Is a VPN worth it? Quite possibly! Just because you’re not doing anything illegal on the web doesn’t mean no one’s tracking your moves online. You may be being monitored — but by who? Your ISP – Internet Service Provider.
While there probably isn’t someone sitting in a control room watching your every move, ISPs can track your online activities and even view your browsing history. They can sometimes use that data to sell to third parties who then target you with ads. So what’s the solution to prevent this and to stay anonymous on the web? A VPN may do the trick. In this article, you’ll learn what a VPN is as well as the five reasons it’s time for you to use a VPN.
How does a VPN work?
A VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. As the name suggests, a VPN works by encrypting your data and adding a layer of privacy to it in order to protect your identity and online activities when accessing the web. Normally, the device you use to access the internet does so via your Internet Service Provider (ISP). While your ISP’s internet may be fast, they can track everything that you do online.
With a VPN, your internet connection is routed via your selected VPN’s private server instead of your ISP. A VPN hides your IP address and ensures the data you transmit while browsing comes from the VPN server and not your actual device such as a computer. If let’s say, your smartphone’s IP address is in the US, with a VPN you can change it to the UK or any other country. This way, you’ll “trick” your ISP and they won’t track you since you’re virtually in the UK.
A VPN achieves this by encrypting data between the VPN client and the VPN server tunnel. When your VPN is turned on, the requests you make to the website you’re visiting are encrypted first before being sent to the server.
Five reasons to use a VPN
Is a VPN really worth it? Here are five reasons to use a VPN.
- With a VPN, you can access public Wi-Fi without fear of being hacked. Do you use public Wi-Fi such as those in airports or malls regularly? Well, hackers love public Wi-Fi — and for a reason. Since such public places attract lots of people, they’re the most vulnerable places to hacking attacks. Using public Wi-Fi without a VPN can expose you to man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks. Hackers use this attack to steal personal information such as passwords and financial information.
- With a VPN, you can access blocked web content in the country you’re travelling to. When travelling to a different country, you may find that the content you normally enjoy watching in your home country is blocked. An example would be Netflix. To solve this and continue watching your favorite shows, you’ll need to use a VPN with Netflix.
- With a VPN, you can bypass restricted networks at school or at work. If certain sites are blocked at your school or work, a VPN can help you access those sites. It will also encrypt and keep your browsing activities private.
- With a VPN, you can share files or download them anonymously. Another importance of VPN is that it enables you to download and share both illegal and legal files. However, downloading or sharing copyrighted materials without the owner’s consent could land you into legal troubles.
- A VPN helps you earn your right to privacy. This is perhaps the best reason why you need a VPN. Using a VPN means you’re claiming your right to privacy. With increased cases of credit card and personal information being stolen, it makes sense to take your web security seriously. Having a VPN is the best decision you can make for your online privacy and security.