We live in a digital age where almost everything we do is connected to the internet. Our smartphones are like super-portable computers allowing us to work on the go. Millions of people do their shopping and banking online. You can even control the lighting and heating in your home via an app if you have the correct kit. All this internet creates masses of data, data your Internet Service Provider can view, and unscrupulous people can hijack and hack into.
You may be asking yourself, what is a VPN? VPN is an acronym for Virtual Private Network, and they are becoming increasingly popular with each passing day. Why? Because internet users are becoming more aware of the importance of protecting their privacy. A VPN creates a middle man between your internet-compatible device and the websites you visit. All the data traffic goes through the VPN, is encrypted, and then lands at the destination website. Why would you need this in your life? Keep reading to find out.
Access Blocked Websites
Not everyone lives in a climate with open access to the internet. Some countries, such as China and Russia, have strict regimes where the government controls the internet and blocks certain websites from being viewed. In addition, not all of the best online sportsbooks are accessible in every country. Using a VPN gives you access to previously blocked content.
It does this by routing your data through a private server located in another country. For example, you may be physically located in Australia but can connect to a VPN server in the United Kingdom. The website you visit will think you are in the UK and will not know any different.
This geo-spoofing is particularly helpful for gaining access to services such as the popular BBC iPlayer, or for watching shows on Netflix that are released early in the United States.
Complete Data Privacy
VPN services encrypt your data to such a degree that it is impossible for anyone without the encryption key to decipher it. When we say impossible, what we mean is it would take a supercomputer several billion years to crack it, so it is essentially impossible.
Many people place a high value on their privacy. They do not want their Internet Service Provider (ISP) to know the websites they are visiting or the files they are downloading. A VPN completely stops any privacy intrusion because it makes you and your IP address anonymous. Your ISP will still be able to see you have downloaded a certain amount of data, but it will not have the slightest idea what that data is.
Security on Public Networks
How many times have you visited a coffee shop and connected your work laptop to the public WiFi? How often have you accessed your online banking on your smartphone connected to a WiFi hotspot? If the answer is only once, you have put your personal data at risk.
While public WiFi often has some security in place, it is rarely to a high enough standard to stop criminals who know what they are doing from hacking the data. Everything you type, send, or receive can potentially be viewed by someone with the relative know-how. Your log-in details and passwords are floating around over the radio waves waiting to be snatched. Would your employer be happy knowing someone could have potentially viewed some confidential documents?
Connecting to a VPN adds unbreakable security to your connection, which means you can browse whatever you like without fearing your personal data will end up in the wrong hands.