The global internetwork of computers systems popularly known as internet enables us to access any information we seek within just few clicks. All devices connected to internet use an IP address to identify itself and this IP address is the reason why the information that we search reach us correctly. It helps in routing of information and tracking. Websites, companies, government organization and anyone with a good knowledge in network security and hacking can easily locate you and monitor on the internet using this IP address and other information that you leave behind while using the internet. This is a boon and curse at the same time.
Data collected from you while using internet are used by large corporations and advertisement agencies to push personalised ads and services to you which improves your experience in using the website or application on internet. But this gives away the right for privacy and staying anonymous on the internet has become very hard and difficult. There are times when you don’t wish to give away your identity or sensitive information to others. There are cases in past where companies have used the information on internet to spy on public and even sell these information to a third partywhich compromises privacy and security of the public. So it is necessary to protect your identity to an extend on internet.Though, it is very difficult to stay anonymous, there are ways to ensure privacy protection and security. One of the ways to stay private is using VPN while using public Wi-Fi networks such as in coffee shops, railway stations, etc.
Why use vpn for privacy protection?
Public networks are not encrypted. It means that all data packets that leave from your device can easily be read by a hacker or an eavesdropper because the data is in plain text format. The data packet not just contains information that you want to send or receive, but will also have information such as your IP address and routing information. This violates our privacy rights. If you login to your bank account on public Wi-Fi and since the data is unencrypted, your credentials will be exposed and there is a high chance of getting hacked if the network you are using is compromised. Although banking websites use encryption from their end, it is still not safe as the data you sent to the server is unencrypted. This is same case for other online accounts such as your social media.
VPN is short form for Virtual Private Network. VPN is a private network that connects to public network and ensure privacy and safety to an extend. Using VPN, your data is encrypted from the moment it leaves your computer/mobile and routes through a virtual private network to access remote websites and users. In short, it creates a tunnel between the remote server and you which keeps you and your data from eavesdropper. VPN provide secure communication and masks your IP address. Thereby, you can stay anonymous and browse safer.
VPN is also helpful to overcome censorship. By using VPN, you can use websites that are unavailable, blocked in your region. Since VPN connects you to a private network, this network will be in a different physical location and your IP address will point to a node in that location. Thus, you can access websites that are blocked in your region.
How to use vpn?
There are free and paid versions of VPN. Choosing VPN must be based on the services that you require. Free VPNs provide limited services whereas paid versions provide you tailored expereince and full protection. Using VPN is easy. You have to download the application from the VPN provider website, install and run. Paid VPNs have monthly or yearly subscription fees to use their application. If you truely wish to keep your data safe and need unlimited private browsing, it is required to opt for paid VPN services. Limitations of basic/free VPNS are
- Limited selection for regions.
- Limited Bandwidth
- Limited data usage
- Advertisements on th VPN applications and pop ups.
Free VPNs only provide you with limited region of selection. which means, you can only connect to the regions available and internet censorship in that region will block you from accessing websites. Sometimes these regions are far away from your location and it reduces the speed due to increase in latency. Free VPNs also set limits to the bandwidth which also affects your browsing speed. Most of the free VPNs cap the data limit and you can only access information to that limit and connection the internet through VPN will not be allowed once the limit is reached. Due to all these reasons, it is advised to use paid versions. In modern world, everything has a price to pay and the subscription fees you pay for VPN is the price you pay to protect yourself from hackers and keeping information safe and encrypted.
How safe is VPN?
Though vpn provides privacy protection and mask your IP address, you are far from true anonymity. VPN protects our privacy to some extend. VPN providers have your information and can store logs of browsing history of yours. Some of the free VPNs do keep logs of your information and there are cases where these VPN providers sell information to thirdparty. It is the price that you pay for using free service. There is always the risk of getting your information compromised. Free VPNs are not that evil. If you just want to access blocked websites and doesn’t care about security because you are not sending sensitive information, then using free VPN is fine. Using any VPN will result in slow browsing speed. Using VPN is illegal in some countries and be sure about the legality of using VPN in your region before using it.