If you are familiar with the internet then you are probably aware of terms like browsing, data security, and hackers. It can be unclear how these things might affect you though.
It is easy to open up Chrome and start searching for websites and downloading content without paying too much thought to what else might be going on that is hidden from sight.
It is vital to look after yourself and your information while online and using a VPN is one way to do this.
If you are unsure what a VPN is read here
A VPN is a way to hide your address online and at the same time encrypt the data traveling to and from your computer to other websites.
It is a little more complicated than that and a visit to fortunelords.com can give you some information on how to compare free VPNs for your home or business computer. VPNs are called Virtual Private Networks as they make a pretend address for you to fool other sites. By using one in the US you could be shown online as in Ukraine if you so wished.
Reasons to use a VPN
There are a whole host of reasons any website surfer should use a VPN and the most common one is to access restricted sites. This doesn’t mean anything illegal it just means sites that are geo-blocked or restricted in your country. Of course VPNs can also be used for torrenting legal files too.
Geo-blocked and other restricted websites
One very popular use – around 50% of users in fact – of VPNs is to access sites that would not normally be available to them. This might be because they are based in countries such as China, Iran, or Turkey. Countries like North Korea restrict access to the internet from the local population and a VPN is a way around that. Unfortunately in these countries, the use is prohibited.
Streaming movie sites
Other examples of geo-blocked sites are platforms like Netflix being accessed from restricted countries. VPNs are a way to visit and use foreign versions of these websites. This means members traveling abroad can view their home sites and also look at overseas libraries.
Online security and data protection
A very good reason and maybe the most important is to protect your personal data. A VPN encrypts all the information that is sent from your device to any external servers. This means it masks all your data from prying eyes.
The reasons for this should be clear but if not then consider all the information you have typed into your laptop or phone over time. These would probably include your credit card details, date of birth, home address, bank account and sort code, and an array of passwords and usernames.
A lot of web browsers offer incognito ways to search the internet. However, these are the same companies that might be recording our data normally so you might want further protection. A VPN can give you anonymity when searching.
Many people might think you would only want this if you were doing something nefarious or illegal but this is not the case. There are many reasons for wanting anonymity. It could be someone else has access to your computer on a network or you don’t want any authority or your Government to record your searches for personal reasons.
Safety when traveling or working abroad
When you move about you will be using a variety of unknown and strange networks. It pays to up your security and a VPN can do this. If you are working and accessing your employer’s network then some extra cover can only be good. Remote working needs extra tools and a VPN is an essential one. It doesn’t pay to expose your business data through lax security.
Also, you may need to access websites that are again restricted by local authorities. It may be as simple as you needing to do some research but the sites you need are deemed undesirable or are heavily filtered.
Although many people often assume that if you are wanting to hide your online activity then you must be up to no good this is usually not the case. Using a VPN can improve your streaming and entertainment experience including online games. It can allow access to sites you normally couldn’t see purely because of location, and importantly, it can protect your valuable data and information. Hackers are just keen to grab your financial and personal details and use them so a VPN makes perfect sense in this day and age. One bonus is there are many free versions to download so cost isn’t an issue.