There is one thing that we all should know, that our data is no more private in today’s advanced age. Hackers, snoopers, conglomerates, multinational organizations, everyone is trying to gain maximum access to our personal information. Government organizations have become stricter in terms of monitoring the data of its citizens. NSA, in America, can virtually filter the private data of everyone on the internet. In the UK and Australia, there are Government laws that make it legal for the organizations to collect your IP addresses, location tracking and browsing history. Your internet service provider (ISP) transfers all of your data on the internet and therefore, can access and sell your data statistics to any bidder, owing to the new laws by congress. Here is where you might need a VPN.
What is a VPN?
VPN is the right solution for you if you want to stay private. VPN, or Virtual Private Network, keeps your physical location and IP address hidden from prying eyes. It also hides your browsing history from everyone. Your internet service providers also cannot intercept the data as it gets encrypted. Consider VPN like your private tunnel in the vulnerable worldwide web, and through it, your device sends and receives data without anyone spying on you. When you install the VPN software and run it, you get connected to a VPN server. All of your data going out and coming in will pass through this server. The VPN server will send your data in an encrypted format to the destination and you will enjoy the internet without making your data vulnerable. It keeps your data anonymous from ISP and keeps you anonymous from websites.
How To Set Up A VPN:
There are different instructions for connecting to the different types of VPN. In general, these steps can be followed:
#1 Choose a good VPN service.
#2 Subscribe to the paid VPN service and then download the VPN software on your device.
#3 Run the VPN and your data will be encrypted.
Reasons to Use a VPN:
Various reasons compel us to use VPN services, such as:
#1 Keeps You Safe In Public Places:
Whenever you connect to the free internet in a public place, you are endangering your private data. You do not know if the public spot Wi-Fi’s are secure or not. Anyone can be snooping on your personal information. At this point, it is essential that your data is encrypted and that’s only possible through a VPN.
#2 Secures Your Data:
You share your bank account details while shopping online and share personal stuff with your best friend. Be it that or a confidential conversation with your colleagues, you need protection from external hackers or snoopers. You need a VPN to stay safe in all of these situations. A good VPN can provide you with military-grade encryption, which makes it a really secure option for you to avoid any kind of uninvited access.
#3 VPN Gives Access to Location-Blocked Content:
Another major example of a VPN is that it helps you access the content that is not available in a certain country. For example, if you are living in an Asian country and you want to access the content of Netflix in America then you can use a VPN and switch your current location to America. In this way, you gain access to geo-blocked content.
#4 Gain Access To Censored Content:
Many countries ban several websites. Some of these websites are considered inappropriate while others are simply banned for cultural or political reasons. Nonetheless, with a VPN in your hand, you can gain access to any of these websites without having to worry about the website bans or security issues.
#5 Use Torrent Sites:
When it comes to accessing torrent sites, you are always floating in murky waters because a lot of countries are cracking down on torrent websites. Copyrights infringement is the bone of contention in these crackdowns. However, if you just need access to the torrented sites for harmless reasons, you can use a VPN. Moreover, you also get access to P2P (peer to peer websites) via VPN.
#6 Saves You Money:
People love travelling, and the tourism industry is equally active to charge people more if they are coming from developed countries. However, you can save your money if you check out the hotel details and other travel packages from a different country location. For example, if you want to visit Thailand, then by using a VPN you can change your location to book your flights and hotel locally which will save you lots of money.
#7 VPN Is Affordable:
VPN costs only a few dollars a month and gives you a completely encrypted and secure connection for the whole month. It offers much more value than the money it asks for. So, you don’t have to worry about your wallet losing its weight the next time you think of subscribing to the VPN service.
Types of VPN:
With the reasons to get a VPN already discussed, let us move on to the various types of VPN. There are different types of protocols and encryptions available in the realm of VPNs.
#1 OpenVPN is a popular open-source protocol that uses SSL (Secure Socket Layer)/TLS (Transport Layer Security). The AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) is the most common encryption algorithm used in OpenVPN. It is paired with RSA key encryption and SHA signatures. OpenVPN is considered a very powerful VPN. The key size for AES is usually 256 bits. It can also be 128bits depending upon the data.
#2 IPSec or Layer 2 tunnelling protocol is another good option for VPN because it is more secure than some other VPN types. But there is one drawback in this type of VPN. It gives slower speed which results in decreased performance.
#3 PPTP protocol known as a point-to-point tunnelling protocol. It uses old methods of encryption and is vulnerable to many hacks despite its high-speed performance.
#4 WireGuard VPN is another relatively newer VPN. It is known for its extra high speed. However, in terms of security, it is not as secure as OpenVPN.
OpenVPN is best in case of security, however, if you need extra speed along with satisfying security, you can use WireGuard based VPNs.
Top VPNs To Use:
#1 ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPNs out there in the market. With support for almost all platforms like iOS, android, windows, etc., it is an all-rounder. It has 160 server locations in over 94 countries with unlimited bandwidth. It uses AES 256 encryption which is the US military-grade encryption standard. You can get it for Netflix, Amazon fire stick, Hulu, and many other services. However, it has a limit of five connections per user.
#2 NordVPN is the alternative to ExpressVPN. It has around 5500 servers in 59 countries. NordVPN provides excellent service and quality with high speed and encryption. It supports android, iOS, Linux, Mac, and Windows. It also offers support for up to six connections per user, with a 30 days money-back guarantee. The best part is that they also accept bitcoins for services. After the security breach in 2018, NordVPN has considerably increased its standards. There is, however, one small thing that user reviews have shown. Problems like a confusing chronology of the countries and similar minor user experience problems were observed.
#3 Hotspot Shield is usually available as a free VPN. With that said, their paid version is much better and top of the class when it comes to speed. It won the fastest VPN award by Ookla in 2019. Like other premium VPNs, it also offers support for most operating systems like iOS, Android, Linux, etc. It has over 3200 servers in around 80 countries. The main feature of the paid version of the hotspot shield is the high consistent speed at an amazingly low price. However, it doesn’t provide bitcoin support.
Drawbacks of VPN:
#1 Slow connection speed is one of the major drawbacks of VPNs. All the encryption and tunnelling may slow down the speed of the connection. The higher the encryption is, the slower your connection gets. You can solve that issue by buying good quality paid VPNs.
#2 Sudden disconnection can expose your real IP address. This problem happens more with mobile VPNs because of the inconsistent data connection. You can use a VPN with a kill-switch feature so your connection will disconnect from the website whenever the internet disconnects suddenly.
#3 VPNs with high quality are safe but most of the free VPNs are not safe and they share your data with a third party. You are also vulnerable to viruses when you use cheap VPNs.
#4 A good quality VPN alone can’t make your data 100 per cent secure. You will need a promising ad-blocker and a secure browser also for that purpose.
The future of VPN looks bright because as the world turns more digital, your privacy will matter even more than before. With the advancement in technology, you will be certainly exposed without a good VPN so take the help of this guide and get the best VPN.