What Is VPN?
What is VPN or Virtual Private Network, is the technology that encrypts communication channels and safeguards your network. Large corporates use remote-access VPNs while connecting with the employees to secure their sensitive data. Lately, VPN use at a personal level has also increased for various reasons.
How Does It Work?
If you are still wondering how VPN encryption works, let us break it down. The internet service provider assigns every internet user a unique IP address. Using this IP address, one can gain access to user information like the geographical location, the identity of the user, and so on. Through VPN, this IP address can be masked and the VPN service provider generates a new IP address. Various VPN service providers have set bases in a range of cities, countries, and continents. They offer gateway access to the subscriber from one city via another city.
For instance, you could be living in Amsterdam, but through a Virtual Private Network, it may appear that you live in New York or Sydney, or any other city of your choice that the VPN service provider offers.
Why Should You Use a VPN?
The use of VPN for private use has been on the rise. If you are wondering why you should sign up for a VPN subscription, read below:
Hides Your Original IP Address
Quite like your physical address directing someone to your home, the IP address is your virtual address. Anybody who has access to your IP address can track your online trail and activities. The fear of surveillance can leave you paranoid. With VPN, your IP address gets masked, giving you privacy and security.
Change Of IP Address
Once you set up your Virtual Private Network, you will be assigned a new IP address, which cannot be traced to you. Thus, you may change your IP address through a VPN.
Encrypt Data During Transfers
If you make use of public networks, then you are putting yourself in a position where your data security can be compromised. In such cases, using a VPN to encrypt your data while transferring it over, say a public WiFi, would be a wise move.
Camouflage Your Location
Through VPN, you can be a virtual resident of any city or country of your choice as long as your VPN service provider offers it. In the digital world, your internet network will seem to originate from the country that you have chosen.
Access Geo-locked Content
Some firms like YouTube and Netflix offer geo-locked content. The videos available to a US citizen may not be available for viewing in Europe. Thus, if you wish to access the content, you can simply set up your VPN to show your network origin as the USA. Similarly, some Government organizations block certain websites from their geographical area, which can be accessed through VPN.
The following are the advantages of using a VPN:
- VPN offers secure channels of communication, which a basic network cannot offer.
- VPN covers up your online trail and adds a layer of privacy to your online activities.
- Some VPNs aid in blocking malware, ads, and trackers.
- You can bypass geo-restrictions or bandwidth throttling imposed by your Internet Service Providers.
- VPN service is legal in most countries.
The following are the disadvantage of using a VPN:
- Even though a VPN may cover your digital tracks, your VPN service provider can subject you to surveillance, which defeats the very purpose of setting up a VPN.
- Since data is encrypted, the speed of the network connection gets drastically reduced.
- Accessing information through a VPN could result in loss of the quality of the content.
- Finding a trustworthy VPN provider offering superior customer satisfaction is difficult. Often malicious entities posing as free VPN services providers store your virtual history and may sell such information.