What Is A VPN?
Nowadays, everyone connects frequently to a public Wi-Fi network (in a coffee shop or airport) to browse the world wide web.
But did you know that doing so can make you vulnerable to snoopers and data breaches?
Well, with a VPN (a virtual private network), you can secure your information as you browse the internet. With this tool, you can hide your IP address together with your identity and location. Using a VPN assures you that no one else can see what you’re doing online as it encrypts the traffic passing through your connection.
If you want to know more about choosing a VPN, please stick with us as we guide you through the ins and outs of using a VPN.
Why Do You Need A Virtual Private Network?
More than 90% of the global population uses the internet. That’s why the best way to keep your personal information safe while online is to use a VPN connection.
Additionally, here are some other compelling reasons why you should use a VPN on each internet-connected device you own.
What Should You Look In A VPN Service Provider?
There are a lot of variables that you should consider when choosing a VPN service provider. When you choose a VPN, make sure to include the following on your checklist:
There are other similar criteria that you will have to consider. But here’s a thing to remember: it’s important to ask if you have concerns. A healthy client-provider relation is essential in optimizing your VPN experience.
Who Needs A Private IP Address?
Since most of the world’s population connects to the internet, you have to make sure your devices and personal data are safe from hackers roaming around.
Nevertheless, the majority of those who use VPN services are usually in constant need of them. If you want more information, here’s a list of who they are:
People Who Understand the Digital World
A main priority for many is to keep safe on the internet. Virtual Private Networks which are widely used by tech-savvy individuals, keep them safe from hackers and third parties.
In addition, secure VPN is available for every gadget they own (e.g., their mobile device and personal computers) and will ensure that they can enjoy an uninterrupted and secure online experience.
As studies show, teenagers mostly use the internet to connect with others, chat with friends, and shop online. One can no longer avoid making their personal information accessible online in this era. To protect their privacy, teenagers should connect to a VPN when browsing the internet for their security and privacy.
A significant number of working adults need internet access for simple convenience. They use their network connection to buy things online, use streaming services, and complete work tasks.
Even though providing your credit card details online means an increased risk of a data breach, you shouldn’t let that worry you. With a VPN server your online activity is kept secure and private.
In order to create privacy for your company’s network, it is crucial to implement VPN service for all your devices. Not only does this service keep outsiders from accessing your network (and IP address), but it also encrypts your data so that nobody, including your internet service provider, can gain access to your location or private information.
No matter where you are, you’ll be able to connect privately and securely to the internet. VPNs also allow employees to get into an organization’s internal network and data from remote access.
Moreover, the service data center, and the data itself, are protected with a secure tunneling protocol that encrypts data that is transmitted between an individual’s device and local network.
Your Go-To Guide On Keeping Information Private When Using
If we are shopping in a mall, in an airport, or even in our favorite public spots like coffee shops or restaurants, one of our concerns is the availability of Wi-Fi. We always want to update our Instagram stories or contact somebody in emergencies. This is not shocking, especially with the ITRC’s recent survey that out of four people, three of them use free public wi-fi.
But there’s an alarming concern when using public wi-fi – it isn’t secure! While it’s true that there are mechanisms of security like a password to log in, it doesn’t ensure safety in your online activities. Public wi-fi is free, but it’s also a free space for hackers to get your personal information.
And this is what we will be talking about in our Go-to Guide List.
So hang in there as we present you the tips to keep your information private when using public wi-fi.
Invest in a VPN
VPN or Virtual Private Network remains the most secure means to keep your information private while browsing in public networks.
The VPN encrypts your data traffic and acts as a tunnel that connects a user to a server. This tunnel provides invisibility to hackers so they could not access your data or any activities you do when connecting to public Wi-Fi.
They are also used to mask your IP and appear like you are in a different place.
But you must be aware that there are VPNs that are superior to the others. Some, especially the paid ones, will give you additional security.
Enable your Firewall System
If you have a firewall, turn it on. It will prevent hackers from accessing your devices. But keep in mind that a firewall does not guarantee full security. But regardless of this, it should still be turned on to fortify your defenses.
It is useful, especially from barring malware and data-based threats. It also monitors networks and assures you if a site is safe to navigate. A firewall would immediately block
Have an Antivirus Installed
Antivirus software doesn’t just protect your data from attacks by viruses. It also helps with your safety when using public wi-fi. It does this by detecting possible malware that gets into your devices. Hackers use the public wi-fi to disseminate these in the shared network.
You might also want to always update your antivirus program to its latest versions. It will keep your antivirus more effective as it gets equipped with new features that make its security more efficient.
Make use of HTTPS
If you still find installing VPNs time-consuming and difficult, you can keep yourself reasonably safe from possible hackers in the public wi-fi networks through visiting sites that are encrypted.
To do this, you will only have to look for “HTTPS” among the visit links. It means that the website is encrypted, so the connection of the web server and your browser are secured to any hackers who plan to eavesdrop or tamper your online activities. A padlock symbol before the link address is also an indication of encryption.
Frequently Asked Questions On VPN
There is a trend in the VPN service industry where the heightened demand for digital safety has propelled the growth of the VPN market. This allowed companies to use false promises of zero logs, anonymity, and security to appear competitive and relevant. To make things worse, some tech frauds offer zero or minimal transparency on their VPN service or flawed user data management that places their clients in a dangerous situation.
With this, it is not news that there are untruths and misconceptions on the basics of VPN that would easily sway beginners.
But hang in there!
We compiled a list of frequently asked questions to cast light on the misunderstandings concerning VPN services.
