Why Do You Need A VPN to…

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If you use a VPN correctly, it can preserve your privacy. We’ll go through what VPNs are, what they aren’t, and how you can use one to safeguard your online privacy.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have evolved from a niche networking notion to a multibillion-dollar industry. You’ve certainly seen advertisements from your favourite YouTuber, on podcasts, and even during the Superbowl claiming that a VPN can make you anonymous or allow you to watch free video streaming. Are the products as good as they claim to be? 

While VPNs can be valuable for preserving your privacy, it’s crucial to understand how they function before deciding whether or not they’ll be of value to you. We lay down what VPNs do and don’t do to help you figure out why you’d want one and how to choose the right one for you.

How Do Virtual Private Networks Work?

When I speak of VPNs, I usually refer to a commercial VPN that is marketed directly to consumers for use in their daily lives, although the concept of VPNs is much broader. Long before COVID-19 made working from home the norm, companies used VPN technology to let employees access digital resources no matter where they were.

When you turn on a VPN, it establishes an encrypted connection (also known as a “tunnel”) between your device and a VPN service’s distant server. All of your internet traffic is sent through this tunnel to the server, which then forwards it to the public internet as normal. 

Keep in mind that setting up a VPN does not necessitate the use of a third-party service. There are a few alternatives for creating your own, including Outline. It’s not difficult to do so, but you’ll either need your own server or rent one. While some efforts are being made to make self-hosted VPNs more accessible, it’s best left to tinkerers who aren’t afraid to get their hands (digitally) dirty.

What are the best Two VPNs

  1. ExpressVPN 

It has 3000+ servers worldwide with 2 servers located in Italian cities.

  • Its security protocols, just like the Aes-256 bit encryption technique, OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, and WireGuard audit all of the safety layers, and make sure that they are working well within the network.
  • Huge server allocation, exceeding the 2speed factors.
  • Unblocking of geo-restricted websites.
  • Robust security protocols.
  • Kill Switch, Split-tunneling, and WireGuard facility.
  • A Live Chat option is there for the purchasers so that they can post in their queries for an instant response back, and a fast query rendering within seconds.
  1. PureVPN

Another VPN that comes along the way is the mighty PureVPN. It lets you access all your favourite TV shows and movies. You can easily watch geo-restricted content in your region using PureVPN on your streaming device. 

PureVPN provides the user with the WireGuard protocol as well as additional security features like multihop and diskless servers. In addition, it offers 24/7 live chat support and a verified zero-logs policy.

  • High encryption (AES-256-GCM cipher)
  • WireGuard protocol in use across its network
  • Security features: multihop and diskless servers
  • Verified zero-logs policy 
  • No leaks (IP or DNS)
  • Allows P2P traffic on multiple servers
  • Easy-to-use apps 
ExpressVPN General Streaming

ExpressVPN

Get started in minutes with an ultra-secure VPN for anonymous browsing

  • Be anywhere: 3,000+ servers in 94+ countries
  • Industry-leading VPN provider
  • 24/7 support via email and live chat
  • Risk-free trial: 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Special deal: Get 12 months + 3 months free
PureVPN General Steaming

PureVPN

VeHigh encryption via the AES-256-GCM cipher
WireGuard protocol in use across its network
Extra security features like multihop and diskless servers
Verified zero-logs policy and no IP or DNS leaks
Stream now and allows P2P traffic on many servers
Easy-to-use apps and 24/7 live chat support

Do Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) Allow You to Be Anonymous Online?

It is more difficult, but not impossible, for observers to identify you and trace your online travels when your communication is encrypted and routed through a VPN server. Your internet service provider (ISP) has a lot of information about what you do online, and thanks to Congress, it can sell anonymized customer data. That means the internet service provider you pay for is profiting from your data.

 The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a study in 2021(Opens in a new window) detailing how much your ISP knows about your internet activities, and it’s a lot. If you don’t like it when a corporation you already pay profiteers from your data, or if you’re worried about ISPs stockpiling personal information.

On the internet, you can remain anonymous. Advertisers, for example, have a variety of methods for identifying and tracking you as you navigate the internet. Website trackers and cookies attempt to uniquely identify you and then monitor for your next appearance. 

Sites and advertisers can also recognise you based on a variety of unique features, such as your browser version and screen size. These identifiers are harmless on their own, but when firms collect enough of them, they generate a unique signature, which is why the practise is known as browser fingerprinting.

