Did you know that several online services are based on the data you deposit on the Internet?
Do you remember doing a search for a certain product on a shopping site and, in the following days, having your inbox flooded with "offers" of the same product? Have you seen the price of an item in an online store and, when you went back to buy it, realized that the price had changed?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have noticed that the Internet works like a radar that captures, stores and passes on all the activity you do on it. If you are not happy with this situation and want to browse with more privacy and security, then you need a VPN.
What is VPN?
VPN is an acronym for “Virtual Private Network” is a service that allows users to access the web safely and confidentially, route connections through the server and hide your activities in cyberspace. It is called a private network because the connection is encrypted, you are the only one to browse it. The VPN serves as a mask for your IP address, making it “point” to a different location than you are.
Why You Need to Use VPN?
Prevent Internet Provider from Accessing Data
Google, Facebook and other companies watch over you. It is the price to pay for having their services for free: they use your browsing data to attract advertisers, who are the ones who grease the operation of all this machinery with their money.
However, as much as they try, there is only one company capable of knowing which websites you visit and when: your Internet provider. The telephone company that providing you Internet can know exactly your browsing history, although this data is handled privately so that no employee or hacker can access it.
One of the advantages of VPNs is that you can browse as if you were in another country. This can be used for legal practices, such as watching streaming services that are not available on yours, but also to make it easier for many activists.
In certain countries, freedom of expression and opinion does not exist, and crimes committed on the Internet are severely punished. It is what drives opponents to take refuge in virtual private networks as a way to prevent the government from spying on and detaining them.
In China, for example, they are prohibited, although many use them to access Twitter or Facebook.
Securely connect to public WiFi networks
Public WiFi networks are not secure. A cracker with sufficient knowledge can access private and personal information from all devices connected to the same network as him. So it is advisable to avoid these networks whenever possible.
If you can’t, at least take some precaution, such as connecting anonymously with a VPN. It is not a foolproof measure, but it will make it more difficult to access all the information that flows to or from your device.
Avoid being hacked
We have said before that being hacked is relatively easy on a public WiFi network. Even in private, it is also if the criminal in question has data such as IP or has managed to sneak malware into your PC.
A good security measure is to hide your address behind a VPN, which will provide the attacker with a bogus address.
Access Netflix and Sports Streaming from Other Countries
The content made available by streaming services like Netflix may vary from country to country. The VPN can unblock this content based on the country you choose to connect from.
Also you can watch youtube content that is not available in your country.
Remote access to your office for teleworking
Many companies use internal networks to handle documents or information. The problem is that connected equipment needs to be physically connected, a problem if you want to work from home. This prevents one of the most unknown advantages of VPNs : you can access the work network remotely.
Now that teleworking is beginning to gain strength as a method of reconciling work and family life, many companies should explore this possibility.
Regardless of whether you download legal content, downloading via torrent can be blocked by some internet services or make the download speed extremely slow. Through the VPN, the user remains safe when using peer to peer file transfer networks and ending the blocking of downloads. This also makes the transfer speed faster.
How does VPN work?
When we connect to the Internet, the device we use for them connects to our Internet provider or ISP, which is in charge of requesting the information requested from the Internet. This information passes through our provider’s servers, so that our ISP can access all our activity on the network.
When we use a VPN, what we do is hide this information from our provider, since we connect through a server with an encrypted connection. In this way, the data or information requested and returned cannot be seen by our ISP.
That said, we must know that VPN clients are software that providers provide us when we start using their service. This client allows us to easily run the VPN services on our devices, so we only need to run the client, choose the server to which we want to connect and we will automatically be connected to the Internet through the VPN that we are using. As soon as the client establishes the connection with the chosen server, all the information that travels between our device and the Internet is encrypted and is therefore inaccessible by third parties.
FREE vs PAID VPN
We can find lot of free VPNs, however, we must be very careful with these, since the great popularity of thie type of VPN has made them the target of those seeking to distribute all kinds of malware. That is why, there are many ads that offer VPN completely free of charge, those who have some type of hidden malware that will try to infect as many victims as possible.
