A VPN or a virtual private network is a service that protects your privacy and secures your network connection while on potentially vulnerable networks. In this digital age, protection against data breaches and identity thefts is crucial. Using a VPN can ensure your identity and web traffic is encrypted enough to protect you from prying eyes. Here is a comprehensive guide on using a VPN, the types available, their potential benefits, and complications you might face while using the service.
How Does a VPN Function?
When you run a VPN, you are connected to the remote servers while your connection is secured through encryption. Your IP address and location are also well-hidden to avoid revealing your true information to a third party like your internet service provider, marketing agencies, or software that uses analytics to monitor activity.
Types of VPN
There are several types of VPNs out of which we have listed three types below:
It is mostly used by companies to give their employees a secure connection to work from home with ease. A hardware box is installed with a PC or mobile device that allows the employees to run HTML-5 capable browsers.
2. Site-to-site VPN
This VPN service is best for large companies with offices in more than one location. A secure local area network is connected to a wide area network that makes communication and sharing of information safe from a breach.
3. VPN Client
The most commonly used type allows you a temporary IP address and connects you to the server’s location while bypassing your local ISP.
Benefits of a VPN Service
While you have the option to avoid using third-party services, monitoring of activity through your ISP cannot be stopped until a secure VPN is used. The data collected by these third-party service providers can be anonymized and sold to potential customers. By encrypting the connection and rerouting the traffic through secure servers, a VPN can prevent attacks up to an extent.
Connect from Different Locations
When using a VPN service, you have the option to choose to connect with servers present in different countries that allows you to open blocked websites. If there are German shows or movies that you want to watch, then you can access Hulu in Germany to gain access to shows that may not be available where you are. A simple yet effective way is to use a reliable VPN service that lets you connect to servers in the United States. Moreover, people who travel a lot might find VPN a useful tool to access local services like accessing their local bank online from another country.
Your ISP always tracks your IP and makes logs on your web traffic history which has valuable information that hackers can obtain from the ISP to plan out a cyber attack. Even your ISP servers can get hacked which might compromise the connected computers and electronic devices. The browsing history can also be collected and sold by your ISP to advertisers, law enforcement, or the government. This breach of privacy is legal and a plethora of tech companies are feeding on data provided by ISPs to improve their targeted marketing strategies.
The Drawbacks of a VPN Service
● Most apps, websites, and internet services upgrade their firewall security now and then, leaving some VPN services to be flagged as suspicious. Most services might not even allow any form of traffic from a VPN. Still, you can change the country server to gain access.
● Streaming services nowadays sync the data over the locally provided network. Using a VPN on your network can result in streaming problems across household devices as the service is unable to recognize a local network. There are examples of several online streaming services that don’t allow their streams to be accessed in many countries and discourage the use of VPN services.
● The speed of your internet connection can slow down with a virtual proxy network as the traffic is being re-routed through their server. Both the upload and download speeds decrease. The slowing down of the internet results in an increased latency time. This slow response can cause problems while streaming, video calling, or when playing online multiplayer games.
● Most VPN services available in the market are used with ease. However, the server speed for every country varies a lot. For instance, connecting to a Japanese VPN server could resolve speed issues whereas the same server might not work on another person’s PC or mobile phone.
VPNs, antivirus, and anti-malware software have become essential as more and more people are falling victim to hacking, malware, or brute force attacks. Most VPNs out there are free to use. Still, there are paid VPN services that stand out in terms of the quality of service. So make sure you research well before picking out one.