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Return to basic. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Using a VPN is a simple and efficient way to increase your security, privacy, and freedom online. When you use the Internet, your device is constantly exchanging data with other parties on the Internet. A VPN creates a secure tunnel between your device (such as a smartphone or laptop) and the Internet. The VPN allows you to send your data to an external server through a secure and encrypted connection: the VPN server. From there, your data is forwarded to its destination on the Internet. Redirecting your Internet traffic through a VPN server has several advantages. First, it helps you hide your identity online. Second, it protects your data. And thirdly, it allows you to use the Internet more freely.
A VPN can do a lot of things, and that’s because it changes your IP address. Every computer has a unique IP address when connected to the Internet, which tells other computers where you are in the world. With a VPN, you connect to another computer (a server) before connecting, letting other computers know you’re somewhere else. Most VPN services allow you to choose this fake location yourself. With a new IP address, there are many possibilities. Streaming platforms like Netflix, for example, have different content for different parts of the world. A VPN changes your digital location and gives you access to streaming libraries in other countries.
How does a VPN work?
A VPN uses something called tunneling to establish an encrypted Internet connection. When you use the Internet, all of your activity is separated into data packets. Third parties can often use a process called deep packet inspection to read these data packets and track everything you do online. But tunneling encrypts each data packet and then encapsulates it into another data packet.
When data packets are encrypted, they are re-encoded in a new format. This new code, called ciphertext, requires a decryption key to read, so only authorized parties can decrypt encrypted data packets. This means that when third parties, such as your ISP, go to inspect your data packets, they will not be able to do so. Instead, your VPN connection will render the content inside unreadable.
So why is this process called tunneling? This has to do with the way these data packets are transmitted. When you use a VPN, your data packets are sent through a secure tunnel through a VPN server before they reach their original destination.
A VPN is beneficial in several ways. It also has several advantages that make it ideal for everyday use compared to other types of digital tools and software.
Prevent ISP tracking
Your ISP plays a key role in your online experience by providing you with access to the Internet. But this means that they are in a unique position to monitor everything you do with that access. From your browsing history to your communications and data usage, your ISP can track all of your traffic.
Whether they use this ability to share your information with third parties, interfere with your connection, or encourage you to upgrade your broadband package, ISP tracking has a negative impact on your personal privacy and online experience. Fortunately, you can put an end to it by using a VPN. With a VPN connection, your data will be protected from your ISP.
Make public Wi-Fi secure
As more aspects of our daily lives move online, consistent and reliable Internet access is a must. That’s why public Wi-Fi networks and hotspots feel like the ultimate convenience. But they are also the ultimate trap. Since they are free and public, anyone can use these networks. This means that when you use them, you are sharing network access with people you don’t know and can’t trust.
With a little knowledge, other users on the public Wi-Fi network can spy on all other users on the network and intercept unencrypted traffic. But if you are using a VPN, they will not be able to spy on you. This is especially crucial in cases where you rely exclusively on public Wi-Fi hotspots and networks, such as when you travel.
Change your location online
Your physical location and IP address have a great influence on how you use the Internet. Marketers may use geo-targeting to identify your physical location and show you targeted ads; repressive governments can use censorship to prevent you from accessing important information; schools and workplaces may use firewalls to prevent you from accessing legitimate websites and services.
However, with a VPN, you can take back control of your online location. By changing your IP address with IPVanish, you will no longer face unfair restrictions placed on your real IP. This allows you to access the Internet with the freedom you deserve, with the added benefits of privacy, security, and anonymity.
Protect your identity
As we have established, your IP address is a unique identifier. And this means that it can be directly associated with you. With a little social engineering, a tech-savvy stranger can combine your IP address with other resources to identify your name, physical address, phone number, and more. Collectively, they can use this information to steal your identity or impersonate you online.
But when you use a VPN, your IP address will be masked with the IP address of your VPN server. Also, every IP address is shared among IPVanish users, so no online activity can be traced back to a single user.
Advantages of VPNs
A VPN isn’t the only digital tool people turn to to increase their privacy online or change their location online. Other services, such as encrypted messaging apps, Tor, and proxies, are popular. But a VPN does come with some key advantages:
- First, a VPN encrypts your entire online connection. Every website you visit, app you use, or message you send while connected to a VPN will be protected from potential viewers. With an encrypted messaging app, only your messages will be encrypted.
- Second, Tor cannot match the speed of a VPN. Tor randomly routes its traffic through more than three nodes. These jumps cause frequent latency and slow it down significantly. This is not the case with a VPN, which uses a secure tunnel to route your traffic through a single server.
- Finally, while services like proxies change your location online, they do not provide any privacy or security benefits. But with a VPN, you get the best of both worlds. You can choose a server in the location where you want to appear online, and you can secure your connection to any network with encryption.
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