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What is a Virtual Private Network?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) takes your Internet connection and secures it within an encrypted tunnel, rendering you anonymous.
Simply put, a VPN is the easiest, most effective, and most affordable way to guarantee your online privacy and secure your sensitive data.
VPNs are commonly used to safely access public WiFi networks, secure home offices, stream international shows & movies, torrent anonymously, compete in international gaming tournaments, and much, much more.
Why do you need a VPN?
Somebody is always watching what you do online. Whether it be Facebook and your Internet provider selling your browsing data to advertisers or a small-time hacker at the local coffee shop, nearly every keystroke you make is logged.
If the idea of being monitored 24/7 on all of your Internet-enabled devices doesn’t bother you, then you have nothing to worry about. If it downright freaks you out, then you should consider using a VPN.
The encryption and anonymity of a VPN protects everything you do on the Internet, from work and banking to messaging with friends.
But the best part? All the additional functionality you’ll get online. Check out some of the coolest things a VPN allows you to do:
- Change your location. Travel the world without moving an inch. With a VPN, you can browse the Internet as if you were in the UK, Australia, Japan, Mexico, or virtually any country you can think of. Browse localized websites and regional content as if you were a resident.
- Hide your IP address. Changing your IP address with a VPN ensures that websites, apps, hackers, and even your ISP can’t track you. You essentially become an anonymous member of the Internet. And thanks to an additional layer of military-grade encryption, even if someone happens across your data, they won’t be able to read it.
- Bypass censorship. If you’re in a country that restricts access to or censors certain apps, websites, or other online services, using a VPN will allow you to regain your Internet freedom. A VPN can also bypass firewalls imposed by employers, schools, college campuses, and other administrators.
- Block ads, trackers, and malware. A VPN frees you from ads, malware, and phishing attempts. You’re not only anonymous, but you’re also safe online when using a VPN.
- Stream Netflix and live sports. Access Netflix libraries from all over the world with a VPN. The best VPNs also work with Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, HBO, and other popular streaming services. Sports fans will also enjoy using a VPN to watch live international sports hassle-free.
- Find the best prices online. Tap into networks in different countries to find the lowest price possible on your next hotel, airline ticket, or car rental. Works great for avid online shoppers as well.
How does a VPN work?
The most common metaphor used when describing a VPN is a tunnel. It’s a bit obtuse, but it’s effective at getting the point across. Essentially, the VPN creates a tunnel between your device and a private server in another location — this could be a few miles down the road or halfway across the world.
While in this tunnel, all of your information and data is encrypted so that when it reaches its destination point, no prying eyes can read it. After leaving the private server, the encrypted, anonymous data is then sent to its final destination: the website or app that you’re trying to reach.
That said, it can be helpful to compare the difference between an Internet connection protected by a VPN and one that’s not:
Without a VPN
When you access a website without a VPN, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is responsible for your connection. If you aren’t sure who your ISP is, it’s whoever you pay your Internet bill to each month — Xfinity, Spectrum, AT&T, etc.
Your ISP assigns your device a unique IP addresses that is used to track your location and Internet activity. Your ISP can see which websites you visit, how much time you spend on them, and what information you choose to share. They can also link that activity to you as an individual through that unique IP address.
With a VPN
When you use the Internet with a VPN, your connected is secured through a private server before it ever reaches your ISP. By the time your ISP receives your connection, your IP address has been replaced and your data encrypted.
The websites you visit can no longer be traced to your original IP address, and nobody can see the information that you share online. You’re able to enjoy unrestricted Internet access with the peace of mind that your data is 100% secure and anonymous.
When should you use a VPN?
While you travel
Never lose access to your favorite websites and apps. A VPN lets you use the Internet like you’re sitting in your home, no matter where you are in the world. Regional restrictions and Internet censorship are things of the past.
Conversely, you can browse the Internet as if you had traveled to another country without every leaving your home. Your only limit is the number of countries your VPN has servers in.
While you stream
Watch movies, TV, and live sports with freedom from ISP throttling and regional restrictions. Have an interest in Bollywood movies but live in the US? With a VPN, your cinematic taste will never be limited again.
And sports fans never have to worry about missing a game again. Watch live sports from anywhere in the world with a VPN.
While you use public WiFi
Public WiFi is one of the biggest cybersecurity threats you will ever come across. The WiFi networks at your local coffee shop, park, and airport are all unsecured, meaning they can be easily breached by even the lowest-tier hacker.
Using a VPN keeps you protected on the go. Simply swipe the on button on your device, and you’re protected from hackers and prying eyes. Never worry about banking or doing business on the go again — your financial credentials will be secured.
While you game
A VPN reveals a new world for gamers. Unlock games, maps, skins, and other downloadable content that might be restricted to certain regions or censored in your home country. Game with friends on servers across the world with minimal ping by connecting to a VPN server nearby.
You’ll also be protected from DDoS attacks and IP leaks, meaning you’ll never have to suffer from a malicious gamer again.
While you torrent
By definition, P2P file sharing means that strangers can see your IP address, track your downloads, and potentially enter your network. Using a VPN hides your IP address, protecting your from unknown threats and allowing you to torrent safely.
In addition, DMCA companies will often gather thousands of IP address known to have torrented and name the individuals associated with each IP address in a lawsuit — regardless of whether they had actually downloaded anything illegal. Since a VPN replaces your IP address and hides your identity, you are protected from these egregious suits.
While you shop
It’s common practice for online stores to mark items at higher or lower prices in different countries due to fluctuations in demand, distribution costs, taxes, etc. With a VPN, you can check the prices in each market to make sure you get the best deal every time you shop online.
We encourage you try this tactic the next time you shop for a plane ticket, hotel, or car rental. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save!