Virtual Private Networks: Securing your Identity and Location

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) serve as your security tool in terms of censorship avoidance, privacy improvement and anonymous file sharing. However, they are not created equal and you don’t wish to pay for features you will not need.

Whey People Use VPN

  • Remote access- By using software, VPN makes a virtualized network between a couple of separate networks. For instance, the use of VPN allows an employee home-based in a certain suburb while having the ability to access the company intranet in a building in a city, like he was there on the network of the city office. Consumers can use the same technology to bridge their laptops and phones to their home network, thus while traveling they can access home computer files securely.

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  • Encrypt your connection. VPNs enable you to prevent others from seeing data you are transferring.  With this, data is kept secure, especially on public Wi-Fi networks in locations like airports and coffee shops making sure that nobody can detect your traffic and possibly steal your credit card numbers of passwords.
  • Route your internet traffic through another network. This makes possible for you to make it look like it is coming from another location. Therefore, when you in Paris, France, you can make the traffic seem to come from Sydney, Australia.  This is quite useful for some websites which block content based upon location.

Also, a lot of people live in countries that have high levels of censorship and monitoring and countries that have more convert monitoring. Using a secure tunnel to make you look like you are from somewhere else can help in getting round monitoring and censorship.

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  • Hide internet activity- Apart from hiding your internet activity from snooping governments, VPNs can also be used to hide your activity from snooping internet service providers (ISPs). In case your ISP loves to throttle your internet connection based upon content, VPNs can eliminate this issue since your traffic will travel to one point through the encrypted tunnel with your ISP being ignorant of the type of traffic it is.

Evaluating your VPN Needs

Each user is expected to have slightly different VPN needs and to choose the right VPN service consider your needs first.  Here are some questions you can ask yourself to make your assessment.

  • Does your home network need secure access? When you only care about securely accessing your home network, you do not really have to invest in a VPN service. Remote VPN services let you access a remote network instead of your own network. You can access your home network through a VPN server which runs on either an attached device or your home router.

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  • Do you need secure browsing? If you use public Wi-Fi networks on a regular basis you will not know if the connection you are using is secure. You will not be guaranteed that an unknown Wi-Fi is hotspot is not malicious. For this, you do not really need the fastest VPN with massive bandwidth for securing your web browsing, Facebook and email activities. Indeed, your home VPN server can serve you.
  • Do you have to geo-shirt location? When you want to look like you are in another location to access content available only in that area, you will need a VPN service that has servers situated in the region you want to exit the remote network in.

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Deam Lee