Despite offering wondrous benefits to the users all across the world, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the internet is also a scary place. We do not declare it as a scary place because of the weirds comments you might run into or inappropriate content you might witness. Apart from that, the internet is abundantly filled with numerous online dangers and hackers. The reason why cyberattacks have become an epidemic in the past few years is because our online privacy has turned susceptible towards it. We share our private information with others on the internet without taking any measures to protect the same information. Without any necessary precaution, we tend to use the internet profusely, thinking that our online data is safe from everyone. However, that’s not true. The hackers can sneak into your devices whenever they find a loophole and can steal your personal data including your credit card information, banking information, personal details, etc. In such a scenario, using a VPN service becomes a must. You may check out the list of best free VPNs of 2017 here. Let’s now understand what is a VPN service and how it can help us in securing our online privacy.
A VPN Service Is…
An online security tool that is built to provide you complete privacy on the internet. It not only offers complete internet freedom but also online anonymity. With its strong encryption power, it secures your internet traffic that passes through your electronic device (computer, mobile phone, or tablet) and your internet connection. The traffic or the online data becomes encrypted when it passes through the VPN server. The encrypted data cannot be intercepted by anyone. Even an online hacker would have to go through a lot to intercept the encrypted data. A VPN service works on multiple platforms such as computers and other electronic devices. It can be easily set up on Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone.
How Does a VPN Work?
You can imagine a VPN service just like a secure tunnel. Basically, what happens is, when a user is connected to the VPN server, the internet packets that are used to send and receive data over the internet get encapsulated in an outer packet which is also encrypted. While transferring data, this encrypted outer packet keeps the data secure. This outer packet, in fact, is the VPN tunnel that encrypts the data whenever it is passed through it.
When your device is connected to the VPN service, all your online activity gets hidden from everyone including your ISP. Nobody can see what you’re doing on the internet. Your ISP may know that you’re connected to a private server but he won’t be able to track your online activity. This is helpful because it stops the ISP from collecting, storing, and sharing your online data to advertisers and other third parties to earn money. With a VPN service at your disposal, you would be able to protect your online privacy because it keeps your web browsing activity hidden, allowing you to browse the internet anonymously without anyone knowing about it.
The VPN service hides your IP address, identity, and location, and in return offers you a new IP address. It changes your current location and connects your device to another location.
Features of a VPN Service
A VPN service has both free and paid options. As a beginner, you should try using the free option. If you’re satisfied with the free VPN service, then you can opt for its premium version. It’s quite obvious that premium version will have more features but it won’t cause you any harm if you give a shot to the free option first.
Following are some of the features that a VPN service typically provides:
- It offers online anonymity from ISP tracking, government surveillance, etc.
- It provides greater security while getting your devices connected to public Wi-Fi connections
- It bypasses geo-restrictions and enables you to obtain access to geo-blocked content on the internet
- It helps you in getting around country or area specific internet restrictions and censorship
- It helps you in downloading torrents safely from the internet
- It gives you access to stream your favorite content on streaming websites like Netflix
Moreover, a VPN service can also unlock, hack, or even bypass the Fortiguard web filtering software.