Interesting Uses of a VPN

If you want to protect your privacy when you are browsing the internet then you may have considered using a VPN. What you may not have realized is that using a VPN can also be useful in a number of other ways.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and it allows you to browse the internet while keeping your IP address hidden. This means that it is impossible for anyone to see what you are doing when you are online and this includes your ISP. People will be able to see that you are using a VPN but it is only the address of this provider that will be visible.

If anyone were to intercept any data then this would be encrypted and so they would not necessarily be able to read it. If you want to keep your browsing and secure then a VPN is one of the best tools that you can use. As mentioned previously there are also a number of other ways that a VPN can be useful and some of these are described in more detail below.

Avoid Problems With Bandwidth

If you have ever encountered buffering when you are streaming a TV show or watching videos on YouTube then you will know how annoying this can be. This happens because there is not enough bandwidth which usually occurs because of a restriction that has been put in place by your ISP. This is more common than you may realize as it gives the ISP a way to regulate traffic on their network.

When you use a VPN you will bypass this because your ISP will not be able to see what it is you are doing online. If they do not have this information then they are unable to put any restrictions in place.

Use Your Favorite Sites Wherever You Are

There may be a number of reasons why you can’t access your favorite websites when you are on holiday. It may because the country that you have traveled to has restrictions in place to censor the sites that people can access. Copyright may also be an issue and there may be no agreement in place between the country that the website is registered and the place that you are on holiday. If you are paying a subscription for a website this does not automatically mean that you will have access to a site if any of the above restrictions are in place. A VPN can help you bypass these restrictions and let you use all of your favorite sites just as you would at home.

Save Money When Looking to Travel

Most people are aware of the theory that websites will store information about the things that you have looked at and then show you a higher price if you go back and look at the same information again. This is designed to make you panic that the price will rise even more, encouraging you to make a purchase. Things like flights, hotels and car rentals are often included in this meaning you may be paying more for your travel than you need to. If you are using a VPN then none of this information will be stored meaning that the website will not recognize you as a previous visitor.

The other advantage to using a VPN is that it hides the country that you are currently in. Tickets bought in the UK may cost more than the same ticket that is purchased in France, for example. If you can use the VPN to make it seem as if you are in France then you will be able to take advantage of the cheaper ticket.

More Security When Uploading And Downloading Files

It is now more possible than ever to work remotely from home rather than going into the office each day. If this is something that applies to you then there may be occasions when you have to share large files with your colleagues. Sharing files over a peer to peer network is one of the easiest ways to do this but this is something that your ISP may put restrictions on. Even if it is allowed then you may find that your connection is slowed down and this can mean that it takes a long time to share all your files. Using a VPN means that your ISP cannot see what you are doing and will have no reason to slow you down. Another advantage to using a VPN is that it is more secure and helps keep the information that you are sharing private.

Use Public WiFi Safely

We are always being warned about the dangers of using public wifi to access private information. It is fine for general browsing but public wifi is very easy for even unexperienced hackers to access. This means that checking your bank balance, accessing emails or anything that requires you to log in is generally off limits.

When you are using a VPN then doing any of these things is not an issue. The VPN will keep all of your personal information safe as it is much harder to hack. Even if a hacker is successful then all of the information they get will be encrypted and so they can't use it anyway.

Better Prices When Shopping Online

Some companies will charge lower prices for people that are local to them. This happens with physical stores just as much as it does when shopping online. The advantage that you have when shopping online is that you are able to use a VPN to mask your true location. It is not something that is going to happen every time but unless you check you will never know. You can set the VPN to look as if it is in a number of different countries and so you can experiment to see if there is a particular country where goods seem to be cheaper.

Keep Your Conversations Private

Using a VoIP is a great way to keep in contact with a range of people from family members to business colleagues. These services are more secure than they used to be but there is always a risk that someone is listening into your conversation. Using a VPN means that it is almost impossible for anyone else to eavesdrop. When you use a VPN for services such as Skype it means that you can talk to people privately all over the world, even in a country where these types of services are normally banned.

A VPN can be a very useful tool for many different occasions and so it is something that is worth having access to so it is there when you need it. It can help protect your privacy, save you money and overcome any restrictions on the sites that you use when abroad. There are many different providers of VPNs and so it is worth doing some research to find one that is going to give you all the features you need.

Posted on

The Ultimate Beginners Guide to VPN

In 1989, Sir Tim Berners Lee and his team at the CERN's lab built the World Wide Web. While the initial vision of the new project was to enable scientists at CERN's to communicate better, the scientists felt the world would benefit more.

To showcase the power and benefits of the new project – World Wide Web -, the team built the first HTML website which is actually in existence even today. This website is hosted on Sir Tim Berners Lee computer at CERN's lab.

Although the developers of the World Wide Web envisioned a platform that enabled people from across the world to share information and communicate without restrictions. That is not the case today. While giving his keynote speech at the Gitex Technology Week, Berners Lee pointed out that a cabal of internet companies and other corporations have become too powerful.

