The digital revolution is truly in full force, and it’s making the world a much scarier place to browse the web. With superpowers having elections swayed by online media, hacks being reported all the time, and virus epidemics of unheard of proportions, this year has certainly been an interesting one. It has led to a huge increase in awareness about online security, inspiring people to learn more about their digital security. But, a lot of people still ignore a key player in this game; the simple virtual private network, or VPN.
Before you start using something like this, you have to understand exactly how it works. The company providing your Internet connection can monitor and store everything you do online. Though in most places, this isn’t legal, it’s just a matter of time before governments are able to ask ISPs to give information like this up. A VPN solves an issue like this by placing itself in between your ISP and the websites you visit. Instead of connecting to a site through your ISP, you connect to the VPN which then passes you on to the site, encrypting all of the data as it goes.
In most cases, using a VPN is a simple matter of clicking a few buttons and filling out some options. Then, you can browse the web just like normal. But, what exactly can you use a tool like this for? Below, you’ll find two common examples of uses for this sort of tool, as well as some of the negatives some people find when using them.
Security is the main reason someone would want to use a VPN tool, as it encrypts their data and makes it impossible to tell where it’s come from. Along with this, though, a lot of people also use this sort of tech for privacy. When you browse the web using a public hotspot, you risk having other people on the network find and access your data. Using a VPN would make this significantly harder for them, and they’d have to decrypt the data before being able to read it.
2. Unlocking Content
Of course, not everyone’s uses for this sort of tool are completely innocent, though. In a lot of cases, people find issues watching content online because of annoying region locks. A VPN can get you past something like this, by making it look like you’re browsing from elsewhere, while also hiding information about your PC. Movie and anime streaming have never been easier, thanks to the help of VPNs. But, before doing this, you have to make sure it’s legal to do so.
No modern product is without its flaws. VPNs suffer a couple of big issues which can make them hard for a lot of people to use, even with their benefits. Thanks to the addition of another server while you connect to the web, a VPN will often slow down your connection quite a bit. Some are better than others, though, so it’s worth shopping around. Along with speed, a lot of VPNs are very restrictive when it comes to the data you’re allowed to use. Strict download limits could make your VPN of choice unusable after watching too much content.
Hopefully, this post will give you a good idea of what can be done when you’re looking for ways to improve your online security, while also increasing your browsing potential. As the Internet gets older, a lot of people are finding new ways to abuse it. This makes it critical that people and organisations alike work hard to improve their cyber security.