With the decline in online privacy and increasing number of cyber attacks, Internet users feel the need to learn how to protect themselves when going online. Therefore, more and more people discover the benefits of virtual private networks (VPNs).
However, if you don’t have a VPN yet and are wondering what it does or how it works, you have come to the right place. In this article, we go over the basics of virtual private networks to help you understand them and decide whether or not you need one.
VPN stands for a virtual private network and refers to software that is used to encrypt users’ Internet traffic and mask their online identity by hiding their IP address. Therefore, the main purpose of this technology is to help you stay secure and private when browsing the Internet.
Typically, when you connect to the Internet, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) receives the request and redirects you to the website you intend to visit. As your Internet traffic passes through your ISPs, they can see everything you do online. What’s more, they can track users’ behavior and sell their personal details to advertisers and other third parties.
Here’s when a VPN comes into play. It redirects your Internet traffic through a remote VPN server, this way hiding your IP address and encrypting all of the information that is sent or received. With a VPN on, all the data you send and receive travels via an encrypted tunnel so that nobody can steal your private information or spy on your online activities.
As you already know, a VPN ensures that nobody, not even your ISP, can see where you go or what you do on the Internet. The only thing visible to them is the fact that you are using a VPN service. Here’s what also happens due to this setup:
Using a VPN is by far the most reliable way to protect your privacy and secure your online activities. A VPN hides your IP address and encrypts all the traffic you send and receive, meaning that:
However, remember that safety directly depends on the company that provides the VPN service. For example, NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy and uses two security protocols: OpenVPN with 2048-bit SSL encryption and the 3072-bit IKEv2/IPsec that is currently the most secure protocol available. Additional security features, such as DNS leak protection and double data encryption, are also available. What’s more, the NordVPN service is based in Panama, which has no data retention laws, meaning that none of your data is recorded, stored or passed to anyone.
It is true that there’s no privacy online as we are watched and tracked everywhere we go on the Internet. What websites we visit, what pop-ups we click on, what clothes we buy and what we search for – all this information is collected by our ISPs, advertisers, governments and other third parties.
Unfortunately, no magic tool can make you completely anonymous when browsing the web, but getting a VPN is the best you can do to stay private and safe in the digital world. On top of that, VPNs have a couple of additional benefits and are also used for streaming, P2P or bypassing censorship. Usually, Internet users turn to VPN services for these main reasons:
When you use a VPN, your ISP doesn’t have the freedom to control your connection speed or restrict your access to certain websites or services.While the main purpose of VPN services is to protect your data from snoopers, hackers and malicious online threats, it’s completely up to you how you choose to use your VPN service.
Although more and more Internet users join the VPN trend, many people still think that using a VPN service is some kind of rocket science. While it’s true that some digital security tools can be a little confusing and “geeky,” many decent VPN service providers design their apps to be intuitive and easy-to-use.
For example, NordVPN offers a safe, fast and fuss-free VPN service for major operating systems: Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. In fact, downloading, setting up and starting using NordVPN is as easy as using any other app. The process is quick and simple, so you will be ready to secure your browsing in a few minutes.
With all that has been already said, you want to look for a VPN service that is reliable, secure and easy-to-use. Besides, when choosing a VPN, it is extremely important to take into consideration:
If you are still not sure which VPN provider is the best for protecting your privacy, take your time to browse the web. There are plenty of VPN comparison websites providing objective and in-depth reviews to help you choose. Also, don’t be afraid to try different providers – some of them offer free trial period so that you can have the freedom to take their service for a test drive and quit if you are not satisfied.
Once you have the NordVPN app on your device, it doesn’t get any easier than this: pick any server, and your traffic immediately gets protected. Here are some tips on how to make use of some NordVPN benefits and get the best VPN experience:
These days, when we don’t let our smartphones off our hands, it’s extremely easy for snoopers to monitor and track us everywhere we go, both online and off. So the sooner you start securing your Internet activities with a trusted VPN service, the better for your privacy.