HTTPS and VPNs do similar things in different ways, so it’s understandable why some people confuse the two. Both are tools used to protect internet users and their privacy, but luckily, when it comes to HTTPS vs. VPN, you can easily use both. Learn what HTTPS and VPNs do, what they have in common, and how they differ.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, or HTTPS, is a connection protocol that web browsers use to communicate with websites. “Secure” is the most important part – HTTPS employs the TLS encryption protocol to secure data shared between users and websites. It also performs authentication to ensure that both parties are who they say they are and verifies that the data being sent hasn’t been tampered with.
If a site uses HTTPS, your ISP or someone snooping on your connection can only see what website you visited, not what you did there. Therefore, it’s very important to check whether the website you use for online shopping, for example, uses HTTPS. If it doesn’t, your name, contact and credit card information could get stolen. To find out if the site you are browsing uses HTTPS, check your browser’s URL bar. Most display a lock icon next to the URL if HTTPS is enabled.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network), on the other hand, creates an encrypted tunnel between the user's device and a server. In addition to your browser, all other traffic from your device is encrypted and hidden from your ISP and other third parties as well. The only thing they can see is that you are connected to a VPN server – nothing else.
Each of these tools is better at different things, and they work great together to keep you secure. If you want safe, private, and unrestricted internet access, you need both.
The best part is that you don't have to choose between the two – using them both together is easy! By always keeping your VPN on and only browsing HTTPS sites when you go online, you'll be much more secure.
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