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What Is A VPN?

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The internet is barely out of its infancy, and it’s a behemoth that runs worldwide communications.

Think about it; what would you do for work or entertainment without an internet connection?

However, with the technological advance of online communications, data is now the most valuable commodity in the world.
 

 

Why Do I Need a VPN?

It might surprise you to learn that web services paired with your phone can track everything you do and everywhere you go.

Every search request, every web page you visit, and text you type is on the digital record, creating a footprint of your behaviour both online and offline.

Some people say, “I have nothing to hide; why should I care about my online privacy?

Sure, we get that; it’s a valid point.

The reality is there are hundreds of data-mining companies that pay these service providers for your data.

These companies do this so they can better market products to you.

That sounds fine right, give up some privacy for better ads? However, do you want them tracking every request you make online?

Think about it for a minute.

Your data is not only useful for marketing companies. Hackers and cybercriminals are also actively trying to get their hands on it right now.

If you’re surfing the net unprotected, you’re basically doing the digital version of walking around naked.
 

Without some sort of privacy protection, your IP address is visible to people that know how to look for it.

Uncovering your IP address leaves you exposed to hackers; it’s like painting a bullseye on your back.

Even if you have good anti-virus software running on your system, it’s not enough to stop these hackers from stealing your data.

Then, one day out of the blue, you wake up to find someone stole your identity, drained your bank account, and applied for six different lines of credit under your name.

Hackers sell your data on the Dark Web to the highest bidder, and the buyer always uses it with ill intent.

 

What Is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a tool that essentially provides a secure tunnel for your data to prevent access by a third-party while your browsing and downloading stuff online.

Your VPN provider issues you with the software on your laptop, desktop or mobile device, and you turn it on when surfing the internet.

When opening your VPN, you have the option of selecting from different servers in locations around the globe.

Most VPN providers have servers in all developed countries and a large percentage of emerging markets.

If you’re accessing American sites from Japan, turn on your VPN, select the American server, and the VPN automatically switches your IP address between random American IPs.

As long as you stay connected to the VPN, the source site thinks you’re requesting access to the server from an American location, and it circumvents the regional blocks.

With a VPN, the service provider tumbles your IP address, ensuring that no cyber-criminal can look at your real IP address.

The VPN stops people from seeing what you’re doing online, increasing your privacy.

 

What are the Advantages of Using a VPN?

There are plenty of advantages to using a VPN service.

Here are a few reasons for investing in a VPN today.

 

1. Encrypted Data and File Sharing

A VPN creates a tunnel for your data, encrypting it to prevent access from a third-party.

Hackers can intercept data packets from unprotected sources, allowing them to look at what your sending and receiving online.

A VPN ensures all your data remains encrypted, preventing theft and misuse of your data.

 

2. Remote Access

A VPN is a private network, and you can access it remotely.

As a result, a VPN is an excellent resource for companies and organizations.

With a VPN, you can connect to your network without the need to go into the office.

You get a safe and secure connection that protects your privacy at work.
 

 

3. Privacy and Anonymity

A VPN enhances your privacy online.

With your IP Cloaked, no-one can trace your activities.

 

4. Bypass Global Blocks

While many sites share details on how to use VPNs to access regionally locked content from the streaming giants, it’s not something that I would recommend.

There are legitimate uses to bypass global blocks, maybe if you’re Canadian and travelling and need to access something work related that only allows Canadian IPs or vice versa, you have offshore employees that need access to some of your Canadian data.

Using a VPN legitimately to bypass a regional block can prove to be useful.

 

5. Works with Mobile Devices

A VPN is essential for your mobile device.

Your laptop or PC might be a significant risk to your privacy, but your phone is hacker heaven.

Installing a VPN on your phone helps protect you when you’re browsing online in your favourite coffee shop, keeping your connection out of sight of hackers.

 


 

What Does a VPN Cost?

A VPN is an inexpensive tool, and it typically costs around the same price as anti-virus software.

Most providers offer special deals through ambassadors and affiliates, allowing you to save if you take an annual or two-year subscription.

The average cost for a VPN monthly subscription is around $12 per month.

However, you can save more than 50% with an annual plan, or up to 70% if you pay for two years upfront.

As mentioned, many companies offer a money-back guarantee, so if you’re not satisfied you can get a refund.

 

How Do I Get a VPN?

There are many top-quality VPN providers out there.

When selecting your provider, most platforms come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Therefore, if you feel the provider isn’t living up to their service level agreement with you, you have the right to cancel and receive a refund.

Take the time to try out a few VPN providers to see which one offers you the best service from your location.

 

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Shawn Gant

Shawn is a passionate techie particularly interested in the fintech space. He loves to dig into the ever evolving number of apps and SaaS platforms available to Canadians. In his free time, catch him on the mountains shredding snow.