Every click has the potential to be dangerous. Whether you are a regular person or a large global corporation, being safety conscious is critical in today's digital world. As a result, VPN technology has advanced significantly and is becoming more widely used in the private and corporate sectors.
A virtual private network (VPN) is a service that connects to your computer and sends and receives data across the internet on your behalf. When you set up and configure a VPN, your internet traffic goes through it, both inbound and outbound. This transmission should ideally be encrypted, and only the two parties that need access to the data should be able to utilize it.
Before we get into some of the significant benefits, we want to dive a little deeper into the VPN and how it works.
What is a Virtual Private Network?
A virtual private network is an encrypted connection from a device to a network. Whereas a normal private network is one that is set up at a physical location, i.e. your home network that you connect to via a router, a virtual network has no physical connection.
Instead, a network server encrypts all data that is sent and received between the connected device and the network. Because of this, not even the internet service provider can determine how much data is being transmitted or what that data is. It blocks web traffic, data usage, and online activity from being seen by anyone other than the two parties involved, the device and the network server.
Even search history and browsing history are kept private so that your actions on the web aren't able to be tracked by greedy data mining websites and tech companies.
What is a VPN Provider?
A VPN service provider is the company that runs the servers that you connect to and provides you the service. Free VPNs just allow you to connect to the network, while paid services offer support, enhanced security features, and regular updates.
In most cases you'll pay a fee to your provider to access the network but otherwise there is no interaction with any third party. Your data is encrypted end to end so there's no need to worry about the service provider trying to access your data.
Surfshark is one of the leaders in providing highly reliable and secure VPN services to customers who want to protect themselves while online.
Benefits of a VPN
Now that we've covered just what a VPN is, below we'll explain some of the benefits of using a VPN
The most compelling reason to utilize a VPN is for increased online security. Websites and applications may monitor your internet behavior in real-time and analyze the data they collect. A VPN can help keep the information you send and receive private and safe by preventing web browsers and others from viewing your connection. You may access the encrypted network from anywhere, which means your IP address, location, passwords, and data are protected from prospective hackers, major tech corporations, or whomever else could want to take advantage of you.
In a world where data misuse and identity theft are so common, the extra security provided by a VPN can literally save you time and money while allowing you to go about your business without fear or worry.
A core component of VPN security should always start with an antivirus program as well. The best providers use the strongest and most up to date antivirus software as part of their VPN security package.
Another advantage of utilizing a VPN connection service is that it gives you anonymous access to websites and online apps. This will eventually allow you to access geo-restricted services.
Netflix, for example, will only allow streaming from specific regions. A VPN can alter your IP address to make the content provider believe you're surfing in a different area or region where access is permitted. This will allow you to watch movies online, even if they are officially unavailable in your country. This will give you the most internet coverage possible.
Other apps and websites are completely restricted inside certain countries or regions meaning that they may be completely unavailable. Having a VPN gives you access to news and entertainment regardless of your location. This is an important benefit if you have to travel for work or just want to be able to watch your favorite shows and read the local news no matter where you wind up.
Using a VPN server you can even bypass restrictions on certain websites that may be banned in the country you are in.
Prevents Data and Bandwidth Throttling
When you've used up all of your allotted data, and your internet service provider (ISP) decides to slow down your connection, this is known as data throttling.
On the other side, bandwidth throttling occurs when your ISP or someone else with authority over your network purposely slows down your internet speed. When you visit specific websites or participate in certain internet activities, this might happen.
You can bypass a data cap by utilizing a VPN because no one, even your ISP, can see how much data you use. Additionally, the traffic generated by your device can be encrypted. Others will not be able to see the websites you are viewing because of it. As a result, you no longer have to worry about both problems.
A virtual private network allows you to fully utilize the services you are paying for without dealing with the nasty restrictions placed on you.
For instance, many people who rely on mobile hotspots to work are only allowed a small amount of data before their internet speed is slowed to crawl. Using a vpn, you can continue to use your hotspot indefinitely without having to worry about being throttled and having your internet connection slowed.
Safer Remote Working
We've talked a bit about being able to browse the internet safely and take advantage of the built in security of that many VPN services provide, but there's an extra layer of support for people that work remotely.
We've all been in situations where we're out working on our laptops or smart devices and we need to connect to public internet. The trouble is, using a public wifi network carries a ton of risk even with enhanced security.
