The Internet is an integral part of our daily lives. What started as a military endeavor is now a vast digital universe that consists of trillions of web pages. There are approximately 1.75 billion websites on the Internet, and these numbers are increasing day by day.
We rely on the Internet to shop, work, socialize, play, and more. However, every time we go online, we leave behind a virtual trail that anyone can follow. Unless you do something about it, chances are your online activates are being tracked by hackers, companies, and government agencies.
Your data is a valuable commodity, and it should be treated as such. In this scenario, using a VPN is the most effective way to keep your information safe from prying eyes. Read on to learn more:
Why Should You Protect Your Online Data with a VPN?
Companies want your data. Some harvest your data to serve you targeted ads. Others harvest your data to sell it for a profit. The same can be said about hackers. They’re constantly looking for ways to steal your data and use it to their advantage.
Despite such dangers, the unfortunate truth is – most of us don’t take the necessary steps to secure our personal information. We access our bank account on public Wi-Fi networks, browse unsafe websites, and so on and so forth.
For these reasons (and more!), it’s highly recommended that you protect your data with a VPN when using the Internet. Otherwise, you’re left completely exposed to entities who want to get their hands on your information.
How Do VPNs Work?
To put it simply, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) makes an encrypted connection between your device and a remote VPN server. All your data is transmitted through this secure channel before it reaches your intended destination on the Internet, so it can’t be accessed or stolen by anybody.
VPNs also hides your original identity by replacing your IP address with one of their own. As a result, every site you visit will only be able to see the IP address and location of the VPN server instead of yours. Plus, since the IP address is shared, your online activities can’t be tied back to you.
Benefits of Using a VPN
There are many pros to using a VPN app on your device. For starters, you’ll be able to browse the Internet privately. With your actual IP address masked, you can visit your preferred sites without anyone knowing it’s you.
A VPN secures your data using bank-grade encryption, making it close to impossible for cybercriminals to intercept your data on public or private Wi-Fi networks. You can also gain access to geo-restricted content with a VPN.
For instance, if you live in Canada and want to stream a TV show available on US Netflix, all you have to do is connect to a VPN server in the US and visit Netflix. The streaming service will be tricked into thinking you’re located in the US, giving you access to the content you want.
These are just some of the many benefits that a VPN gives you!
Free VPN vs. Paid VPN Services
You’ll come across plenty of free VPNs on the market. You might be tempted to try them because why pay for something when you can use it for nothing? What you need to know is these supposedly free services do more harm than good.
Many free VPNs have been found to collect and sell your online activities to advertisers for a profit. This defeats the entire purpose of using a VPN! They also can’t be relied on to secure your data as they offer little to no encryption.
If you’re looking to access geo-restricted content on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services, a free VPN won’t cut it as their IP address are easily detected and blocked. However, you won’t face any of these problems when using a paid VPN.
How to Choose a VPN Provider
There are a wealth of VPN services to choose from and so finding the right one can be a challenging endeavor. Before you sign up for any VPN provider, make sure it offers:
- A global server network
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 5-10 simultaneous connections
- Apps for all major desktop and mobile devices
- Must-have features like a kill switch, split tunneling, and DNS leak protection
- 24/7 customer support
- AES 256-bit encryption
- Compatibility with streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu
- Wide selection of security protocols
If you care about your privacy and don’t want your personal data to fall into the wrong hands, using a VPN on your device is a sensible decision. So, get a VPN today and secure your entire connection from the dangers that lurk in the online world.
Yasir Shamim is an up and coming Digital Marketer currently working as an Executive at PureVPN with the aim of increasing their search engine visibility. Digital Marketer by day and Tech Fanatic by night, he enjoys reading up about cyber security and technology in general and also loves to share his opinions.