That’s not even taking into account the privacy we forego in return for services. Amazon, Google, and Meta (previously Facebook) have grown inextricably linked to the modern internet infrastructure and are difficult to ignore. They’d probably be able to harvest data on you even if you deleted all of your accounts and never used them again.

Other than VPNs, these concerns necessitate the use of other solutions. Some of these concerns are addressed by ad and tracker blockers, which can be found in some browsers or as independent tools like the EFF’s Privacy Badger(Opens in a new window).

Do Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) Offer Malware Protection?

Several VPNs claim to provide some level of security against malicious files. The concept is that before files reach your machine, the VPN company examines them as they pass through their systems.

I don’t usually evaluate VPNs’ virus detection capabilities because I consider VPNs to be primarily a privacy tool. I believe that independent antimalware software—whether purchased or included with your computer—does a better job of addressing the problem of malware. In addition, I believe VPNs should pay as little attention to your web traffic as feasible as a privacy solution.

Do Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) Keep You Safe Online?

A VPN can help you avoid being monitored online by hiding the contents of your web traffic from some observers. However, a VPN can only offer limited security against the most common online risks, such as malware, social engineering schemes, and phishing sites.

There are more effective approaches to deal with these dangers. Most antivirus software, as well as your browser, have built-in mechanisms for detecting phishing sites, so pay attention when you notice a warning. If you notice a strange pop-up window or receive an unexpected email asking you to take action, use your common sense. Many people reuse passwords or use weak passwords, so invest in a password manager.

Do VPNs Protect Your Online and Torrenting Activity?

When you use a VPN, all of your data is encrypted. This means your ISP won’t be able to see the websites you visit or the files you transfer.

While your ISP may not be able to see that you’re torrenting the full season of The Great British Bake Off, they can infer that you’re consuming a lot of data. This could constitute a breach of your terms and conditions on its own. Pirating content could also be a breach of your VPN’s terms and conditions, so double-check.

Can VPNs Help You Avoid Censorship?

You can use a VPN to connect to a VPN server in another country and browse the internet as if you were physically present there. This can let you get around local content restrictions and other forms of censorship in some circumstances.

It’s without a doubt the noblest application of a VPN, and VPN providers will frequently tout their role in safeguarding internet freedom. While this should work, you should be aware that a VPN does not make your traffic invisible. Observers will be able to see encrypted traffic, but not the contents of the traffic (ideally). This alone could draw unwelcome attention to you.

Is it possible for VPNs to spoof your location?

You can spoof your location by connecting to a VPN server in another country. Examining an internet-connected machine’s IP address is one method of determining its location. These addresses are geographically dispersed and may be relatively close to your actual location. Your genuine location can be concealed by concealing your true IP address behind the IP address of a VPN server.

Is it possible to unblock streaming content using a VPN?

Different nations may receive different content from streaming services. Until recently, residents of the United Kingdom could watch Star Trek: Discovery on Netflix, while those in the United States had to subscribe to Paramount+. You can connect to a VPN server in another country from the comfort of your own home, for example, to watch streaming content that isn’t available in the United States.

Streaming providers, like governments, are aware that many individuals use VPNs to get their content and actively strive to block it. So, while you can use a VPN to stream video online, which I am sure most of you are doing, it may work today but may not tomorrow.

FAQs

Do you really need a VPN?

It is desirable, even recommended, to use a VPN at home, although it is not always necessary. Because your online activities should already be protected by your password-protected Wi-Fi network, it may not be essential. Another issue is that connecting to a remote server can cause your connection speed to go down.

Why shouldn’t you use a VPN?

VPNs can’t encrypt your communications on their own; it’s simply not possible. There’s nothing you can do about it if the endpoint wants plaintext. When you use a VPN, the only portion of the connection that is encrypted is the part between you and the VPN provider.

Conclusion

VPNs had a far more well-defined place in your privacy and security toolbox just a few years ago. The majority of traffic back then was sent over HTTP, often without any encryption at all. The majority of web traffic nowadays is sent over HTTPS, which encrypts your connection. An ISP or someone snooping on your network can only see the top level of your traffic’s destination while looking at HTTPS traffic. It’s the equivalent of seeing PCMag.com instead of PCMag.com/max-is-great.

Advertisers’ tracking tactics have also become more sophisticated. Because of browser fingerprinting and other measures, a VPN’s anonymizing capabilities are limited. Even a VPN’s touted ability to spoof locations, evade censorship, and unblock streaming is becoming less guaranteed as businesses and governments become more aggressive in their filtering efforts.