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You may have heard about VPN from your friends or encountered it at work. It is often used at large corporations, IT companies, educational institutions, and government agencies to ensure the security of sensitive data.
However, not only legal entities can benefit from using it. Learning how a VPN works and what it’s used for can significantly improve your everyday Internet experience. So, today we’re going to be talking about why you should be using a VPN and how to choose among the best VPN providers.
So, keep reading!
Table of Contents
Private Internet Connection And Data Encryption
A VPN is an essential tool for those who like to surf the web using public Wi-Fi. Hotspots are very popular because they provide free Internet access, but at the same time, they are poorly protected, and all your private data can be easily accessed by a hacker or any average person who has learned how to use hacking apps. Important stuff like logins, passwords, even the number of your credit card can be easily stolen without you even noticing.
What a VPN does is change the IP address of your device making it almost impossible for the hacker to identify and access your session?
Another important perk of using a VPN is that your Internet activity is hidden. You do know that websites and Google, in particular, collects information about what you do online to show you relevant ads and content? Ever noticed that if you searched for some goods, you’d see ads for them later? Using a VPN, everything you do or search on the Internet is nobody else’s business but yours.
Save Money On Tickets And Services
It may sound surprising, but prices for apps and services vary depending on your location. For instance, if you’re a traveler, then changing your IP address can save you up to $2000 on airplane tickets and up to $400 on car rentals. So, when planning your journey, play around with different locations to see where you can get the best rates.
But a VPN is not only great for travelers. If you’re a big sports fan, then you definitely use websites that allow you watch championships free of charge for a limited amount of time. Subsequently, if you want to keep watching, you’ll have to pay up. Instead of paying for the subscription for a single sports channel, it’s better to pay for a good VPN service and thus bypass limitations on multiple channels.
Access To Geo-Restricted Apps And Content
There are many apps, websites, and content that is restricted to users from outside a particular country/region. For instance, Spotify has limited availability in Europe, Asia, and Pacific. If you’re a big fan of the Simpsons, then you might have trouble watching the episodes on Fox due to geographical restriction. Some eBooks or music may be unavailable for download in your country. The list goes on and on.
With the help of a VPN, you can surf the web from the country that is out of the website’s restriction and enjoy the content and apps you want.
What To Look Out For To Leverage A VPN?
There’s a huge variety of services to choose from. Some of them are free and others you have to pay for. Some of them actually provide secure Internet connection while others cannot be trusted.
Check For Reviews
First things first, check the ratings and reviews for popular services that are out there. You’ll get an idea of what to expect from the provider, what problems may occur, what level of support is provided, etc.
Decide Between Free And Paid Service
Being a VPN provider means you have to operate a bunch of servers which is not cheap. If there’s a provider that offers its service for free, one may question: “How do they afford it?” There a handful of free services out there, however very few are reliable. Most free services for mobile apps allow to show you ads in order to make a living. Or even worse, they could be selling the data to third parties and thus run the business. Finally, free services are often limited in features and support provided.
Most commercial VPN apps are affordable, so it’s recommended that you pay $5-10 a month. In return, you will most definitely get much better service and performance of the app.
Find Out How Many Servers Or Countries There Is
The more countries you can choose from the better! For instance, if the provider has plenty of servers near your location, that means that the speed of the Internet connection will be faster compared to the provider with limited and more distant locations.
Learn About The Protocol The Provider Uses
Security and privacy are vital. Ultimately, that’s why you decided to start using a VPN. There are four commonly used VPN protocols:
- IPSec and L2TP: Often paired together for security. It is slower than PPTP but much more reliable in terms of data security.
- PPTP: Originally developed for Windows 96, still used by this day. It’s fast, however not secure enough.
- SSL and TLS: TLS is an updated version of SSL. Very commonly used, offer a high level of data encryption.
- OpenVPN: Not so fast but secure and highly customizable protocol.
It’s best to stay away from PPTO as it’s pretty old and vulnerable. The rest are a good choice in terms of security, but they offer different Internet speeds.
Test Various Services For Speed
When using a VPN, you will notice that the speed of the Internet can get significantly lower. This is inevitable because there’s extra distance to be traveled and encrypted/decrypted to be done. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices of providers, do some trials of each service to see which handles the problem the best way.
Is using a VPN legal?
As you get to know more about VPN, it may seem like you’re about to do something illegal. However, it’s absolutely legal unless you live in China or North Korea. A number of countries across Asia have prohibited their citizens from using VPN services arguing this as protection for national security and traditional values, etc.
Also, some European countries like France and UK require VPN providers to keep logs of users’ sessions due to the threat of terrorism. So, one should avoid using services from providers based in such countries.
VPN is a great tool that everyone should know how to use. As you can see, it introduces any average user to a number of advantages and opportunities. It’s only a matter of learning how it works and finding the best VPN provider. Or you can create one yourself by following these steps.