There are various reasons why everyone should use a VPN. Some of these reasons are due to outright security, while others address current concerns over data privacy and surveillance. A Virtual Private Network, commonly abbreviated as a VPN, is indispensable online security software that is very popular nowadays among the general public. It is also easily accessible and a cinch to use. There is ample reason as to why internet users should be considering making the move to VPNs, which we will discuss in the sections below.
First: A Brief Overview about VPNs
VPN technology has been around for a long time, in terms of the core technologies that are fundamental to the functioning of modern VPNs. This is what is called PPTP or Point-to-Point-Tunneling-Protocol which is essentially a set of network parameters and protocols built by Microsoft decades ago.
Something similar in function to the VPN is what is called a “proxy gateway” where you can connect to an extra network via a website. This extra “gateway” functions as an obfuscation tool to throw off your internet traffic from the prying eyes of your ISP, the government, and cybercriminals.
Proxies were very popular in the 90s and 2000s until the powerful all-in-one comprehensive solution known as the VPN came about. This is much like how antivirus software is no longer required because antimalware suites contain that which antivirus software already does (except in some specific cases.)
In effect, the VPN kind of removed the need for proxies (that were already cumbersome and slow, even sometimes difficult to access for the average user.) Although, proxies still have their uses i.e., in automation and some software development today.
The VPN market today has grown to hundreds of millions of dollars, an estimated figure, as an exact figure on the size of the market is unavailable,” says Noman,IT specialist at Proxy FAN. What we do know is that more and more people are using VPNs for their cybersecurity and privacy. The VPN is like your all-in-one surface cleaner, in a way, removing the need for dozens of bottles of other substances in your closet.
There are multiple VPN brands out there competing across various websites and app stores, available for both desktop and mobile platforms. Since smartphone usage has skyrocketed in the last decade, the majority of VPN users will inevitably be on the Android platform, followed by Apple phones and then laptop and desktop computers.
The competing brands are a mix of low, mid, and high-tier VPN companies. Now, with VPNs it is important to never use an unverified brand, as that could be easily run by cyber criminals, could affect the stability of your system, or will not even protect your internet traffic. The best-case scenario with VPN services like Proton is that, yes, they are legitimate but they come with several limitations as opposed to the full, paid versions of the software.
Millions of people also use VPNs to escape censorship or unblock digital media streaming, as well as save money on online goods and services. The VPN has become an extremely competitive market and revolutionary software that is much needed in a time where cybercrime is rampant and extremely sophisticated, and mainstream tech companies can no longer be trusted with how they handle and process user data.
For this same reason, millions of messaging users have moved away from platforms like Whatsapp and Facebook, for instance.
What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network or VPN is network software that, simply put, takes your internet connection and puts it in its encrypted tunnel, safe from prying eyes and data sniffing malware. In that tunnel, your internet connection is encrypted with military-grade encryption that makes your incoming and outgoing data packets useless to anyone trying to intercept them.
A VPN also virtually changes your IP address. The IP address is a set of numbers that point to where a computer or smartphone connected to the internet is physically located. This way, with a VPN, a user can simply relocate to another country by connecting to a server within the VPN app.
Why Do You Need a VPN, Especially Today?
Today, a VPN helps eliminate several potential internet safety and privacy issues. Some of these issues may not pose a direct danger to the user, but are more of a nuisance (like pop-ups), while others like encryption will save the user from the direct risk that is cybercrime and data interception. The latter is particularly important on unprotected connections like public WiFi.
With a VPN(Virtual Private Network) activated, anyone sniffing the internet connection will not be able to assess what the user is doing i.e., which domains are being visited and when. This traffic will be garbled by a 256-bit modern encryption algorithm that is almost impossible to reverse-engineer.
Secondly, a VPN will throw off-web publishers like marketing agencies as well as Big Data user data and behavior tracking algorithms that trawl the internet hoovering up information. Thirdly, your government and the internet service provider that you pay to connect to the intern in your country will not be able to see what you are browsing.
Now, it is important to remember two things; never use a VPN for illegal purposes and do not expect a VPN to cover silly mistakes and overlooks. This means, along with a VPN, understanding basic internet safety practices such as protecting your passwords from breaches, using a privacy-conscious browser such as Brave, and updating all of your software as soon as your system notifies you to do so.
Selecting a premium-tier VPN from the likes of NordVPN, ExpressVPN and others will require you to pay a subscription fee. However, you get a lot in return (and you can even save money online by playing with server locations.) You will also get great customer support, solid Privacy Policies and Terms of Services as well as an unhindered, fast, and professionally encrypted VPN service.
Have fun responsibly using magical VPN software!