There's a chance you could connect to the wrong network, someone could be phishing for data or the connection could just be completely unsecured. Using a VPN lets you connect without fear. The security measures provided by a VPN will hide your data, online activity, web traffic, browsing data, and even client data from any suspicious onlookers trying to gain access.
In other words, VPN advantages extend well beyond just your home or office network. Anywhere you need to connect you can handle the most sensitive of business without worrying about hackers and malicious actors.
Improved Internet in Rural Areas
Many times, if you don't live in a major city your choices for internet are very limited. You'll likely deal with slow speeds and low data caps which can make streaming and working incredibly difficult.
As an example, satellite internet providers generally give customers only a small amount of data usage before throttling them and during peak usage times customers are often throttled even without going over their data limit.
Using a VPN will bypass the throttling entirely allowing you to make the most of your connection even if you're far away from major internet service providers. It's even useful if you're camping, RVing or traveling on a boat to always make sure you have a stable and secure connection.
Buying Cheap Tickets And Other Services
Using a VPN to buy inexpensive airplane tickets is an ultimate secret that most people do not know. For various countries, each reservation center and airline operator has different pricing. To acquire a cheap airline ticket, seek a state with a low cost of living, compare it to the one you live in, connect via a VPN, then buy your ticket. This method is also applicable to other renting services.
Using your VPN service you can save on things like airline, train or other tickets, car rentals and more. You can even take advantage of region based pricing for streaming services like Netflix, where in certain regions the cost is much less.
Some services even offer free trials and extra perks to customers in emerging markets meaning you can take advantage of special deals outside of your actual location by using a VPN.
The last thing most of us want is to have to deal with all the restrictions on our internet usage while we're trying to have fun. When you're gaming you have to deal with slow internet speeds, lousy connections and the occasional angry gamer on the other end trying to cause trouble with DDos attacks and other malicious actions.
VPN services help solve the problems that gamers face. IP addresses are masked making remote access nearly impossible and by having a more secure connection you can eliminate the problems of poor internet and slow connection speed.
A VPN also lets you bypass geographical restrictions when gaming, meaning that you can choose to connect to a different server or play games that aren't normally available in your region. This means more worry free gaming and better connection speeds without someone monitoring your online activities.
One thing none of us want hacked is our financial information. However, no matter where we go and what we do, we have to handle financial transactions on a daily basis. Most of us have multiple financial apps on our phones and other smart devices, all of which could be at risk of being compromised.
Whether you're using mobile deposit to deposit a check, moving money around from one of the various money apps, or just trying to check your balance, you don't want to have to worry about someone stealing your info.
A virtual private network will allow you to make your transactions safely even on public wifi. Two way data encryption protects you on both ends so no matter what type of transaction you're trying to perform, you're covered.
Continuing with the thought of financial transactions is the fact that most of us do a ton of shopping online. While shopping online is convenient, it puts almost all of our data at risk. Not only do we have payment information at risk when we shop online, there's also name and address information, as well as our past shopping data that's all out there to be taken by anyone looking.
That's why online privacy is so important and a VPN gives you the safety and security you need to make purchases online.
Access to Social Media
Believe it or not, in some places, sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are banned. Imagine going on a trip and finding out you can't check your favorite social media apps and sites. VPN pros know that travel shouldn't mean you can't check your social media and by using VPN to set yourself at a specific location you can scroll your feeds without any hesitation.
If you find yourself blocked in one location it's quick and easy to put yourself in a different location and go back to what you enjoy doing.
What to Look Out For When Choosing a VPN Provider
You have a few different options when choosing a VPN service, but it helps to know what you're getting and whether or not you should shop around a bit before making a decision. There are two types of VPN providers and each one has its own benefits and advantages: We'll take a look at both so that you have the information you need to make the right choice for you.
Free VPN Services
There are several choices out there for those that want to make use of a VPN but who don't want to pay for a subscription. Free VPN providers offer many of the same benefits as a subscription service but it is not without some risks as well.
A free VPN typically has less security features than a paid subscription, meaning that if you use them on an open network, you run the risk of having your data security compromised. Additionally, the connection may not be as stable due to lower quality resources, resulting in slower connection speeds and the potential for connection drops.
A free VPN is a good option if you're looking to test the waters and save money before searching for the right service provider for you. Free VPNs are best used on a home network to prevent security issues and ensure a more stable connection.
