What is VPN, And Why It Is So Important?


Why VPN is important?

One way or the other, you may find yourself using the internet. This exposes you to various issues that happen online. Someone might be prying on your private information and personal details. How can you keep your privacy secure? virtual private network screams privacy and security for online and internet users.

What is VPN?

VPN stands for a virtual private network. A VPN is a tool that keeps your private details secure when you are online. It protects the information that you share or sends over the network cyber thieves can steal your information such as credit card details, passwords, identity, and more. Hence, you may need a VPN to secure your data from third parties. 

However, as much as a VPN provides security and privacy, it has some loopholes. You have to understand how VPN protects your data and to what extent.

Types of a virtual private network

There are different types of VPNs that you can choose from according to your needs.

  1. Remote access: Good for individuals
  2. Site-to-site: Ideal for companies

Types of VPN Protocols

The types of VPNs also use different VPN protocols that determine the level of security

  • Internet Protocol Security – secures data through encryption. It is one of the popular protocols. In terms of speed, it is faster and performs better than OpenVPN.
  • Point-to-point – 
  • Layer 2 Tunnelling Protocol
  • OpenVPN – This protocol is secure compared to others. OpenVPN protocol uses triple data encryption standard, Advanced Encryption Standard, as well as 256-bit encryption. 
  • Secure Shell
  • Secure Sockets  Layer

What does a Virtual Private Network do?

VPN is good for keeping you secure when you are online. But do you know how it does that? As you use the internet to search or do something else data travels online through multiple points. VPN secures your IP address so that it is not visible to potential threats such as cyber thieves.

Information gets passed from one point to another through an encrypted tunnel. The encrypted tunnel makes it difficult for third parties to read information. The data get packaged in such a way that it is unreadable. No one can decode data, it will be represented as useless.

The VPN system is secure from external attacks. Malware, viruses, and other means might be used to crack VPNs, however, the VPN works against those external attacks.

How does it work?

1. Hides IP address from potential cyber thieves

Various applications that you use are built on Internet Protocol (IP). IP is meant to transport data from your device (computer, laptop, phone, etc.) to another point.  Not all IP addresses are secure. An insecure IP address exposes the data that you use on those applications.

As such, VPN software can be used to hide the IP address so that your data can be safe from cyber-attacks.

2. VPN connects to private servers

When using your computer or any other device, it means that the data will be traveling from your computer and its Internet Service Provider to another point. But when you are using a VPN, the data travels from the VPN’s private server to the internet. That secures the data and your privacy.

3. Encrypt data

Encryption of data is scrambling it so that it is impossible to read it. A VPN encrypts data that you send from one point to another on networks.

Who needs a Virtual Private Network?

Almost anyone who uses the internet needs VPN regardless of status. That means individuals and companies can use virtual private network services. Cyber thieves are always harvesting data for unscrupulous means.

Things to consider when choosing a VPN

  1. Security – Choose  a  VPN that is good at encrypting data as well as blocking tunnel  leaks
  2. Data transfer speed – some VPNs lowers server speed
  3. VPN provider’s location – A VPN service provider follows the laws of its home country. Choose a VPN that will not share your data and information. 
  4. VPN’s privacy policy – make sure that you scrutinize the VPN’s privacy policy.
  5. The number of servers – many servers might be difficult to control. Opt for a vendor with fewer servers.
  6. Price – VPNs come with a price tag. Free or cheaper VPNs have fewer features, and your security might be compromised
  7. Features on offer – VPN vendors offer different features

 Pros of a VPN

  • Hides online activities
  • Encrypts IP address
  • Improves internet security 
  • Makes it easy to access website content from anywhere
  • You can browse websites anonymously
  • Hides your internet history and search history 
  • Protects personal information
  • Prevents various forms of cyber attacks
  • Two-factor authentication makes it difficult for third parties to access  your connection
  • Lowers support costs for servers
  • Provides cheaper telephone charges

Cons of a VPN 

  • Slows down the internet connection
  • VPNs are not  entirely free
  • Choosing and  setting up a VPN might be difficult
  • The use of VPN is illegal or heavily regulated in some countries

Best Virtual Private Network (VPN) Software

There are different VPN software that you can select from. And it can be overwhelming if you are not a tech-savvy person or if you have less experience in VPNs. To make it easier for you below is a wide-range list of the best VPNs that you can choose from.

  • NordVPN – headquartered in Panama, your data is safe and secure. The VPN software is ideal for individuals and corporates. It is one of the fastest VPN software with great features.
  • OpenVPN – This can be used by individuals and businesses to secure data communications. The OpenVPN solution can be deployed on the cloud, standard servers, and virtual appliances.
  • ExpressVPN – For greater functionality, you can consider this VPN software. Interestingly, it is located in the British Virgin Islands which is a privacy-friendly country. Therefore, your data will be safe.
  • NetMotion – If you are looking for a VPN that caters to mobile workers, you can consider NetMotion. It is available as a service and also in the cloud.
  • PureVPN for Teams – This is another VPN that you can rely on if you are into mobile business and services. Remote employees can access customers’ data without being worried about cybercrime.
  • ProtonVPN – This VPN solution is open-source. Its headquarter is in Switzerland with strong privacy laws. This somehow guarantees the privacy and security of the data and information that you use online.
  • Connect Secure – if you want to secure remote access, you can use this VPN solution. Connect Secure is a cloud-based solution. It is good for businesses that want to secure their data. 
  • Windscribe – This is one of the new VPN service providers in business offering standardized services for individuals and businesses. The pricing model is flexible.
  • Hide.me – If you want a free VPN solution, you can use Hide.me system. However, if you want advanced features, you can opt for a paid subscription. Another advantage of Hide.me is that it is headquartered in Malaysia which promotes the privacy and security of private data.  
  • Tunnelbear – For your online privacy, you can use Tunnebear at affordable prices. It is headquartered in Canada offering various features such as Killswitch, no logging policy, AES 256-bit encryption, and more.
  • Avast SecureLine VPN – This VPN solution is ideal for individuals, businesses, and partners. Some of the features of Avast SecureLine VPN include data encryption, a Kill switch, P2P support, no logging, and DNS leak protection, among others. 
  • Psiphon – This is one of the VPN software that you can use. Its headquarter is based in Canada Psiphon is good at bypassing firewalls.

Take away

Is VPN really important? As an individual, you might overlook the importance of a VPN. But if you have a lot of business transactions taking place online, you know why VPN is important. Your privacy and security are important when you are using the internet. The VPN is what you need to give your online data some privacy and security. 

There are many VPN service providers and you can choose one according to your needs and the value of your privacy.


Harry Duckham

Professional Blogger

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Harry Duckham

Harry Duckham

Alternatives Magazines is a software review and tips blog. We provide honest and unbiased reviews of the latest software products, so you can make an informed decision about which ones are right for you.

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