What is a VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. VPN adds layers of security and privacy to everyday use of the internet. VPN, put basically, encrypts all data moving from a computer to the internet. This means that any cybercriminal, internet service provider or government agency cannot see the data in transit.
Therefore some use VPN for an increased level of privacy and security. Another key use of VPN is circumventing blocks to websites in their country. VPN can make your internet connection look like it originates from another country, unlocking content on foreign websites that wouldn’t usually be available to you!
Some of the key benefits include:
Staying Safe on Public Wi-Fi
The problem with free to access Wi-Fi hotspots is it is almost impossible to know if security measures have been put in place to ensure internet usage on that Wi-Fi is not being monitored. It is relatively easy, with the right know-how, to track exactly what other users of Wi-Fi are doing - not just the web history, but even passwords they type in, or credit card information. With VPN, all web traffic is encrypted, meaning if a cybercriminal tried to intercept a users web traffic, it would appear as gibberish!
Prevent advertisers and ISPs monitoring
Internet service providers have the ability to see exactly what all of their users are doing online. Some ISPs in some countries, by law, have to store this data on servers. Questions are raised about what is done with this data and who has access, some of it quite personal and would allow advertisers to target us based on very specific things found out through our web history. With VPN, all web traffic is encrypted, meaning if an ISP tried to store a users web history and usage, it wouldn’t tell them anything as it would appear as gibberish!
Different countries around the world have blocks in place for various different websites. Some governments prevent citizens from accessing information, some companies that host copyrighted material online host different libraries of content for different countries. VPN allows bypassing of this by making a user's actual location appear to originate from a different country to the one they are in!
No ISP Throttling
Some internet service providers slow their user's internet speeds down on purpose when they do things that require a large amount of bandwidth. Users experience this commonly when streaming films or TV shows online. VPN prevents this because the internet traffic is encrypted ISPs cannot see what users are up to online!