This is undoubtedly one of the great disadvantages of free VPNs versus paid VPNs, however, this is not the only one. With a paid VPN we can also forget about the uncomfortable ads.
But without a doubt the most important thing is that paid VPN they offer us connections without speed loss and more stability, it does not track our activity on the Internet and they usually offer a technical service to solve any problem that we have with its operation or configuration.
On the other side, free VPN usually have speed limitations or keep record the activity of the users, something that the paid ones do not do.
Also free VPN use shared IP addresses which can be easily detected by certain websites or services like Netflix and hence these block access on these shared IPs.
What are the best VPN Providers?
Here are some VPN services to choose from.
One of the best rated mobile VPNs for its security and speed. Based in Panama, it has servers in more than 61 countries and allows us to connect up to six devices with a subscription whose price is 5.75 euros per month annually and 11.95 euros monthly.
Simplicity of its interface has made CyberGhost one of the most popular VPN. It is also based in Romania and has servers in more than 30 countries. It allows simultaneous connections on five devices and its price is currently 2.45 euros per month in the annual subscription .
With servers in 94 countries and 145 different cities, ExpressVPN does not offer a free trial version as such, but it does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. It allows you to connect 3 devices and its price is $ 10 a month in its 6-month rate .
IPVanish, one of the fastest VPNs that we can find on the market. It is perfect for playing online or playing streaming content at high quality. It offers 1000 servers located in more than 60 countries and its price is $ 6.49 per month per annual subscription .
This provider based in Switzerland has servers in more than 70 countries on all continents. We can connect up to five devices and it also offers support 365 days a year. Its cost is 4 euros per month within the annual subscription.
How to use VPN
Step 1 - Sign up And Subscribe
Sign up and Subscribe to your favorite VPN. If you are still not sure which VPN to choose. Check best VPN recommanded by us.
Step 2 - Download & Install the VPN
Download and Install the VPN client, will be provided by the VPN provider you signed up for. Mostly VPN provides an App for mobile (both android and iOS) and software in the case of Mac or Windows.
Step 3 - Open the app or Software
After Installing start the VPN client ( App in case of smartphone and Software in case of PC).
Step 4 - Sign In
Sign in with the details VPN provider provided at the time of subscription. In case you don't have details then go to your VPN website and get details.
Step 5 - Connect to VPN
After you signed up you will see a connect button, click on it. You will be connected with the fastest VPN server available. If you want to select in a specific country and connect to it from the list of countries available if you are not able to find the list then you can check the menu and here pick the country.
Step 6 - Disconnect
You can disconnect by simply click on the Disconnect button.
Is it legal to use a VPN?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes , however, we should not confuse between the legality of the tool itself with the use or purposes for which we use a VPN.
As a computer tool they do not break any law, although it is true that some countries try to monitor their use or restrict them even though they are completely legal. Even in certain countries, it is the government that prohibits the use of certain VPNs , allowing only those approved by themselves. This is where the interests and eagerness of the government of some countries, such as China, to have their citizens controlled.
In this case, the VPN providers surely have complied with certain requirements imposed by the government itself to avoid the complete privacy of the users, as well as to avoid the use of certain services or access to censored content. In these cases, the government can impose very high fines on those who use tools not approved in their country.
How to start using a VPN?
The most normal and quick way to start enjoying the advantages of VPN connections is to register with one of the many companies that offer VPN services. You pay a monthly fee that can range from a couple of dollars to more than 10 dollars and you get the credentials to log in to their service and often an official VPN client of your own that makes things much easier for you.
However, if you want total and absolute control of your connection or you don't trust anyone, you can follow the philosophy of "if you want something well done, you must do it yourself". The problem with this is that it is rare that you have access to a PC in another country with which you can enjoy some of the advantages that we mentioned before (avoid censorship, geo-blockings).
There are some exceptions, as the globetrotters who travel frequently and installing a VPN on their PC at home find they can continue to access their files wherever they are, also enjoying the services that were only available in their country, such as Netflix or Spotify.
If you want to create your own VPN server, whether it's on your Windows PC or on a remote server under your control, OpenVPN is probably your best option. You can download it from here , although you are warned in advance that installing a VPN server is not as easy as clicking Next - Next - Next.