7 Important Things about VPN
The ability to access the internet is an essential part of life. In the fast-paced digital world, it has become the vital link between people and businesses. The truth is that people have become dependent on the internet. The amount of data entered by you onto a variety of sites means that there will be a surprising amount of personal data available freely on the web.
The importance of security and privacy has given rise to the Virtual Private Network. This will allow you to connect to the internet through an encrypted connection; helping to keep your information safe regardless of where you are and who you are dealing with.
Although a VPN service is often referred to as the best form of both privacy and security for your browsing activity; there are several important facts about VPN which you should know before you sign up with one:
A VPN service acts as your computer. Any website sees the VPN server as your computer. This means that your IP address is not visible and even your location can be different. The communication between you and the VPN is encrypted to ensure this privacy remains.
However, your VPN may still record every site you visit and register all your important details. While there is a risk of hackers getting into a VPN, this is minimal. The bigger risk is if you are accessing sites believing that no one knows who you are. In fact, a VPN which records your activity can pass these on to the authorities if asked or required to by law.
It is essential to check the terms and conditions before you commit to a VPN service; you will then be assured that the one you choose is dedicated to privacy and does not store your internet usage.
VPN’s are for Illegal Activity
The common misconception is that a VPN service is used by those who want to keep their identity secret and access illegal sites or dubious material. Although this may be why some people use a VPN service this is not the only reason to do so.
In fact, many of the websites you visit will be looking at your internet history; without you knowing. From this, they can build a profile of you and your interests. This information can then be sold to marketing companies to allow them to target you. It is the same principle as why you see so many adverts when you use the internet. They are all based on your preferences and the sites you visit regularly.
A VPN gives you relief from the constant marketing drive and protects your detail.
You may have come across the issue of gaining access to a website in a different country. This can happen if you are trying to see a site based in a country which your government does not approve. It can also occur in reverse; when you live in a country, such as China, where internet access is restricted. China has the best internet prevention techniques that limit the majority of the country into seeing only what they want them to see. Thankfully, even their measures are unable to prevent all VPN services from operating.
The result is the ability to appear that you are based in a different country. For Chinese residents, they can seem to be found in a country such as America and access any site they want. For residents in more relaxed countries, you will be able to appear to be in a country such as China and see the propaganda which is distributed. Or just access sites which are not approved!
The biggest dedicated VPN providers employ many experts and have vast technical resources to provide the complex processes which are necessary for the successful provision of a VPN network. But, this is not the case for all VPN providers. In fact, the majority of firms use hosting companies.
In theory, this allows the VPN provider to focus on providing the best possible service without compromising your privacy and security. In practice, this is another link and potential weakness in your VPN service. While it may not affect the performance or the privacy of your network it is worth checking how your VPN provider handles the network and whether they are the best service for your needs.
In particular you should be verifying how many companies are being given access to your data; after all, using a VPN provider should limit the number of businesses who know your details.
Regardless of whether you are using a VPN service which does not record any logs, it is still possible that your internet activity is being monitored. This will be essential for the VPN provider to ensure they can handle any technical issues which arise. Without any logs, they will only have real-time data to work from.
This will create a short a particular of your actions which will be automatically deleted after a set period; to, ensure there are no technical issues which cannot be resolved. Although this information is not strictly speaking logged, it is a brief record of your activity. If it is requested by law enforcement the VPN provider will have to provide it; they will not risk their business just to protect you!
It is also worth noting that the authorities can demand a log is kept regarding a specific individual; of course, this will be a targeted request for a reason and not something to worry about unless you are already on their radar.
Your internet hub has a specific IP address; you can identify your home and even individual devices through this. Once you use a VPN, you will be using their IP address.
However, if this IP address is linked uniquely to you then it is no more beneficial than your home IP address; your activities can still be pinpointed if required. It is better to verify that your VPN provider assigns the same IP address to several users. This will make it very difficult for anyone to consolidate any internet activity with you specifically as there will be others who could have been accessing the web with the same IP address.
There is a service, known as Tor which can dramatically boost your anonymity. You will need to create an account with Tor and then sign up with a VPN provider that supports the Tor service. There are not many of these currently in existence. Once you have done this even the VPN provider will not see your valid IP address. While this does not guarantee complete anonymity, it is very close to it. However, you must be aware that signing up to Tor doubles your links and can have your internet speed.
A VPN can be used by many people for legitimate reasons and is something you should consider. There are some free services available, and a selection of high-quality paid services which will cost you very little money.Regardless of how and why you use the internet, you should consider using a VPN; while bearing in mind the facts above.
Related: Do I Really Need a VPN Service?