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What are VPNs and When Should You Use Them?

Image by Stefan Coders from Pixabay

A VPN, virtual private network, gives individuals privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection. VPNs mask your internet protocol (IP) address so your online actions are completely untraceable. All in all, VPN services establish secure and encrypted connections to provide more privacy than you would without one, even if you have a secured Wi-Fi hotspot. 

Based on this guide from TechRound, it is important to use a VPN because without one you may be exposing your private information and browsing habits, even if you are surfing the web at home or using the web on an unsecured Wi-Fi network. By using a VPN, you are protecting your privacy and can help if you are concerned with your online security. 

If you think about all the times you have been on the go, using the web, completing different tasks. Unless you were logged into a private Wi-Fi network that requires a password, any data transmitted during your online session with an insecure connection could be unprotected and vulnerable to eavesdropping by strangers who are using the same network. 

A VPN provides individuals with the encryption and anonymity, protecting your online activities, such as sending emails, paying bills and shopping online. As well as this, VPNs can help protect strangers from knowing your web browsing history. 

How a VPN protects your IP address and privacy?

In simple words, VPNS create a data tunnel between your local network and an exit node in another location. Even if this is far away, you are benefitting from online freedom with the ability to access and use any app or webpage without knowing someone is watching everything you do on your desktop or phone. 

VPNs use encryption to gather data when it is sent over a Wi-Fi network. By using an encryption, the VPN is making your data unreadable. This is not the case when you are using a public Wi-Fi network as this is normally where anyone else on the network can eavesdrop on your internet activity. 

Additionally, without a VPN, your internet service provider can know everything about what you do whilst you are using the internet, showing your entire browsing history. However, with a VPN, your search history is hidden. A VPN service provider often has servers all over the world. This means that your search activity could appear to originate at any of those locations. 

Be cautious of free vpns, since this can give someone access to your web traffic and data.

Even though a VPN does protect you, it is important to keep in mind that a search engine is also able to track your search history. Having said this, they will associate this information with an IP address that’s not yours. 

There are many advantages to using a VPN, with the main being that it keeps your online activity private.