Let’s start at the very beginning. What is a VPN? Virtual Private Networks, popularly referred to as VPN, create an encrypted channel between the user and a remotely operating server run by the VPN provider. Now you must have heard about residential VPN. If you didn’t, I must tell you it is a service that allows you to appear as an ordinary user only while browsing the internet and route your IP address through residential devices only. Due to this, all your activities around the World Wide Web are routed via the encrypted tunnel. It is meant to secure the user’s data while concealing their IP address from interfering eyes. As the traffic exits the encrypted virtual server, your connected devices get the IP address of that server instead of your own, hiding your online identity and vicinity.
Even at a safe place like your home, where you can assure no one is spying on you, the internet providers keep track of what you’re doing online. In addition to being tracked by social networking sites and ISPs, the most interesting fact is that they make money out of your personal information – selling the consumers’ profiles as data directories for marketing and influencing the masses.
What is VPN Technology, and Why do We Need it?
Over the span of years, VPN technology has evolved in its significance from something “nice to have” to a “must-have” for everyone who spends time browsing online. The common concerns behind this rise in VPN popularity include digital privacy, data vulnerability, protection against prominent companies selling their user’s information externally for multiple reasons, etc. As a matter of fact, there is a list of reasons why people now regularly use VPNs than ever before, and we have tried to jot some of them down in this article. With the advent of faster internet connections like cox internet that enables 24×7 connectivity with the digital world, the information in each device is also vulnerable to innumerable threats.
Due to progressive or regressive policies, some countries have narrowed the access to their websites to residents only or have blocked some locations they don’t want to give free entryways to. VPN enables its users to bypass geographical restrictions and get access to data without hassle. That being said, there are smart governments, too, namely China and Russia, that have blocked the usage of VPNs in their countries.
Can VPN Work on All Devices?
Yes, VPN is needed for all devices starting from cell phones and laptops to tablets, etc. VPN apps also are available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iPhones. However, it is relatively difficult to connect on cellular connections because it takes an intense amount of effort to capture smartphone data. Still, some intelligence agencies and law enforcement authorities make use of mobile data or expert tools to crack the content shell open.
Moreover, when your devices get connected at Starbucks or the airport, are you even sure about the authenticity? Is the open connection even legit? It is highly possible a thief left that Wi-Fi port to steal your banking information by accessing your device. Just to be safe, it is highly recommended not to make transactions or access anything confidential when connected to a public network. Instead, use a VPN as an added measure of safety to protect your data from interested onlookers.
Where does a VPN fail?
There are scenarios and conditions where even a VPN cannot be of help. For example, cookies let companies keep track of your internet activities even when you are not on their website anymore. Another bad news is that not all devices can get VPN apps to secure their functionality, including certain smart gadgets and some games that can connect with Wi-Fi. However, there are methods to ditch that too, where you use a VPN-protected internet.
Where does a VPN become crucial?
Most of the apps on our devices have the auto-connect option automatically enabled, due to which passwords are saved in them forever, even if we do not use them frequently. In this article, we will further explore the possible and popular reasons why we need a VPN for concealing our online activities and identity. Below are some reasons why VPN is becoming more important.
1. Secure Communication
With everything getting digital, our communication landscape has shifted to the virtual world now. Simple text messages have taken the shape of messaging apps. Examples are WhatsApp chats, Skype conversations, and popular social networking interactions, including those conducted on Facebook and Snapchat, which have changed the way we express our thoughts.
The security concerns surfaced when the users realized their data isn’t encrypted, that their privacy is not as strong as it should be, and that their communication is being read by the apps. Then came VPN to the rescue, promising to uphold confidentiality and security on social media platforms so as to keep the communication private as they are supposed to be.
Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP is a kind of revolutionary technology that facilitates digital voice communication in contrast to conventional phone lines by channeling it via the internet. The disadvantage of doing this is that rather than appointing personal lines for subscription, VoIP can be scrutinized in great quantities, which is why it needs a strong encryption shield, such as the one VPN provides, in order to successfully privatize the calls and make things complicated for spies.
3. Online Gaming
It might sound like a bad idea at first to use a VPN for playing online games, but it does have some benefits. For beginners, it provides anonymity, which makes it safe for someone to keep their account credentials, like banking details, saved in the game profile. Moreover, VPN can also be used to get rid of geographical restrictions, such that an American traveling outside the country will still be able to play their favorite games on the go.
In some scenarios, VPN also delivers faster and better internet connectivity and lets you connect to a speedier gaming server, which you might not be able to link to without a VPN network. Lastly, VPN gets you stronger protection and saves you from potential threats from gaming rivals who hold a grudge against you.
4. Ditch Geographical Censorship
Some governments are highly sensitive when it comes to sharing their information and data online with everyone or in certain countries. They are not on very good terms. Another aspect of it is that they discourage communication between the residents of the respective countries. Online censorship is practiced frequently despite the validity of the reasons for doing so. Anyone traveling to these countries would also be subjected to such censorship. A VPN, however, helps in this scenario by allowing users to bypass restrictions and enjoy free browsing, surfing, and communicating with people living outside.
5. Secure Public Wi-Fi
When you are not connected to a safe and secure Wi-Fi at home or office and linked to a public Wi-Fi, your devices become vulnerable to harmful threats and malware. Depending upon the intensity of the bugs, transferring viruses and malware can be extremely harmful and may potentially damage the connected devices forever, regardless of their nature. A VPN protects your publically hooked devices, including tablets, laptops, and mobile phones, against viruses and malware.
Surfing the web on an open, public Wi-Fi exposes your data, personal and professional, photos, passwords, and banking details to significant risk. There are fake Wi-Fi connections available at public places with the intention of stealing your confidential information. So, getting a VPN does prove worthwhile if you’re a frequent traveler and happen to work at coffee shops more.
6. Your Privacy Under Your Control
VPN has become essential to protect everything online from external eyes and unwanted access. Particularly emails that are chockful of information, websites that carry database or confidential data, and cloud storage, as they are some of the most common destinations for hackers and can potentially hold more damage than anything else. A VPN shields these sensitive points of data access and brings your privacy back under your control.
What is a VPN – The Bottom line
In this piece on VPN significance, we have tried to discuss the most common reasons why VPN is becoming crucial for staying protected online across all your devices. VPN has a long list of benefits, from getting entertained irrespective of the geo-restrictions to buying or selling anything online, communication without any limitations, access to unlimited content worldwide, to protecting our data in our devices from hackers or malware, and concealing our whereabouts and personal details from getting tracked or being spied upon. Some VPN apps slow down online activities as it’s encrypted or simply because of a bad server.
So, in order to avoid undergoing any such situation, get yourself a stable and steady internet connection to ensure a safe and smooth digital experience. Also, do share your experiences with VPNs and the topmost useful VPNs on the market.