The internet might have started with the naive idealism of creating a network that’s open to all and to facilitate the free flow of information. The modern internet, as powerful and convenient as it might be, has diverged from the idealism by a fair degree.
Today’s internet is plagued by things such as unethical use of user data, endless tracking of every move you make, and restrictions such as geoblocking. Keeping all this in mind, it is not really surprising to see a surge in the use of VPNs across the world that make being on the internet just a bit more safe for you.
What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is a private way to browse the internet. It is a tool that lets you access the internet in a way that keeps your data safe. When you use a VPN, your traffic is routed through a dedicated VPN server instead of establishing a direct connection to the server at the other end. This allows you to mask your traffic and keep it away from the prying eyes of hackers, corporates, and governments.
Essentially, it is a good idea to think of a VPN as an extra layer of security for your network, whether it be your private home network, a public WI-FI connection, or even your mobile data connection.
How does a VPN work?
While the concept of a VPN might sound complicated, the basic idea is really simple to understand. Here’s a quick breakdown of how a VPN functions:
When you connect to the internet, an IP address is assigned to your device which can be used to track your device on the network. What a VPN does is essentially hide your IP address by acting as a middleman.
Instead of connecting directly via your IP address to the web, with a VPN, your IP address is connected to a private VPN server. All your traffic will now go through the VPN server which means your IP address would only connect to the VPN server but your IP address would be hidden by the VPN when you access the server of the website, streaming service, etc.
The VPN server keeps your data hidden by using encryption that is used to keep your private details hidden from hackers, companies, and even the government!
Why you should use a VPN
There are a number of reasons why you should use a VPN – in certain cases, you might want to access content that is not available in your region such as accessing the entire catalogue of Netflix and not just the catalogue for your country.
In other cases, you might not want to change the location of your IP address but rather add an extra layer of security like when you’re accessing your banking information or playing with real money on online casinos.
However, the main reason why you should use a VPN is to protect your privacy in an increasingly dangerous internet.
What VPN should I use?
There are a number of awesome VPN services available today as the industry has matured. While the best VPN service for you would be a subjective choice, some of the best VPN services include ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and IPVanish.