Why You Need a VPN, and How to Choose the Right One

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Written By Godfrey

 

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A VPN is short for Virtual Private Network, an encrypted connection that allows you to access the Internet from any country or city. It also provides security against people snooping on your activities and helps to protect your data from theft.

VPN download can be beneficial because it will allow you to unblock websites that are normally blocked like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or Hulu. This is because you are effectively changing your IP address and the website will think you are in a country that doesn’t block the site.

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This guide will teach you everything you need to know about VPNs, how to choose the right one, its disadvantages, and its advantages.

Why You Need a VPN

VPN Defined

What is a VPN? A virtual private network gives you online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection.

This type of network is usually employed by large corporations to protect sensitive data. For example, if you are an American living in South Korea, you can use a VPN to access servers in the USA and gain access to blocked sites.

Your computer then connects to the internet using an anonymous IP address through the encrypted VPN tunnel, which protects your online activities from hackers, governments, and ISPs.

The best way to describe a VPN is by using the analogy of a railway line. In this analogy, you are the train that connects two different cities (or countries) over land or water. This line is made up of railway tracks, switches, and tunnels.

The railways feature on maps as lines bearing the name track number and direction (e.g. C-Train heading north). The tracks have to be carefully maintained so as not to become congested with trains and there are signal boxes at junctions that allow trains to know about any track work that needs doing or any signals that need changing to get through a junction safely.

The lines which carry the trains (the Internet) are broken up into sections that are known as “lanes”. For instance, the lines between London and Edinburgh would be a single lane. If three trains of different speeds were running along that lane then it could become congested. To ensure safe travel for all passengers, signals or “blips” give each train a route to follow by instructing them to wait for another signal at their next stop before moving on again.

In this analogy, you would be able to use a VPN service (much like the railway signal boxes) to change the directions from which you take those trains through any congested area so that you could move safely between your two cities (or countries).

Using a VPN service effectively shields you from congested networks protects you from hacker attacks by masking where you are, and can even make your internet run faster because it travels the route of less traffic.

Importance of a VPN

When you use a VPN service, there are a lot of gains. Some of them are

  1. Total internet anonymity
  2. Access to blocked websites and digital media
  3. Better security for your computer and personal information
  4. Wi-Fi security at public hotspots to avoid hackers, spies, and other threats
  5. Faster Internet speeds because you are bypassing local ISP servers [Bypassing ISP servers will mean that you are connecting directly to the sites you want to visits, rather than going through some middleperson who then connects you.]
  6. Worldwide network of VPN servers located in many countries all over the world. This allows you to choose which way your connection is routed meaning faster speeds or more server options depending on what use case you have in mind. More on this later!
  7. Proxy servers around the globe to choose from.

Disadvantages of using a VPN

As long as there are advantages, there are disadvantages too. Some of them are

  1. US and UK internet users only have access to a small number of VPN servers that are located in Asia, Europe or South America.
  2. You will have to give up access to your home country VPN server.
  3. As with all internet services and software, a VPN is another download you’d have to store on your device memory
  4. Some VPN providers will keep logs of what you do online and sell or give that information out to third parties without any official request or notification. This is why you have to select trusted VPN services.

How to select a VPN

There are a lot of factors you should consider when choosing the right VPN, some of them are:

  1. Location: As I mentioned before, there are only a few servers you can use to connect to from the USA and UK. So, if you want access to these servers, your first consideration should be where they are located in relation to your home country.
  2. Speed: Popular VPNs offer servers in various regions around the world. Choosing a VPN that has servers in your country will give you faster speeds.
  3. Encryption: Some encryption protocols are preferred by different organizations as they provide optimum security for your data. These encryption schemes include OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP and SSTP among others. You have to consider what type of encryption the ompany provides
  4. Safety: There are a few things that you should look for in a VPN. First and foremost, it’s important to know that your computer is secure. This means you should try out the service for free before signing up for anything else. You can’t judge the level of security until you’ve tested it out.
  5. Customer service: Customer service is extremely important if you want to make sure everything goes as planned when using the VPN. You should get in touch with the support team and inquire about what they can do for you. You can also ask if there are any bonuses or discounts that come with a service that is recommended by a friend or an industry expert.
  6. Customer reviews: If you can find some online customer reviews and feedback, you should check it out. These are great resources if you don’t know where to begin or if the company doesn’t have a product that is safe or trusted.

Conclusion

If you are looking for any security or privacy-related solution, a VPN should be the way to go. With one, your online activities and personal information stay safe from hackers and spies no matter where you are.

Thanks for reading. If this article helped you in any way, don’t forget to share it with others who may also want to read it.


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