VPN Subscription Services
The most popular type of VPN for VPN users is a paid subscription service. Through a paid subscription you get access to the full range of VPN benefits including online privacy, complete anonymity when browsing the web, using apps and services and sending or receiving data, and enhanced security to protect from web based threats.
Such services also have the benefit of constantly being up to date, offering the most advanced security and more stable connections than your typical internet service provider or any of the free VPN providers.
Choosing to go with a paid subscription will make sure you have a better online experience and is the right choice for anyone who prioritizes privacy and security above all else. You'll be able to use wi fi wherever you go without worrying about who's watching. Even when you're in other countries you'll still be able to go about your business without worrying about what particular location you are in.
Are There Any Risks to Using a VPN?
While there are many benefits to using a VPN while online, there are a couple of things you should be aware of, VPN blockers and the fact that specific locations have made VPNs illegal.
What is a VPN Blocker?
A VPN Blocker refers to methods that some countries and businesses use to block the connection between your device and the private network. The two most common ways that VPNs are blocked are when system administrators close the ports that the VPN needs to communicate with the server, essentially closing the tunnel between your device and the server.
Secondly, some countries may block foreign IP addresses, meaning anyone trying to connect from an IP address that is outside of the country cannot get through. There are some ways to get around VPN blocking, but in many cases VPN use is restricted if one of these methods is employed.
Why Are VPNs Illegal in Some Countries?
In countries like China for instance, the use of VPNs is highly illegal. This is because the government tightly controls all use of the internet and has made it so that no one can circumvent the rules that are in place. You'll find that many foreign IP addresses and websites are blocked due to government control.
To avoid any issues when traveling, it is a good idea to research whether or not VPNs are legal in the countries that you are traveling to. VPNs are legal in most nations, but it's always best to double check before trying to connect.
What to Look For in a VPN Service Provider
Now that you know a lot more about VPNs and their benefits, we want to touch on just what it is you should be looking for in a VPN service provider.
Without a doubt the most important thing to look for when choosing a VPN is the type of security they offer. You'll want to make sure that not only is the encryption the best around, but that the VPN also has the latest antivirus software to catch and eliminate potential threats.
When you connect you want to be protected from not only third parties trying to mine your data, but also anyone who would try to harm your device or cause damage.
Having outdated encryption would defeat the purpose of using a VPN. The encryption and identity protection when browsing the web and using apps is the driving force behind the existence of VPNs. Therefore, when you're looking at which provider to use, make sure they use the most up to data encryption methods to protect your data.
Nobody want sot deal with a slow connection, at the least when we're trying to get things done. One of the primary things to look for in your VPN provider is that hey have robust and fast connections so that you don't have to worry about slow downs ruining your work. After all, one of the main benefits of using a VPN is being able to bypass throttling and poor connections.
It's important to remember that not all VPNs are created equal. If you're moving from place to place you may find that with some providers you aren't able to access all the things you're used to back home.
The best way to avoid these restrictions is to look for a VPN that is available no matter where you travel. The best providers will make sure that you have access to your network no matter how remote the location you travel to is.
Whether it's your first time setting up a VPN or you're a seasoned pro, one thing you don't want to do without is support from the provider themselves. Setting up your first VPN can get tricky and may require a little help and even if you've been using one for a while, things can change and then you find yourself in need of support.
The best providers will be ready and waiting to help you with whatever it is you need so that when you connect you know that someone is there for you.
Another concern that often gets overlooked is what happens if you change devices or operating systems and you can't connect to your VPN anymore. A simple device change shouldn't bar you from using your VPN so it's important to make sure that the service provider you choose is available on as many different devices with as many different operating systems as possible so that no matter what you're using you'll still be able to connect.
People are seeking the most effective methods for avoiding being monitored while surfing. One of the most accessible options for this will be a VPN. If you're looking for a VPN connection, seek one that can truly meet your requirements. The disadvantages of using a free VPN over the internet include the limited number of location possibilities and harsh restrictions. As a result, paying for a real VPN is the best way to assure decent connectivity, speed, and data security.
There you have it, our list of some of the significant benefits of using a VPN plus all the facts you need to know about VPNs and how they work. We hope this post helps you if you decide to use a VPN for yourself.
If you're looking for all the benefits of a world class VPN service provider, then check out Surfshark. You'll get the latest in antivirus and malware protection, account protection with built in alerts, complete encryption of all internet activity and confidential information, and world class support.