Living in the 21st century is an exciting time. It’s almost like those old science fiction television shows where we can command Technology with the push of a button. Giant-sized video screens, portable computers, even the means to manufacture things from compounds and designs through 3D printing are all at our fingertips. Many of us also use the internet daily for a variety of tasks. Unfortunately, security issues come with the territory. There’s always some hacker or threat actor that wants to compromise or steal data. That’s why using a VPN — a virtual private network — is a good idea in the modern age. But what is a VPN, how does it work, and do I really need one? We’ll answer all your questions and more below.
What VPNs Do
A VPN is a powerful tool in online web browsing today. VPNs essentially create a private tunnel through which you can access the internet privately. If you use public Wi-Fi regularly, want to avoid government surveillance, need more privacy from your ISP, or want to access geo-blocked content, a VPN makes all of that possible. It secures your data as you do everything from banking to downloading files.
How They Work
A VPN encrypts your data as you work online to make it inaccessible to others without the proper decryption key. It’s a fairly simple process. When you use a VPN, it obscures your IP/network address. The VPN host configures a special remote server through which it routes your data. The data is effectively rendered useless in the event it becomes compromised by a third party. When using a VPN, your internet service provider can’t see what you’re doing online or what sites you visited. It’s also impossible for third parties to see the data, as it is encrypted and thus useless to them. VPNs use encryption to safeguard your data as you browse the internet, making them a valuable tool for everything from streaming geo-blocked content to preventing data theft/compromise.
Stop Web Threats
It’s best to remember that a VPN is not an antivirus or malware prevention suite. It is, however, something that can be used to help stop web threats. Mostly, it comes down to blocking your IP address. IP addresses are used in many common web attacks including distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) and internet service providers selling your browsing history. It won’t protect you or guard against malware, fishing attempts, or visiting a dangerous website. Some measures of common sense and other security procedures should be incorporated and integrated with your VPN to ensure maximum protection. Some VPNs, such as Trend Micro’s VPN pro service does have built-in web threat protection. That makes it one of the best options for stopping web threats without having to bog down your computer or network with additional security measures. Everyone’s needs vary, of course, but ultimately a pro VPN is a good place to start when you want comprehensive protection at a lower cost.
Public Wi-Fi Protection
Have you ever needed to get some work done or urgently access the internet but only had public Wi-Fi access available? It’s happened to many of us, especially in the remote work era. Using public Wi-Fi is great for some tasks, but anything that requires any type of privacy can be a concern. Public Wi-Fi networks are usually not secure at all. Personal information theft, man-in-the-middle attacks, and malware are only a few of the nasty things that can occur when you use a public unsecured Wi-Fi network. Data that flows over this network is usually unencrypted and a lot of people have access to it that shouldn’t. That’s why using a VPN is crucial when accessing public Wi-Fi networks. Your VPN can encrypt your data and protect it while it’s in transit, providing an effective sort of immunity to such attacks. You wouldn’t buy term life insurance or apply for a vehicle loan over a public Wi-Fi network, so why put yourself at risk when it comes to your business and livelihood?
Available On Multiple Devices
VPNs aren’t exclusive to a single device. Most of the time, they can be used on multiple devices that you may be using for your stuff. Mobile, computers (desktop or laptop), and tablets can all benefit from a VPN proxy that exists under a single account. Make sure that your VPN also supports all major operating systems such as windows, linux, and Mac OS. Having the ability to use your VPN across multiple devices will streamline any work, enhance any downloading and browsing, all while keeping you safe and private.