Have you ever had someone watching over your shoulder while you browse the Internet on your phone? No matter what is on the screen it’s annoying and just plain rude. Why is that? It’s because more and more our digital devices are becoming an extension of who we are. The digital domain is where we go to keep up with friends, it’s where we do business, and sometimes it’s where we share things we would rather keep to ourselves.
It’s rude to at a screen over someone’s shoulder because what there is private. But is what we do on the Internet really private at all?
More and more we are coming to realize that everything we do on the Internet can be seen by people who have the right tools.
Did you know that right now, as you move from website to website, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can see your every digital move? Your data is passing right through their servers and very often they keep a record of everything you do. Do you trust your ISP with that data? Do you want them always looking over your shoulder? Because they are.
This is where VPNs or “Virtual Private Networks” come in. Virtual Private Networks, like ExpressVPN, cover your digital tracks so no one can digitally tail you around the Web.
ISPs have access to your data because every time you make a request for a webpage or a YouTube video the data from your computer has to be routed to the right server. Accessing the Internet through your ISP without a VPN is like taking an Uber every time you need to go somewhere. You always have to tell the driver where you want to go.
VPN is different because VPN services specialize in keeping your data private. You still have to go through your ISP but VPN reroutes your internet traffic to their servers and keeps your requests encrypted. The most your ISP could know is that you are sending data out somewhere. With a VPN, they do not know who you are communicating with or what you are saying.
Not only do VPNs keep your ISP from seeing what you are doing, they also keep your data private from sites that want to skim information from your computer to sell you ads or deny services to you. VPNs hide data that can identify you and what you have been up to. This is precisely what many sites try to sneakily get from you when you visit them. Sites want to keep track of key info like your location, what other sites you have been visiting, and maybe even what the last ad you clicked on was.
VPNs do such a great job of masking this data that they can even make it look like you are accessing the Internet from a different part of the globe!
Not all VPNs are created equal. You really have to shop around to find the best in privacy, encryption, and performance. One of the biggest hits you can take while using a VPN is speed. Since your data is being rerouted through servers it may take longer than usual for your data to get where it is going. That is why choosing a fast and secure VPN like ExpressVPN is crucial if you want the best private Internet experience.