Internet users across the world have many questions about Virtual Private Networks – VPN – and how they work. Some of these questions include fairly simple ones like how they work and other ones include more practical questions about the purpose of a VPN.
Now, these questions all started appearing due to the sharp rise in the use of VPNs over the past few years. Part of this is because of the revelation that the United States government has an extremely comprehensive domestic spying program. Another factor leading to the rise of VPN use is the repeal of “Net Neutrality.”
This repeal means that internet service providers (ISP) can slow down your internet when you visit certain websites and they can collect your browsing information and sell it to advertisers.
Anyway, this article will answer those questions that you might have VPNs and even explain some of the benefits of using a VPN while connected to the internet.
How a VPN works?
The way that a VPN works is pretty simple to understand once you understand how the internet works in general. VPNs actually work in a similar fashion to any of the best places to buy proxies.
When you want to visit Google, you merely type Google.com into your browser. Your browser will then make a request to the Google servers. Google will then respond by sending back information that is used to display the website on your computer.
Just remember that your computer is the one that is directly making this request to the Google server. This means that Google has access to some important server information that includes your IP address and your ISP. Both of those pieces of information can be used to track your location.
A VPN works a little differently. If you are connected to a VPN and want to visit Google, then your computer does not send the request to Google’s servers. Instead, it sends the request to the VPN. The VPN will then relay that request to Google’s server. Those servers then send that information back to the VPN, which will then transmit it back to your computer.
This means that Google’s server only knows that the best VPN providers made the request. It does not know the computer behind the VPN.
Furthermore, the connection that your computer makes to the VPN is done over an encrypted connection. An encrypted connection provides an extra level of security and prevents hackers from intercepting your information.
Why You Need a VPN?
There are a few primary reasons that you need a VPN. They include to avoid government censorship, avoid your internet getting throttled, and to access the internet from a public wireless connection securely.
A common reason that people use a VPN is to avoid internet censorship. This is a particularly common problem in China, but it is not exclusive to China. China, however, has the most extensive internet censorship campaign in the world and also some of the most difficult censors to get around.
Fortunately, a VPN works for getting around these sensors. The only requirement to get around the censors is that the VPN must be in a different country and that China must not have banned a connection from being made to that VPN. Unfortunately, many VPN’s have been blocked by the Chinese government, but there is still plenty that can be used to get around the censors.
An added benefit of using a VPN in China is that the Chinese government cannot spy on your internet browsing. Remember, a VPN uses an encrypted connection, which means that any hacker, or government, will not be able to access your information without the encryption keys.
Avoid Internet Throttling
A significant issue for Americans and Europeans is the throttling of internet for visiting certain websites or engaging in certain online activities. Throttling is the act of slowing down one’s internet, which is obviously something that no internet user wants to experience.
A VPN can be used to get around throttling because the encrypted connection prevents your ISP from seeing your traffic. If connected to a VPN, then your ISP will just see that you have connected to a server, but they will not be able to see the traffic that the server is sending you.
This makes a VPN the best choice if you want to avoid internet throttling. It also makes it great if you want to hide your internet activity from your ISP for any reason.
Securely Access the Internet
The final reason that people choose to use a VPN is to protect themselves while they are connected to public wifi.
A widespread attack called a man in the middle attack can occur when connected to public wifi. Basically, a hacker will set up a fake server with a name of a free wifi hotspot. When people connect to this server, they will get access to the internet. However, this server will also record all the data that passes through it. This information can contain sensitive information such as login details and bank information.
The best way to thwart a man in the middle attack is to use a VPN. Again, the encrypted connection will prevent the hackers from viewing your information. They will instead just get random gibberish that will not be readable.
Overall, using a VPN is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself while on the internet. Whether you want to protect yourself from hackers, an authoritarian government, or your ISP a VPN is the best option.
Fortunately, the large amount of VPN providers combined with decreasing server costs has greatly reduced the price of a monthly VPN subscription. These subscriptions used to cost hundreds of dollars per month. Now, you can find many VPN subscriptions for under ten dollars per month and can even find some for five dollars per month.
The relatively inexpensive price combined with the excellent benefits make using a VPN worth the relatively small purchase price. Even if you do not need to avoid censorship or use public wifi; it still makes sense to use a VPN for overall security.