For those that are not computer nerds, a VPN involves technology that adds a security layer to private and public networks, including broadband and internet hotspots. Translated to everyday lingo, a VPN is both secure and private for individuals and organizations to send and receive data over the internet. Think of it as your secret network that gives you access to personal internal systems, plus the benefit of being able to browse the internet without minions tracking you. It gives you a way into content that you might not be able to access otherwise, such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer.
In theory, whatever you do through a VPN connection cannot be intercepted by anyone. In reality, your VPN connection is only useful if the device you are using (laptop, desktop, smartphone) has not been compromised by malware. You should load up an antivirus program to shoot down any inherent spies before using a VPN.
Why was VPN developed:
VPN was developed for remote users and branch offices to access corporate resources and applications through a secure and private network. It happens via the use of an encrypted and layered tunneling protocol. To gain access, VPN users must use passwords or certificates.
A VPN also enables internet users to circumvent geo-restrictions and censorship demons. It allows connection to proxy servers that will protect both your identity and location, which enables you to be anonymous when on the internet. As a VPN establishes a “point to point” connection over existing networks, it gives the benefits of a wide area network (WAN) when using the public internet.
Unfortunately, some websites block access to VPN technology so that you can’t circumvent their geo-restrictions. The super-tech nerds are working on how to solve this drama.
How do VPNs work?
It’s quite simple, as the VPN reroutes your internet traffic through its own servers:
Device –> secure VPN server –> the website
And back again:
The website –> secure VPN server –> device
Instead of below:
Device –> the website
And back again:
The website –> device
The benefits of using a VPN:
VPN is designed to make internet usage safer, more convenient, and private.
- Everything between you and the service or site you are using is encrypted, making it mumbo jumbo to anyone spying.
- A VPN disguises where you are. You may be using your laptop in London, but the website has no idea where you are. You could be floating down the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar, as far as the little nasty and invasive internet trackers are concerned.
- Defying the trackers “geo-blocking” allows you to see web sites that your location/country prevents you from viewing.
Why you should use a VPN:
Using a VPN gives you ESP! Call it a gut feeling; extrasensory perception is when you aren’t using your five senses of touch, hearing, smell, taste, and sight. A VPN gives you superpowers on your devices in the same way that ESP does.
–Evasion – no one will know exactly where you are using your device at any given moment. For some users, this means that they can evade government monitoring of communications or government censorship.
–Security – if you wish to check a bank account of a personal nature when connected to a public hotspot, such as a bus terminal, cafe, airport, or a train station.
–Protection – think of it as wearing a condom against phishing attacks. Fake hotspots won’t deceive you or be able to steal your personal information such as usernames and passwords.