He derived this from the many data sharing scandals currently affecting social media giants and search engine companies.

To remain anonymous when browsing online and protect yourself against data theft, use a VPN service.

What is VPN?

This is an age-old technology where a computer relies on tunneling technology to connect securely to a remote server in a distant location while it appears as if the user is connecting from a local computer.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and it relies on encrypted tunnel technology to connect to a remote server operated by a VPN service provider. As a user, your real IP address is masked and in place of this, websites and other online applications will note your VPN IP address instead.

By doing so, not only are you able to circumvent geo-restrictions but you can remain anonymous as you browse the web.

How VPN Works

As said earlier, VPN relies on tunneling technology. There are two types:

  • Point to Point Tunneling Protocol
  • Layer Two Tunneling Protocol

To connect to a VPN server, you must first subscribe to one of the paid plans offered by a VPN service provider of your choice. After subscribing, you can download a Windows desktop client, Mac software or Android app.

Once you install the software, initiate it and you should see a list of countries. To connect, simply click on your desired connection. The software will use either PPTP or L2TP tunneling technology to encrypt the network. Basically, your data packets will be encapsulated finally creating a private network.

What you need to know is that for the connection to be successful, it must negotiate several variables. They include compression parameters, address assignment and encryption.

To transfer data within the tunnel, VPN relies on datagram-based protocol. To create and maintain the tunnel, it requires the tunnel management protocol. Once a connection has been created between the user’s computer and the VPN server, data transfer is possible. Thanks to tunneling technology, your ISP, website admins, search engines, social media networks, and others will not be privy of your real location or what you are browsing.

What Are the Benefits of VPN?

VPN has so many benefits to online users especially when it comes to security and privacy. Here are a few of the benefits we have managed to compile.

Enhanced Security

When you browse the internet without using a VPN service, you expose yourself to several online threats. For starters, you have malicious people who are always on the prowl to steal your data. For instance, your credit card details, your bank details, Social Security Number and passwords.

If you subscribe to a VPN service, your security is enhanced. As said earlier, VPN creates a private network between your computer and the VPN servers. This network cannot be hacked which ensures your security when working online.

Circumvent Geo Restrictions

Have you ever found a funny or interesting video online only for you to receive an error “this video is not available in your country”? If you have, then you know how frustrating this is. When you use a VPN service, you can circumvent such geo restrictions.

Thanks to tunneling technology, websites can detect your IP address as if you are using a local computer. For instance, if you want to view a video restricted to US viewers only, now you can with VPN.

Online Anonymity

Did you know that your ISP can view which websites you visit and what content you are downloading? Well, now you know. If you love reading Wikileaks or any other controversial content, your ISP will know.

To ensure you are anonymous when online, use VPN. VPN masks your real IP address and when combined with the tunneling technology, your ISP cannot know what websites you are visiting and what content you are downloading.

Browse Securely on Public WiFi

A vast majority of establishments offer free WiFi service to customers. For instance, if you walk into any coffee shop and order coffee and pastries, you can browse the internet on your smartphone, tablet or laptop.

The problem with Public WiFis that security has not been enhanced. This means hackers can gain access very easily since your connection is not secure. By using VPN on public WiFi, no hacker will access your computer.

Does Not Affect Your Browsing Experience

One of the most popular misconceptions about VPN is that using the services results in a slow browsing experiencing. What you need to know is that VPN services actually accelerate your browsing experience.

This is because it does rely on your internet solely. The VPN servers have their own internet connectivity which is fast. As a result, your experience will not be sluggish.

How to Choose the Best VPN Service?

To select the best VPN service, there are factors you need to consider.

Server Locations

One of the reasons many people prefer to use VPN is to access geo-restricted content. For instance, you are an online user in Africa, Asia, Europe or South America and you would like to access restricted content from the US. To ensure you are able to access the content, check the VPN service provider website to know they have servers in your desired locations.

Logs or no logs

Any VPN service that keeps a log is a definite No. Why? Keeping logs about your browsing activities can promise your privacy and security. Governments and other corporations may demand or steal the data and use it to prosecute you. When choosing a VPN service, look for one that does not keep logs.

Cost

Today, you have free and paid VPN. Free VPN may be enticing because you don’t have to pay anything but such services may compromise your security and privacy maintaining logs. Instead of free VPN services, always choose paid VPN services.

Internet Speed

When you opt for free VPN services, the speed between your computer and the VPN server will be throttled. As a result, your browsing experience should be sluggish. With paid VPN, you are assured of a fast connection.

When it comes to downloading speeds whether you are downloading via your browser or torrent, the experience is usually sluggish. This is because VPNs reroute your connection via their servers.

Final Thoughts

As an online user, your privacy and security is of utmost importance. While internet browsers and even your ISP may promise that your data is safe, what you need to know is that this is not always true.

To prevent unauthorized users from stealing your data, use a reputable VPN service. By so doing, your connection will be secure and hackers will find it hard to steal your passwords or know what you are browsing online.

Good luck!

Posted on