Friday, 6 September 2013

You Should Be Using a VPN Service
What is a VPN?
Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs for short let you send data securely over the internet. When you use a VPN service, all the data sent between your computer and the VPN server is encrypted. A user opens a VPN portal on their system and from there operates under the VPNs protection through the VPN-specific series of protected computers and networks.
In simple terms, it enables your laptop, home pc, mobile or tablet to establish a connection to a private network, while benefiting from functionality, security, and management policies of the private network.
Why use a VPN?
When someone thinks of a VPN service, they traditionally think of a business user who is travelling the world logging onto a VPN to gain secure access to an online office. However the notion of VPN service is changing, everywhere you look, there's a "Free Wi-Fi here" sign, coffee shops, supermarkets, restaurants, pubs, and the list is endless. Logging on to these networks can be a risk, as there is a potential for people to steal your data. Attackers prey on unsuspecting people in coffee shops etc., but a VPN provides the security to stop them.
As well as the protection from exchanging data on public networks, a VPN service also encrypts your web session on your home computer, stopping spying eyes from recording and potentially stealing your daily activity.
Using a VPN service hides your real IP address, giving you true anonymity. If someone was to know your IP address, not only can they learn your location, they would be able to discover your website history, access internet search reports, blog comments, torrent downloads, and more. By using a VPN service connection, your current IP address will be replaced with a secure server in the country of your choosing.
Using a VPN service allows you to bypass censorship and unblock the internet, you can easily bypass any type of internet filter by tunnelling their connection through a VPN server in the country of your choosing. Many countries throughout the world take great measures to filter and block certain websites like Facebook and Google. Using a VPN service you could still keep in touch with friends when travelling North Korea.
There doesn't seem to be a week gone by recently without a revelation regarding personal privacy violations, everyone and anyone may be recording your every email, chat and website visit. By encrypting your internet connection through VPN service, you can rest assured your personal data is secure from both unauthorised and authorised access.
Which VPN to use?
There are lots of VPNs to choose from, some of which are free, some of which are not - most being in the £5 - £10 a month range. You are more likely to be bothered with ads using free providers, so if privacy is important to you, you may want to avoid them. Yet if you are on a budget and need quick security, they're a great option. Paid for/subscription providers tend to take your privacy more seriously, however it is still important to do your research and take advantage of a free trial, if offered.
There are several protocols available in a VPN, such as SSL and PPTP. This isn't important to most, except to a company's network administrator. The country in which the VPN server is located may be important, depending on where you are working. Some service providers log the network traffic, which may be beneficial or detrimental to your line of work.
It is worth choosing a VPN that provides some sort of anti-malware scanner to make sure you do not download any viruses or Trojans. It is wise to opt for a VPN service provider which gives a consistent service amongst all your devices, be it mobile, tablet or PC.
In short a VPN service will give you more freedom and security online, allowing you to serve the web as you will.
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