Security is a major concern for people using the internet. From protecting your personal information to having control over what information you browse. VPNs offer a secure connection from your device to other online networks. If you are wondering what a VPN is and if you need one, then you’re in luck. Here is everything you need to know about what a VPN is, how VPNs work, and more.
WHAT IS A VPN?
A VPN, or virtual private network, connects your device to another computer. This other computer is called a server and allows you to browse the internet using that computer’s connection. As a result, it appears as if you are accessing the internet from a different device. This can help protect your personal information when using a public Wi-Fi source or even allow you to browse websites or information that might be restricted in your country. For example, Netflix has some shows available in one country but not another, so you can use a VPN to access new content online.
HOW DOES A VPN WORK?
Again, a VPN connects to a third-party server to allow users to browse information securely and anonymously. Because all your online activity is routed through a server, your browsing information appears as the IP address of the server you are using, thus effectively hiding your identity and location.
When a user connects to a VPN, it’s through a secure tunnel, so their data is encoded. How much or little your VPN affects your browsing and device will depend on the VPN software you choose and how it is installed on your device.
HOW TO INSTALL A VPN
The first step to installing a VPN is to decide which one is best for you. Therefore, you should think about what you want your VPN to accomplish before you choose one. For example, if you need to access a work network remotely, you’ll likely choose a different VPN than someone who wants to watch Netflix shows from a different country.
You’ll have a similar setup process for whichever VPN service you choose. Typically, you’ll decide on a VPN service, then sign up on their website. Many services have free trials, but you’ll be asked to give payment details on the website. Then, you can download the VPN client for your Windows, Apple, Android, or other devices. Once you’ve downloaded the client, you’ll be able to activate it and start browsing via a VPN.
Here are some of the most popular VPN options:
STANDALONE VPN SERVICES
This is the most common option for personal VPN users. These applications create a connection from your computer to the internet at large.
Instead of connecting your computer to a third-party server, browser extension VPNs connect a single browser to the internet.
Instead of downloading a VPN to your computer or browser, VPN-enabled routers protect every device connected to your internet network.
Many organizations offer a remote-access VPN for employees who work outside of the office. This allows employees to access the company’s private intranet.
DO YOU NEED A VPN?
If you have specific needs and you can’t access some sites with your current internet setup, then you may need a VPN. This means that if you need to connect to a private work intranet or access sites that aren’t available in your country, a VPN could be the best way for you to get connected.
Other reasons to use a VPN are to access your home network when traveling, access websites that are blocked in your country, to download files, or to bypass internet censorship.
A VPN is an easy to use solution to limited internet capabilities. They are typically cost-effective and allow users to access information that they do not otherwise have access to. Many companies as well as individuals use VPNs to keep their browsing information secure, especially when working remotely or using unsecured Wi-Fi connections.