What is a VPN? In short, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an online service specially designed to help you access the web in a safe and private manner simply by masking your identity and hiding your browsing behavior.
so, What is a VPN?
When you are connected to the internet with a VPN, what it does is to connect you to a distinct server, hide your IP address, and encrypt all your inbound and outbound data, so as to make your online activities untraceable and unreadable to different online hackers, your ISP, the government, and any other intruder.
HOW DOES A VPN WORK?
Normally, when you connect to the internet and try accessing a website, a request will be sent to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) after which they will then redirect you to your destination. In a nutshell, all your online activities passes through your ISP, meaning that they can see everything you are doing online; whether you are streaming web content, playing online game, reading news online, they see everything! Having said that, your ISP can also track your browsing behaviour and even share with third parties like Advertisers, government agents, etc. without your consent.
This is the exact point you need a VPN. When you access the web with a VPN, it will firstly redirect your internet traffic through a distinct server, mask your IP address and encrypt all your inbound and outbound data. Once your data is encrypted, it then becomes unreadable to anyone who tries reading it. This simply means that your browsing activity is made secure and private whenever you connect to the internet with a VPN; you need not to worry again about intrusion by online hackers, your ISP, government agencies, and other trespassers.
WHY should I use A VPN?
There are lots of reasons why you need a VPN, some of which include:
1. It hides your IP address
When you connect to the internet with a VPN, it will conceal your IP address so as to protect yourself from being tracked to your physical location. Aside from that, hiding your IP Address will also allow you to access websites that are not available to your current IP address’s geographic location.
2. It Encrypts data transfers
Whenever you are surfing the internet, there are some data being sent and received underneath, and what VPN does is to encrypt it in a process called “encapsulation” so as to make it unreadable by anyone who might want to use it for their selfish interest (such as your ISP, government agencies, and even hackers).
3. It helps in Accessing blocked websites
If there are some websites blocked from your current location, you can easily unblock them with a good VPN and you will get the content the same way it appears on the website.
4. It makes you more anonymous on the web.
If you are a privacy-freak, you need a VPN because it comes with several privacy & security features to keep you anonymous while performing any task on the internet.
5. It allows you to escape ISP throttling
ISPs are fond of throttling data so as to save bandwidth, whereas that may slow down your streaming experience. That’s why you need a reliable VPN to bypass the throttling and make your HD and 4K streaming experience more enjoyable.
6. It prevents against government surveillance and Internet censorship
There are some cases where some government agencies will try intruding into the privacy of their countrymen by assessing their browsing behaviour, or they might even ban a website in that specific region, meaning that no one can access such website in the country. The best way to overcome the two issues is by getting a good VPN as it will help handle each perfectly i.e You will be able to avoid surveillance by the government and you will also be able to unblock the banned website.
7. It guarantees a secure banking
Hackers are always hunting for users’ bank account to alter for easy money. A good VPN will provide you with military-grade security that will prevent you from being a victim of the dreaded cybercriminals.
8. It helps in finding deals
There are some online sites and services that charge prices based on the location of the buyer. If the price charged for your current location is not budget-friendly, you can easily connect with a VPN, hide your IP address and location to a location where you can get cheaper rates and save more money.
9. You don’t need technical skills to operate it
Most of the VPN services out there are pretty easy to use; all you need do is to sign up, subscribe, install on your device, do a minor configuration, and click on the “Connect” button. That’s all!
10. It is compatible with a wide range of devices and platforms
You can use a VPN on any of your devices, including your laptop, Android smartphone, iOS device, routers, and you can even install the extension on your browser (such as Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.)
HOW TO GET AND USE A VPN?
There are lots of great VPN services you can choose from, but they are not created equal. To get real value for your money, there are certain variables you have to assess before choosing a VPN, and they include the following:
Must Have Features of a Good VPN
- Bandwidth. Are they offering unlimited bandwidth or a limited one? (Only choose a VPN with unlimited bandwidth so as to enjoy unlimited streaming and downloading)
- Servers. Servers represent the number of locations you can access (Choose a VPN with huge server count so as to have access to many more locations)
- Speed. How fast is the VPN? (The faster the speed, the more you will enjoy your browsing and streaming experience).
- Encryption. How robust is the encryption system? (Choose a VPN that offers military-grade encryption only)
- Compatibility. Does this VPN support my current devices? (Choose only a VPN that is fully compatible with your device so as to avoid unnecessary crashes).
- Support. How responsive and active is their customer support? (Don’t bother choosing a VPN that takes forever to attend to your complaints).
Upon assessing these parameters, you can then choose the one that suits you better, subscribe to a plan, install on your device and start using it.
Fortunately, most of the top VPNs come with a user-friendly and easy to navigate interface, meaning that you can operate it effortlessly.
FREE OR PAID VPN?
You might have come across some VPN providers that charge some amount of money for their services, while some also offer it free of charge. Well, the bitter truth is that “nothing good comes for free”. When you are using a free VPN, you expose yourself to lots of risks; they may log your online activities and even sell it to third parties. Not that alone, they may also be clogging you with lots of unsolicited adverts, which might slow down your browsing experience. In a nutshell, free VPNs cannot offer you close to 5% of what a premium VPN will give you, so desist from them and spend on reliable, premium VPNs only.
HOW MUCH DOES A VPN COST?
VPNs are not as expensive as you may think; they are being priced reasonably. On average, most of the VPN providers charge between $4.99 and $10 monthly for their services, which is too cheap compared to the myriad benefits you will enjoy upon subscribing to a plan. You can pay with your regular credit card, PayPal, and some even accept anonymous payment methods like Bitcoin.