VPN for beginners
Hackers are threatening to terrorize people of all ages, locations, and backgrounds when they use the Internet. They are the most dangerous agents on the web, being capable of inflicting damage in numerous ways: via DDoS attacks, taking over social media or banking accounts, installing crypto mining malware, spying on traffic, and more.
Being able to hide your traffic from hackers and cybercriminals help you protect your privacy and online security, and the best way to achieve that is by hiring a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service provider.
VPNs hide your traffic and location information so you can browse the web in complete anonymity. It creates a virtual tunnel for the user’s data to pass through, avoiding hackers, cybercriminals, crypto miners, advertising showing customized ads based on your visited pages, copyright trolls, and even malware developers. Also, you can dodge unpleasant situations, such as censorship and government surveillance.
The VPN app or client positions itself between you and the Internet to manage your connection requests, relaying them and using its servers to hide your identity. Pages, streaming services, and every external agent sees the VPN brand’s IP address and not yours.
Since they can hide your IP address and lend you one from a different location for temporary use, you can show a separate “identity” while connected to the VPN, thus unblocking geo-restricted content around the web. In this guide, we answer every question you may have about these beautiful apps, found via free or paid services.
VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network,” and they are the tools that are changing the way we see privacy and security. By offering encrypted traffic through the web, we can now protect our passwords, interaction, social media and banking accounts, and digital assets in general just by enabling a connection through a reliable VPN company. Here are the hottest questions about VPNs that you are looking to answer right now:
Why do I need a VPN?
If you need to connect to a public Wi-Fi network, you surely need a VPN to make your connection private and avoid hackers lurking around these hotspots to intercept your information and use it to access your accounts, to perform an attack, or to harm you in any way. Even if you are in a private Wi-Fi, it behooves you to encrypt your data to avoid unwanted privacy and security breaches.
Your Internet Service Provider can see everything you do online. ISPs are notorious for keeping activity logs of their users and selling that information to data brokers, which does you no favors in terms of privacy. With a VPN, you can avoid this scenario. Furthermore, if you want to unblock international streaming platforms, sites, services, or pages, you can “borrow” one of your VPN’s servers and pretend to be in another country.
How does a VPN work?
VPNs are encryption services offered by free or paid brands. They implement protocols to build a virtual tunnel for your information to travel protecting you from hackers, malware developers, surveillance agencies, advertisers, and other elements.
The VPN manages connection requests by the user and towards the broader network, in this case, the Internet. The idea is to leave ISPs and other potentially dangerous elements for privacy out of the equation.
Which are the most widely used VPN protocols?
By protocols, we refer to the technologies that allow VPNs to encrypt, protect, and reroute the content to remote servers to keep it safeguarded. The OpenVPN protocol is universally acclaimed as the best protocol available: it is an open-source project known for its high-security standards.
The Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol over Internet Protocol Security (L2TP/IPSec) is another useful protocol. It is the perfect balance between security and speed. Secure Sockets Tunneling Protocol (SSTP) and Internet Key Exchange (IKEv2) are solid alternatives as well. The Peer to Peer Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is the father of all protocols but is now unreliable and obsolete.
What should you look for in a VPN?
That would depend on what you want to achieve. If you desire to have an unblocking tool to enjoy movies and TV series on international platforms, you need a VPN with fast speeds and loads of servers and countries available for connection. If torrenting is your thing, you should look for a company that allows P2P and has secure encryption.
How to get the best price for a VPN?
If your budget can’t afford a VPN (they are mostly affordable, though) you should consider free VPN brands, but be prepared: their encryption quality, server network, speed, reliability, and privacy management isn’t nearly the same as paid services. Some of them take your data and sell it to data brokers. I do not encourage you to chose a free VPN. The risks are too high.
Even paid options have a way to offer discounts and deals: look for long-term plans and not the standard, monthly payment. That’s where the most savings can be achieved because most brands lower their average monthly price if you decide to pay for more extended plans up front.
Who uses a VPN?
Students that are at school and have finished their assignments, with some time to kill, often use VPNs to bypass blocks of some of the most famous social media networks and games. That way, they can grab another IP address, circumvent the restrictions, and enjoy!
People who use public Wi-Fi networks use VPN to protect themselves from hackers looking to gain ahold of sensitive information.
People with a desire to stream content from other countries, and can’t access those pages in their locations because of geo-restrictions, use VPNs to unblock services like Netflix, Hulu, or the BBC iPlayer, not to mention international channels and networks.
People who want to bypass censorship in totalitarian regimes, or avoid government surveillance, use VPNs.
Why is a VPN for torrenting so important?
If you torrent with a VPN, your identity information is hidden, and you won’t be able to be tracked by third parties. That doesn’t mean that VPNs are made for masking the identities of criminals, but they are designed to protect the person’s identity in any case.
Additionally, torrenting means interacting in a sizeable file-sharing network on the Internet, which leaves the door open to the possibility of getting in contact with all types of malware, including adware, spyware, viruses, Trojan horses, or even ransomware.
Is it safe to connect to a public Wi-Fi without a VPN?
No, it isn’t safe to connect to a public Wi-Fi network without a VPN. They are unencrypted, which means that your identity and IP address is visible for all the members of the network, including potential hackers and cybercriminals.
Encrypting the data that comes and goes from your device to the Internet is a sound idea, and a VPN app is the best way to do that. Free Wi-Fi hotspots can be life-savers depending on the situation, but they also represent huge security and privacy risks.
In conclusion, VPN technology has evolved from desirable to recommendable to indispensable in just a couple of years. Hackers have developed and are equipped, both in knowledge and resources, to inflict incredible damage, and users need to be prepared to fight fire with fire.
VPNs are a fantastic solution to encrypt your content and keep it between you and the page you visit, leaving hackers and other undesirable agents out of the equation. Your VPN can see your traffic, but if you choose a brand wisely, it does not keep or share any activity logs with anyone.