In 2024, more people than ever are using VPNs. VPN’s are a great way at making your internet connection more secure and stable, as well as protecting your browsing data.
But what exactly is a VPN and why should you get one? And what factors should you consider when purchasing or downloading a VPN?
We’ve got you covered – keep reading to learn all about VPNs, including why you need one, and what you should consider when purchasing one.
What is a VPN?
A VPN stands for a virtual private network. It’s a service that protects your internet connection, offering you privacy when browsing online.
This is achieved by creating an encrypted tunnel for your data to travel through, hiding your IP address from potential hackers, marketers, advertisers, and many other bodies.
Your IP address is a string of numbers that are assigned to your device – in fact, each device that connects to the internet will have its own IP address. This may include your mobile phone, your laptop, and even your router. It allows your device to connect with cyberspace, for example, other computers and websites.
A VPN can change your IP address, masking your location. This can give you access to websites and video content outside of your geographical location. It also gives you browsing freedom if you live in an authoritarian regime.
You can also find VPNs that alert you if you’re about to visit a dangerous site. Some VPN’s will also block trackers and malware that could damage your device and data – and even block ads for you.
Why Do I Need a VPN?
There are a variety of reasons why you should get a VPN. For example, VPNs protect your privacy when browsing online, as they encrypt your web traffic so no your online data remains hidden.
If you travel abroad or you’ve moved away from your home country, you could use a VPN to access content from all around the world. For example, platforms such as Netflix will tailor their content according to the location. With a VPN, you can choose which location you want to stream from, and access content you wouldn’t usually be able to.
Another reason to use a VPN is to protect your data when using public Wi-Fi, as VPN’s leave your web traffic invisible.
Government agencies, internet service providers, markets, and many more bodies collect your private data, including your messages and browsing history. Using a VPN protects your data, and covers your tracks online.
VPN’s can also protect your internet connection from DDoS attacks, which is especially useful if you’re a gamer or online gambler.
What Should I Consider When Purchasing a VPN?
Now you have a firm understanding of VPNs and what they do, it’s time to talk about what factors you should consider when purchasing a VPN.
When you’re looking for VPN’s, whether it be to download onto your computer or add as an extension to your browser, you may think that they all look the same. This isn’t the case – some will have a sluggish collection whereas others will be super speedy. Some will have great security, whereas others will just be basic. Read on for more things to look out for!
One of the most important things you should look out for when purchasing a VPN is the security features. You want to ensure that the VPN can make your internet connection perfectly safe with minimal risk.
Look out for security features such as anonymity policies – for example, IP hiding and kill switches. These can ensure that your VPN experience is as smooth and seamless as possible.
However, quality security features aren’t the only thing you should consider when purchasing a VPN. Sluggish connections can completely ruin your web experience and can hinder you when watching content, playing online games, or running numerous programs online.
Look for a VPN that offers options – if you can configure your VPN depending on the purpose, then you can ensure that you have the perfect speed on your site. This is especially relevant if you’ll be using the VPN for streaming, video calls, and online gaming.
Your privacy is important, and a VPN can ensure that your browsing experience remains private. Look for quality encryption mechanisms that will send your traffic through a variety of servers instead of just one.
If you require high levels of anonymity (for example, you live in an authoritarian state), then this is especially important. A standard VPN server will do the job, but a VPN that offers a variety of encryption options will provide you with the best service in terms of privacy.
Ease of Use
You shouldn’t have to be an expert with technology to be able to use a VPN effectively. Some VPNs do a stand-up job but can be almost impossible to use if you’re not familiar with the technology and terminology.
If you’re not a tech expert, then look for a VPN that you think you’d be able to use. Some VPNs will have tutorials to guide you through the process and give you an understanding of the various features they offer. You can find hassle-free VPNs that can be used by anybody, not just the tech-savvy few. Click here to find out how to make the most out of a VPN.
Although you can find free VPN’s online, these will usually just provide you with the basics. However, if you’re looking for the best VPNs with all of the above features, then you should expect to pay a monthly or yearly fee – however, some VPN providers will charge a one-off payment for lifetime usage.
When you purchase a free VPN, there are no guarantees that your browsing will be private and secure. If you’re not willing to pay for a quality VPN, then be sure to check the reviews.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to use an effective VPN – some will cost under £5 a month, and still ensure that your web experience is as safe, private, and seamless as possible.