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VPN security: what makes a safe VPN?

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VPN services act as a shield against cyber threats and online snoops for internet users

How secure is a VPN?

VPN users route their internet traffic through a VPN server for secure and private internet access

A VPN, or virtual private network, is one of the best ways to enjoy security and privacy on the web. It is just as important as the antivirus software on your computer and mobile devices. A secure VPN will cloak your data in robust online encryption, obscuring your internet activity from prying eyes.

But like with many online privacy tools, whether you have a truly secure VPN depends on the service you’re using. Some free or cheap VPN services cut corners when it comes to their infrastructure and user privacy to make a buck at any cost. So picking the right one is just as important as using the VPN in the first place.

How does VPN security work?

NordVPN protects you from snoops and man-in-the-middle attacks when you’re using Wi-Fi

A VPN protects your online life by encrypting your internet traffic and hiding your real IP address.

From the moment you connect to a VPN server, all data you send and receive is hidden from your ISP, government agencies, and other third parties. You also get a new IP, which hides your virtual location and makes your actions online difficult to track. All of this means that your identity is protected, and your private data stays private — no matter what.

What makes a safe VPN?

So how do you pick the best VPN security for the safest internet activity? Here are the main elements indicating a secure VPN.

NordVPN offers a high-speed VPN connection thanks to thousands of VPN servers around the world

Robust data encryption

VPN encryption creates a secure “tunnel” that connects your computer to the internet through a remote server. The “tunnel” is protected with something called Advanced Encryption Standard, or AES-256, one of the best encryption algorithms available. What makes it so great? For one, it’s used to defend several government organizations around the world and is highly recommended by several cybersec experts.

A secure VPN can protect your internet activity on mobile devices from dangerous online threats

No data tracking

What you do online is your business. That’s why picking a VPN that will keep your browsing activities private is crucial. NordVPN doesn’t collect, sell, or track your data – ever. Enjoy privacy and security without worrying about snoopers.

IP address leaks hurt online privacy because they reveal your real location even with a VPN service

No IP address leaks

One of the main functions of a VPN service is to hide your real IP address, ensuring your privacy. If a VPN provider were to leak your IP, it would partly defeat the purpose of using a VPN in the first place. Leaks usually happen due to two internet protocols, IPv4 and IPv6, and their incompatibility. To prevent that, a part of NordVPN’s solution involves disabling most IPv6 traffic to ensure that user traffic is secure.

DNS leaks on web browsers hurt your online privacy by revealing your online activities to others

No DNS leaks

DNS servers change the plain text url like “nordvpn.com” into an IP address. So even if your IP stays hidden, your DNS could still reveal your location. A good VPN will take extra steps to prevent this from happening. To prevent a DNS leak, NordVPN only uses DNS servers operated by NordVPN. Try a VPN test to make sure it’s working ok.

If you disconnect from a VPN, the Kill Switch blocks your internet connection to protect your data

Kill Switch

Kill Switch is another way to ensure your traffic stays safe at all times. If your connection drops, even for a moment when hopping from one VPN server to another, Kill Switch instantly blocks your device from accessing the internet. Your internet connection will stay blocked until disconnect from the server manually or if the secure tunnel is re-established.

Protecting NordVPN accounts with multi-factor authentication greatly improves user security

Multi-factor authentication

If the VPN provider of your choice has multi-factor authentication, you know it cares about user security. No one is completely immune to phishing or malware – that’s why extra caution can go a long way to protect your data. Enable it and enjoy the benefits of multi-factor authentication. It will protect your account even if your password gets leaked.

What makes NordVPN secure?

NordVPN is more than a VPN. Aside from all the elements a secure VPN must have, it boasts plenty of extra security features, so you can surf the net with more privacy.

NordVPN comes with the Threat Protection feature for greater user security against common hazards

Threat Protection

Enable the Threat Protection feature for next level of security on the web. It works as an ad blocker, tracker blocker, and malware protection. It also prevents you from stumbling on dangerous websites if you click on a malicious link.

A secure VPN from a trusted VPN provider protects your browsing activity and internet activity

Dark Web Monitor

NordVPN’s Dark Web Monitor scans the shadier parts of the internet for leaked credentials that may belong to you. If it comes across a leaked database with your login information, it will alert you so you can change the passwords of your accounts instantly.

Split tunneling lets internet users pick what part of their internet traffic they want to encrypt

Split tunneling

Want to keep your actual IP when surfing the web but secure the internet traffic on some apps? Have both with split tunneling. It enables you to customize which apps you want to cloak with a VPN connection while leaving others out of the encrypted tunnel.

Using public Wi-Fi without a secure VPN can expose your internet traffic to dangerous third parties

Auto-connect

Switch on the auto-connect option and never worry about forgetting to secure your data again. It will automatically connect to a VPN server whenever you join a Wi-Fi network. So whether you’re using a public hotspot or hopping on your own Wi-Fi, your data stays safe.

VPN services protect online privacy by hiding your IP address and cloaking your virtual location

Obfuscated servers

Traveling to a more restrictive location? Hide the fact that you’re rerouting your internet traffic through a VPN server with obfuscated servers. This action changes your data packets, so tools that are meant to block VPN traffic let it pass.

The Double VPN feature routes your internet traffic through two secure VPN servers for extra safety

Double VPN

Browse the net with an extra layer of privacy with Double VPN servers. Once you connect to a Double VPN server, it reroutes your connection through two VPN servers instead of one. So your data gets encrypted twice and your IP changes two times.

VPN servers absorb attacks against IP address (like DDoS attacks) to keep internet users safe

Onion Over VPN

Enjoy the benefits of both a VPN and the Onion network. When you connect to Onion Over VPN, your traffic goes through one of our servers, then passes through an Onion network, and only then reaches the internet. No need for a specialized browser.

VPN services let internet users safely enjoy their favorite content from home while traveling

Browser extensions

Secure your traffic on web browsers. Want a more lightweight option? Check out our browser extensions for smooth and secure internet access.

NordVPN is available on major platforms, including convenient browser extensions for web browsers

Multiple devices

One account, six devices. Download NordVPN on your laptop, phone, or tablet, and secure your digital life everywhere. NordVPN has apps for all the major operating systems, so you can stay safe on any device.

Why do you need a secure VPN?

NordVPN protects your data traffic on multiple devices at once, with apps for all major platforms

For online privacy

Your online activities are your business. Don’t let strangers, advertisers, or your ISP snoop on you when you’re surfing the net.

AES-256 is an unbreakable padlock on your online activities — only you have the encryption key

For digital security

Protect your personal information from criminals with robust encryption. Dodge scams and malware with Threat Protection.

NordVPN operates VPN servers in dozens of countries, letting you easily change your IP address

For internet freedom

Travel without leaving your sofa. Connect to one of NordVPN’s 5500+ servers in 60 locations and enjoy complete internet freedom.

Online privacy and user security make VPNs a powerful tool against online censorship

For a smoother online experience

Forget about intrusive ads and annoying pop-ups. Enjoy security and speed with a secure and lightning-fast VPN.

What are some VPN security issues and threats?

Security threats come with cheap or free VPNs. If you’re not paying for their product or its price is very low, VPN providers still have to make a buck somehow. Some of them collect your data and sell it to third party advertisers, while others skimp on ensuring secure and functioning infrastructure. This way they’re prone to things like IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks.

Frequently asked questions

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