09 Jul What Does VPN Stand For?
Just like building a gate and installing locks and alarm systems in your home to keep thieves and burglars away, using a VPN while you are on the internet also keeps hackers and spies away. VPN stands for virtual private network; a network allows you to connect to the internet securely through a server. It creates an encrypted ‘tunnel’ where all the data being exchanged between your device and the server cannot be intercepted and decrypted. It maintains your privacy and keeps all of your personal information safe and secure.
Having a VPN is as important as having an internet connection – and if you truly want to browse the web completely safe, getting one would be one of the best decisions of your life. Corporate VPNs are used by companies to provide a one-stop, reachable network for their resources, and to monitor their employees even in remote areas. It’s still widely used by small and large companies today, but they aren’t the only ones who benefit from everything that a VPN can provide, because commercial VPNs are now available for regular internet users as well.
What Does a VPN Do?
Protects your data. A VPN encrypts your data so that anyone who tries to intercept it won’t be able to read it and use it fraudulently. Anyone can see your online activities when you connect to an unsecured public network such as a coffee shop’s Wi-Fi. This means that checking your email, typing in your bank account details, or logging in to your social media accounts could put you at risk for hacking and identity theft. Using a VPN secures all the information that you enter from your devices to keep it away from prying eyes.
Bypasses censorship. You’ve most likely experienced the agony of wanting to watch the coverage of your favorite football game or foreign TV show in real time, then having to watch the replay or another country’s version of the show because it is location-restricted. This is one of the reasons why many users resort to using a VPN. The VPN bypasses country restrictions which allows you to watch TV shows as they air or download apps which are otherwise unavailable in your location. To do this, the VPN bluffs your IP address – including the apps on your computer and phone – which changes your location. This makes downloading and streaming more convenient for users around the globe.
What Should I Consider When Choosing a VPN?
Speed. This pertains to the processing power required to encrypt and decrypt data, and the distance that the data has to travel.
Security. Look up what their technical measures are against hackers trying to pry your data. Most VPN services use Advanced Encryption System (AES) with 256-bit encryptions – a bank-grade encryption with a very strong security. Read up about the different protocols as well to know which one will address your needs better.
Server location. The more servers and locations that the VPN server provides, the more chances of finding a location that suits you best. It also enables you to constantly switch to different servers, making it more difficult to trace you.
Simultaneous connections. You might want to check out the number of devices that a VPN server lets you connect to – most VPNs let you connect up to five devices with just one account. Free VPN services usually allow 1-3 connected devices.
Software features. Choose a VPN with an easy to use interface and unique features, such as internet kill switch and DNS leak protection. VPN services have created their own features now which will enhance your protection.
OS Support. Before deciding on a VPN server to use, make sure that it supports your device’s operating system. But this shouldn’t worry you a lot because every VPN service is supported by all types of OS.
Price. Choose the server that provides the best service with the best price (most VPN servers cost $5 to $10 per month).
Customer support. Look for those with 24-hour customer support who actually understands your concerns and knows how to provide a solution.
Free trials. One way of selecting the best VPN server that suits your needs is to avail of their free trials.