Do I Really Need a VPN Service?
The internet has become a crucial part of life. Whether you are an individual or business, you will almost certainly wish to connect with other people and businesses via the internet. To make this possible all you need to do is log into the web via your hub. You can choose whether to hardwire your computer to this hub or connect via a wireless signal.
Unfortunately, as you may already know, the internet is an excellent way of gathering information on those that use it. Your location can be tracked from your IP address, and your likes and dislikes can be noted through the sites you visit. It is even simple to assess the times you will usually be online!
Alongside this, you will note that there have been several high-profile data losses in recent years. This means that your personal information has been accessed by someone else who may act on this information. Cybersecurity is a huge issue and something that businesses are spending billions on.
How a VPN Service Can Help
To start using the internet, you must create an account with an Internet Service Provider. In effect, this is your gateway to the web. You will pay them a fee to access this portal, and in return, you can enjoy a degree of security and explore all the information available on the internet.
The connection between you and your ISP is not secure; a real hacker can easily access the information you are sending to the web. The obvious risk is the loss of your data and the subsequent identity theft.
However, there is a bigger threat; the information you are uploading and downloading can be accessed and could cause an issue for you. This could range from embarrassment to the theft of business secrets.
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network. As its name suggests the VPN is private, the link is encrypted and can only be used via a particular computer and your VPN. It is challenging for anyone to access this data. This can make it the perfect solution for people who are developing new technologies and need to keep their work secret. It can also be the perfect way to be confident that your personal information remains safe while you contact other people.
Benefits of a VPN Service
It is important to note that you still need an ISP to access the internet. However, instead of you communicating directly with the ISP, your VPN connection will connect to it. This results in some benefits:
- Privacy – Instead of your ISP being able to access your connection and monitor your internet activity it is blocked by your VPN. This means that the ISP cannot see which websites you visit; all they see is your VPN server. This is because all your surfing and data access happens through the VPN.
- Your VPN can shield your real location. This may seem an unnecessary step but is very important. Hackers and other unscrupulous characters will be able to trace your location from your internet usage. However, if you use a VPN, then the hackers will only get as far as the VPN; which could be located anywhere in the world. This is guaranteed to keep you and your work safer.
- An additional benefit of using a VPN is that your location, according to the internet, is the same as that of the VPN. This is not necessarily the same as your own country. This will allow you to access websites which are restricted to residents of a particular country. It is possible to choose your VPN for the country it is based in.
- Public Wi-Fi is one of the most dangerous ways you can access the internet. This type of access is open to anyone; a half decent hacker can easily get into your computer through the open wireless connection and access your files as well as any personal details you keep on your computer.
However, if you use a VPN, then anything you send and receive between you and the VPN server is encrypted. This means your data is not visible unless someone can crack the encryption. This is incredibly difficult to do and will not happen unless you have something of immense importance that is being directly targeted!
- When accessing the internet through a conventional ISP, your privacy is not their primary concern. However, the majority of VPN providers will have a particular policy to protect your privacy. In fact, some of them want to know as little about you as possible. This makes them perfect for anyone who has sensitive information or simply wants to remain anonymous while avoiding being hacked.
Disadvantages of VPN Service
Of course, no matter how good any system is there will be some disadvantages to using it.
- Speed – Potentially the biggest issue when using a VPN service is the slowing down of your internet. Because all data are moving between you and your VPN is encrypted, it takes longer to process it, and the files will be larger to move. This will slow it down
However, assuming you have a decent bandwidth on your broadband connection, you are unlikely to notice any significant difference. It will depend on how much data you move up and down.
- Distance – This is connected to speed but is a little more complex. The further your information travels the longer it will take; this is pure physics. Experts estimate a 10% drop in speed if you use a local VPN and access local websites.
Unfortunately, if you use a VPN in another country and then use local sites or websites in a third state there will be a noticeable drop in speed; as much as 50%. This is why it is essential to review the speed tests if you need a foreign VPN.
The issue is how to balance the need for an international location and extreme privacy with the need for reliable, high-speed internet.
Using a VPN is legal in most countries throughout the world. But, many governments are not keen on them as they reduce their ability to know what is going on at a personal level. In a few countries, such as China, it is banned.
In many European countries, there is a legal requirement for the VPN to keep a log of your activities in case law enforcement needs it in the future. If you are using the services of a VPN simply to protect your data, this is unlikely to be an issue. However, if you are after privacy, then you should opt for a VPN service which is not located in these countries.
A VPN service will help to protect your data and your privacy. Select the right one, and you can use the internet without fear of reprisal for a simple mistype. The only downside is the reduction of speed. Providing you have access to high-quality broadband then this is probably not worth concerning yourself with.
There are many different VPN service providers to choose from; it is important to evaluate the terms and conditions of each before committing to one. They will make your data more secure.
Related: 7 Important Things about VPN