Cybercrime and data theft are climbing up in all kinds of graph sheets. Your online presence is no more secure if you’re surfing the internet going commando with your original IP address.
There is a rise in ransomware attacks, malware, and phishing scams.
Ransomware is when an attacker encrypts the user’s files through some kind of malicious software, making it impossible for the user to unlock or access the files without a key.
And in exchange for the key, the attacker demands a ransom which a user has to pay in order for the withholding data to be released.
Similarly, in phishing, the attacker tricks users to steal private information like credit card information or passwords by sending fake forms or invoices.
But there are multiple practices from which you can avoid cybersecurity risks of any nature. You can use strong passwords or set up two-step verification processes.
A more advanced approach would be to hide your online identity and surf the web anonymously. It can be done with a proxy or a VPN server.
Both the tools can mask your IP address but VPN is rather a more secure option because it encrypts all the data which you send or receive. A quality point that a proxy server doesn’t have.
Some good VPNs will even make your way through major streaming platforms like Netflix or Hulu. And also, features like kill switch and split-tunneling are always a plus.
But let’s dive deeper and see what VPNs are and how they actually work.
What Is A VPN & How Does It Work?
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a powerful tool that hides your internet identity and encrypts your private data.
To tell you how it works, it simply creates a secure bridge between the user and the VPN server.
All the incoming or outgoing traffic is encrypted by an encryption method, the traffic is routed (following a protocol) through a VPN server, and then finally it reaches the destination page.
As your traffic reaches the destination, your original IP address is shielded by a VPN-generated IP address. And your location is changed.
How Does VPN Encryption Work?
Encryption is the process of hiding your personal information.
When you make a request on the web, your traffic is encrypted and passed through a secure tunnel. All your data is encrypted by a key that is only possessed by the user and the VPN server.
Even if someone is on to you and they successfully get their hands on your internet traffic, all they will get is gibberish. Because your data would make no sense as it can only be decrypted by the key.
A VPN will also prevent your data from being seen by your internet service provider or government agencies. It is possible that they might be aware that you’re using a VPN, but your internet traffic will be unable to track or monitor.
How To Use A VPN?
Using a VPN is easy. First, you need to sign up for a VPN plan. Go to the website of your preferred VPN company and subscribe to a VPN plan which best suits you.
Then download the VPN app according to your device’s compatibility. Install the app and launch it.
Now sign in with your login credentials emailed to you by the VPN provider.
You can either select the quick-connect option to connect to the default server or you can choose a preferred location.
Also, you can set up a VPN manually on your device if you want a customized VPN profile or you can set up a VPN server on your router from which you’ll cover all the devices of your household with a single subscription plan.
Types Of VPN
VPNs were being used long before this era, but not only for the means of security and privacy.
Remote Access VPN
Remote access VPN is the regular VPN that you use from the comfort of your home or office. If you’re using a commercial VPN then you can connect to any remote server.
You may use it to unlock geo-restricted content on the internet or to hide your online presence from your ISP or hackers. It is also used by businesses to give access to the company’s internal network to remote employees.
This type of VPN is often used by businesses that have their headquarters or offices in multiple locations. One site is connected securely to another, forming a virtual bridge and a private connection.
An intranet site-to-site VPN is when multiple locations of the same company are connected.
And an extranet site-to-site VPN is when Company A is connected to the network of Company B.
How To Choose A VPN Server?
To be honest there’s no universal answer when it comes to choosing the right VPN server. It all depends on why you need a VPN in the first place.
When you need high speed. It is no surprise that VPNs can slow down your internet connection as it has to hop from the VPN server and then reach the destination page. So location here matters the most. You have to connect to a server location that is nearest to your physical location. For instance, if you’re in America, connect to a Canadian server.
When you need high security. If what you require is high security and privacy on the web then you need to select an advanced protocol. A protocol is a set of rules that routes your traffic. Most reliable VPNs offer protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, or WireGuard.
When you need to bypass geo-restricted websites. Some websites can be geo-blocked in your region and in order to unblock them, you’ll need to choose a VPN server of another country. A good rule of thumb would be to connect to a server that’s near to your location which also unblocks the website you’re trying to access. In this way, you’ll bypass geo-restrictions and also maintain your internet connection speed.
When you want access to different libraries of streaming platforms. Streaming services work tirelessly to ban VPN-generated IPs. So if you want access to different region libraries of streaming platforms, you’ll need to connect to a server that hundred percent works. And if you can’t find one, get some help from the customer service.
Securing your online presence has become a necessity as cybercrime has been on the verge. And the only way to tackle it is to use a powerful tool like a VPN to eliminate malicious practices which are focused on preying on your sensitive data.