Well, it depends on what you consider as a threat level scenario. A reliable provider is enough when you are using public Wi-Fi networks. Similarly, you can use VPN when accessing gaming services or streaming your favorite show on Hulu and Netflix.
But it is a different situation when you are avoiding state surveillance systems. A single VPN won’t help you. In fact, you would need to proceed to a more rigid protection system through a combination of a Tor browser, VPN, I2P, or Onion router to help you fortify your defenses. But, with the advancement of technology systems, advanced set-ups, and capable experts, even these procedures may not protect you once you are against state surveillance.
But here’s a tip!
You may evade this by simply becoming a law-abiding citizen. But if you just want a little privacy online, VPN would suffice.
Before you proceed with buying one, you might also want to check up on the background of your chosen provider. This includes their customer testimonials, privacy policies, laws on applicable data retentions, and even their jurisdiction. Some countries restrict the use of VPNs, like China, Russia, Thailand, and Saudi Arabia. You surely don’t want to be in trouble using VPNs in these countries, though some would argue that is the primary reason for getting a VPN.
Simply knowing what a VPN is would not be sufficient. One common concept among VPN users is “zero logs.” To understand its meaning, we have to know what are the varieties of logs.
Connection Logs- This refers to your connection’s metadata, including the span of time you consumed the moment you connected to the VPN, the frequency to which you connect to the VPN, and the total amount of data that you consumed.
Usage Logs- This pertains to the website visited, the online activities you participated in while connecting to VPN, and the identities you have utilized.
The “zero logs” mean complete erosion of the entire logs. Most of the time, the usage logs are heavily compromised where it is kept for a limited time, usually lasting for hours or several days. So if your VPN provider fails to mention the erasure of your data, including the connection log, it’s time to find a new one.
The answer to this inquiry is obvious. It is your responsibility as a consumer to read all terms before buying. This is more crucial, especially on VPN privacy terms, to ensure that your critical questions and concerns are answered. Refusal to provide transparency is a red flag on your provider, and you can’t pinpoint that if you haven’t read the document.
In terms of the zero logs, one sad truth on the reality of VPN service providers is that some of them would purposely choose not to erase these logs for the sake of user profiling and tracking. They include this in their lengthy and complexly written Terms of Service and Privacy Policies hoping that their clients won’t read this. If you caught them lying, they would have these documents as a backup, and it will be your fault as a customer for not being informed of your deal.
And you don’t want that!
There’s a reason why some people seek the anonymity and security offered by VPN, as they don’t want their logs exposed. If you’re among those people, you can ensure that your VPN provider is trusted through in-depth reviews. You can also take note of the following points:
Some countries compel the providers of zero-logs VPN to record the information of particular individuals.
There is terminology called “fourteen eyes” that refers to countries of providers that you must avoid when purchasing VPNs. They do not assure complete security of your logs.
I am into Torrenting. Is it safe with a VPN?
You should understand when talking about VPN that it doesn’t just function as a tool to mask your IP address. It also protects your data. The means of doing this is through encryption. It refers to converting your data into a cipher that will only be readable by an authorized user.
So what happens is that your data remains accessible and can be intercepted but becomes unreadable. The technicalities of encryption are complex. But you should know that a VPN utilizes protocols like OpenVPN, L2TP, SSTP, PPTP, and IKEv2. You should also know that:
The current standard for privacy is OpenVPN.
If you are into mobile devices, it is advisable not to use L2TP IPSec.
Do not use PPTP.
With a VPN client, you can have a secured connection between the internet and your devices. It works by sending all your data traffic through an encrypted virtual tunnel. This tool then hides the IP address you’re using, which keeps you safe from any third-party attacks.
The answer is yes! But before that, you have to put this in mind.
VPN is among the striving businesses which retained its unregulated market on the internet. Some providers allocate a portion of their capital to boost their reviews, inflate their website rating, and make themselves appear reliable and trusted. There is also a striving business of bloggers and affiliate programs that gives sponsored reviews on these VPN providers.
This is only natural because every provider is participating in a competition. It is up to the user to be critical of these reviews and be mindful of their purchase.
But don’t fret! Here are a few tips for identifying reviews so you can identify which among them are genuine and which are sponsored:
Sponsored reviews tend to exaggerate their praises and downplay negatives.
Be suspicious of the reviews on providers under investigation or those that security experts warn.
A review can’t be all positive. It must have a subjective take that has a reasonable criticism.
Reviews that sound like an advertisement are a red flag.
Some reviews are mentioning the provider’s name over and over again. This is a strategy for a provider to make you retain the VPN company’s name and subconsciously affect your decision.
The means to know this is to ask your provider if they permit P2P and support the torrenting servers. But just to be sure, a simple check on your DNS leads for you to know if your IP address is leaked will increase your security even more.
It is also important to take note of what happens when torrenting. Well, it only reveals your IP to everyone who is downloading the same file. But VPN will mask it for you. It will showcase the IP provided by your VPN.
For some VPN companies, infringement notices are common. So they may resort to giving their client’s details or disconnect their offenders to wipe their slate clean. Some are also ignoring the notices. So if you are into P2P, make sure that your VPN will not turn on you.
A reliable provider, if you found one, does not ensure a 100% hassle-free VPN connection. It tends to fail occasionally. When you lose that connection, it means your VPN connection was terminated, revealing your real IP address. The solution that providers came up with is to develop a kill switch feature.
So what the VPN kill switch does is to shut your internet connection at times when your VPN connection is terminated. It ensures that you don’t expose your data until your VPN connection comes back.
Instead of a kill switch, other users have used the firewall solution to secure your data once you lose your VPN connection.