have been created by a hacker for it to be dangerous. By the fact that it is an open-source Wi-Fi, you are vulnerable to guys wanting to snoop on your data.
Cybercriminals use a spyware software to access your data traffic. Your password to popular sites, chats and emails can be easily intercepted using this spyware. Because your website or phone app can’t be able to tell you whether your internet traffic is encrypted or not, you end up being a victim of online fraud.
What options do you got left? An antivirus or spyware detector?
Not at all. A VPN is your best bet in protecting your online data from hackers.
How a VPN works
A VPN makes your computer invisible on the internet. When using it, your connection to the internet is not direct. A VPN establishes an encrypted connection that first goes through a VPN server. The VPN server gives your computer or Smartphone a new IP address.
This new IP address traces back to a location provided by your VPN hub and not your original location. This makes your internet activity anonymous.
If still lost on how a VPN works, picture this analogy of two people who speak a language only known two them in a room full of people.
The two people can shout to each other in the room without being understood because they are conversing in a language only known to them. A VPN works the same way in keeping you anonymous online.
What does it mean when a VPN tunnels your data?
Imagine yourself driving through a road tunnel. The only things you will be able to see around you are the tunnel walls, roofing and exit point. You are cut out for a moment from traffic outside the road tunnel.
If you use a VPN in your internet connection, the same case scenario occurs with your data. A VPN service first encrypts your data and takes it through a tunnel that is also encrypted.
Just like vehicles outside a road tunnel, cybercriminals won’t be able to see encrypted data via an encrypted tunnel. The far an attacker can go is seeing your established connection via a tunnel.
How do you set up a VPN connection on your computer/Smartphone?
If you are just starting out in the use of VPN, you want to make sure you follow the right steps in installing a good VPN service on your gadget.
For starters, it is necessary that you install a VPN client software on the device that connects you to the internet. This VPN client is the one that connects you to a VPN service provider.
However, the installation process is a reverse. You simply need to install a VPN app or program depending on the gadget you are using and simply activate it. A VPN client handles the rest of the installation process.
In other cases, a VPN comes with a preconfigured VPN node. This makes the installation process easy as you simply need to select the country of choice. You can a find a list of some the best VPNs on BestVPN.com at affordable prices.
A Canadian citizen IP’s address could show him or her browsing in Chile when he is actually in his home country.
If you have managed to read this tech. jargon to this end, I’m sure your pursuit to protect your data online is relentless. That said, you need not be concerned much about the technicalities of a VPN but whether they can deliver in keeping your online activities anonymous. With every company and organization searching for crucial data you don’t want your information getting out without your permission. The only service guaranteed to give you protection and security online is a VPN. A VPN encrypts your data and takes in through a tunnel that is also encrypted. Use a VPN for your online protection.