Protecting your data and privacy on the internet has become increasingly important in the modern world. Every day you likely utilize an app or a website that requires a credit card, your address, or potentially your social security number.
It is important to secure yourself online, especially as the internet becomes more and more dangerous, and we necessarily expose more of our lives to it. Identity theft is not a joke, Jim. Neither are VPNs.
What is a VPN?
A VPN is a “virtual private network”. The technical details can actually get quite complicated, and unless you’re curious about encrypted layered tunneling protocols, and remote access encryption techniques, it’s not particularly important for the modern user to understand.
The basic facts are this. A normal user will utilize the internet to access a variety of websites and apps. when they go to connect to a site, they use the public network through a local internet access point. For example if you’re sitting in a Starbucks, your laptop will connect to the broader internet through the Starbucks wifi. The internet itself is unprotected, as is the local access point at the Starbucks.
Essentially this opens you up to potentially have your data monitored, by a hostile government or cyber criminals. A VPN protects you by creating a “tunnel” around the normal, open internet. Essentially it connects your local device through an isolated path that avoids exposing your data, location or IP address to the broader internet.
What will a VPN do for me?
The uses of VPNs are fairly broad. They can be used to get around geo-fencing blocks by websites which is one of the primary ways activists in hostile foreign countries communicate. There are also people who attempt to gamble online in the US by establishing their connection outside of their actual state. This is not recommended as it generally carries serious penalties from the sites themselves.
The most common use is just basic data protection and security. A good VPN will encrypt your information end to end, which will make it untraceable and relatively impervious to theft. Not all VPNs are encrypted so make sure any VPN you decide to use is.
VPNs are also quite common in a corporate setting to access server and back end infrastructure. This ensures critical company data is not exposed to the broader internet, and limits the ability of a single employee to accidentally create a data breach.
How can I get a VPN?
There are a number of VPN options. A new offering seems to spring up each day. We’ve done our research, and in this case, the best-known VPN seems to be the best on the market. That is Express VPN.
They have a 30-day money back guarantee, and a single month subscription is just $12.95. If you feel comfortable prepaying for a year, it is often under $7 a month.
Whatever company you decide to go with, we cannot stress the importance of a VPN enough. The new world is here, and protecting your data is critical to navigating it.