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Do I Need a VPN?

Graham Cook  — May 5, 2019

Those looking for ways to remain secure online often ask “Do I need a VPN?” A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a great way to enhance Internet safety and safeguard against hacking.

What is a VPN and why should you consider one? Below is some information you need to know.

How the Internet Works

Before asking “Do I need a VPN?” you should first know what one is. To explain, we must tell you a little bit about how the Internet works.

When going online, you first connect to your Internet Service Provider (ISP), who then allows you to perform browsing. While you are online, your ISP can see all of your activity, and may even create logs that are then sold to third party advertisers.

Not only is your ISP spying on you, but it is also legally required to provide information to law enforcement if subpoenaed to do so. This is something that should alarm you, even if you are not performing illegal activities online.

What is a Virtual Private Network?

A VPN creates a secure, encrypted connection between your device and a website’s server. In other words, it bypasses your ISP and serves as a sort of middleman. In that way, you have enhanced privacy without having to worry about someone constantly monitoring you.

Your ISP may not be the only one watching you online. Some websites track their visitor’s activity as well. You can’t always tell when you are on one of those websites either unless you take time to read each one’s privacy policy.

Tracking by individual websites is something that can also be avoided with a VPN. That’s because you’ll appear to have accessed a site from your VPN’s IP address and not your own.

Do I Need a VPN?

You may be thinking that a VPN is only for people who work with trade secrets or classified information. Even so, the average user can benefit from them as well. This is particularly true if you regularly sign on to public Wi-Fi networks, which are especially vulnerable to hacking.

If you are a teleworker, you could also benefit. A Virtual Private Network will allow you to securely access your company’s server, thereby reducing a security breach to your employer.

Access to certain sites is often prohibited in foreign countries with restrictive Internet policies. By using a VPN, it’s often possible to access restricted sites anyway since websites may believe you are visiting them from an “authorized” location.

Benefits of a VPN

A few benefits you could realize from using a VPN include:

  • Bypassing your ISP’s collection of data
  • Enhancing online security
  • Gaining access to prohibited sites
  • Remaining anonymous online
  • Encrypting data, making it difficult to steal

If you are asking “Do I need a VPN?” the answer to that question is “yes”! Anyone who uses the Internet can benefit from one, even those who tend to only check emails or social media accounts.

A VPN is especially useful if you perform banking or other financial transactions online. It keeps your data safe and could prevent you from becoming a victim of identity theft.

Choosing a VPN

When choosing a VPN, it’s important to note that not all of them are the same. First, you’ll need to make sure that the VPN you choose is compatible with your devices. It should also be user-friendly and cover the locations you need it to. Look for a company with good customer service and above-average user reviews.

There are some free VPN sites out there, however, they are not always the best option. The companies providing them must make money somehow, and that often means collecting and selling your data just like your ISP already does. In that case, you wouldn’t actually be gaining anything by using a VPN.

Free sites may also come with advertising, poor security, and slow connection speeds. As such, you are more likely to become frustrated and decide not to use them.

Reputable VPN providers will provide you with all of the benefits and none of the hassle. Be sure you know what you are getting so that you can enjoy surfing online without worry.

By now you are probably thinking that this sounds great but that getting a VPN would be too difficult or expensive. That’s not at all the case. Virtual Private Networks are very affordable and easy to use even for a beginner.

Do not fall prey to the idea that you do not need or cannot afford a Virtual Private Network. Ensure your online security by purchasing one today!