The world is unquestionably becoming more digital and online, and with that comes a host of benefits and possibilities as well as dangers and limits.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that cybercriminals and malicious hackers are growing in numbers online. Aside from the growth in numbers, they are becoming more skilled and complex in how they attack unsuspecting victims online, whether using life-like phishing scam attempts or planting malware or ransomware on the victim’s network.
On top of this danger, nefarious third parties are also becoming a concern online as they collect and sell consumer data at will. It is becoming widely known that data is as valuable a commodity as oil – so third parties like businesses and governments are deciding to store online data.
After the COVID-19 crisis, a lot of online users opted to use a VPN as the pandemic stuck them in their homes. In fact, there was a 124% increase in VPN usage in the United States during the COVID-19 breakout, and ever since then, the use of the online tool hasn’t slowed down.
Picking a VPN can be challenging and complicated, as people have different primary concerns and worries about when they go online. There are more options than ever online, so looking through the marketing and finding the best free VPN can be a tough ask.
In this article, we will show you what a VPN is and how it works before we explain how they are used and how you can follow a step-by-step process in picking your VPN.
What is a VPN?
A VPN, also known as a Virtual Private Network, is an online service that grants you a path to connect securely to the internet through a private network. When you connect your PC or device to a VPN, you get rerouted through a tunnel of encryption, which masks your IP address and the internet traffic that is incoming and outgoing from your device.
By doing this, a VPN grants you anonymity against the dangerous cybercriminals and hackers and the nefarious third parties trying to spy on you. Because of this, it is widely becoming a tool in demand, something that can protect your online identity, privacy, and security.
On top of the security and privacy benefits, a VPN can also unlock your online experience by granting you access to content previously behind a geographical location block. You can use VPN servers from anywhere across the globe.
How Does a VPN Work?
So, say you are sitting at home and want to go online and use the safety of a VPN. You begin by going online and connecting to the VPN software, as by doing this, you route your internet traffic through the encrypted tunnel that the VPN provider owns.
The VPN server works as the middleman between you and the internet, masking your IP address and hiding your online activity from spying eyes. As your internet data and traffic get encrypted, no one can get their hands on your data and read it.
Therefore, your data is completely hidden, and you are protected against ISPs, nefarious third parties, cyber criminals, and more.
Why Do People Use VPNs?
People use VPNs for many reasons, as people have different priorities for their online experience. The reasons can be:
- Getting access to geo-restricted content – a VPN can hide your IP address, so you can go into different regions and see the content there. This is great for people who use streaming platforms and want more content.
- Be more secure online – A VPN can protect you against identity theft and phishing by hiding you from hackers and criminals.
- Get more private – VPNs hide your IP address and keep your data and location away from nefarious individuals.
- Use Public Wifi – Using a VPN, you can use a public network and be hidden from any hackers or cybercriminals on the network.
How to Choose The Best VPN?
When you go about the process of picking a VPN, you should consider some key factors. If you are looking for any of the below elements, you should follow the criteria attached to them:
- Encryption – If you want to ensure your VPN is wholly encrypted, search for a protocol, like AES-25, that ensures your data is protected.
- Privacy – If you can find a VPN with a strict no-logging policy, it is an excellent indicator that they are private, as it does not store your online activity.
- Servers – You should ensure that the VPN provider you are looking at has VPN servers worldwide, especially if you want the VPN for content purposes.
A VPN is critical for online users who want to keep their privacy but have limited online freedoms. By following the above criteria, you can find the best VPN for you as you enhance your online experience.