Whether you are on a computer or mobile device, you should use a VPN or virtual private network if you are connecting to the internet. It may sound unnecessary, but if you care about your online privacy, having a VPN is a must.
Whenever you connect to the internet, internet servers can intercept any information you have. Advertisers or private organizations can use your personal information, activities, or your location. These things are valuable to them as they know how to track and monitor you. Scary, isn’t?
Internet was created for exchanging information, and not for protecting our privacy or create anonymity. Using HTTPs websites can secure your personal information. But if you are connected to a public wifi, your online privacy is still at a risk.
So if you want to be comfortable using the internet, you should set up a VPN on your computer or mobile device.
What you need to know about VPN
When you use a VPN, your traffic is not directly linked to the internet. Your traffic will be routed through an encrypted tunnel to an internet server operated by a VPN company. This means, no one will see your internet traffic or activities.
With a VPN, your traffic will exit into a public internet, making you anonymous and hard to intercept. But if you are using an HTTPs website, then your traffic is no longer encrypted.
If you are under a VPN server, your IP address is hidden. This is good since your IP can be used to get your location.
Even though VPN can do this, it can not provide a complete anonymity on your traffic. You will have to use Tor. It is an anonymization service that bounces your web traffic to different public volunteer computers. This will make it harder for hackers to know your activities and location.
Another thing about VPN is they cannot block malware. So it is still wise to install antivirus software on your computer. This software can protect your computer from malicious software or apps.
It is also advisable to use a password manager. Why? Because recycled passwords are bound to fail. Dashlane and LastPass are good password managers. Beware of websites that look like the websites that you used to use. They aim to trick you into phishing important information.
How to choose the right VPN
There are things that you should consider when choosing the right VPN.
- The VPN should allow you to connect to at least 5 or more devices.
- Your VPN allowing BitTorrent traffic to their servers. Most VPN allows BitTorrent traffic, but if you are paying for it, it should not allow this kind of traffic.
- The price of VPN. It usually costs $10.68 per month. If a VPN provider is charging you more every month it should provide you something more significant than usual VPN service. It can be a great interface or lots of server locations. IPVanish is a bit expensive but it has great user experience, a large network of servers and server locations, as well as unique features.
You usually get discounts if you get a long-term plan. Just make sure that you are happy with their service before closing a long-term deal. Also, it is important to read their terms of the agreement.
There are VPN providers that log information. This is a bit confidential since VPN providers should protect you from information interception. If they hold your information, they have the ability to intercept it. So better read how they handle your traffic. If they don’t log it, that’s good,
Location of your VPN provider. It is not about physical location, but it is about the jurisdiction of the company. Because some countries have laws that have the power to ask you for information if needed.
In the end, trust is important when looking for a VPN. The terms, pricing, and service might be good, but if you don’t trust the company then you should reconsider and find other [providers that you are comfortable with.
Also, with all the VPNs that you tried or reviewed, it is important to inform them all the issues that you encountered so you can help them improve their product.
Free vs. Paid
According to a survey conducted by PCMag to 1000 people, 62.9 percent of people prefer to use a paid VPN that is $5 below and won’t pay higher than that. On the other hand, about 47.1 percent prefer to use free VPN.
That ’s a big percentage for those people who love to use free VPN. But sadly, most VPNs are not free or even do not cost $5 below.
If you want to save more, better to get a long-term plan. VPNs providers usually give you discounts if you will lock in more months with them. You can also go for those who give out free one month trial.
How to get started with a VPN
Once you have decided on your VPN provider, just download and install the app. The process is usually on the company page of the VPN. It is advisable to download the app also on your mobile device. This is to maximize your subscription. If the VPN provider you chose does not have an app for your mobile device, it is better to look for one that has an app.
Once installed, you will be asked to provide information, usually a username or password. Once you are done, your VPN will connect you to the nearest VPN server in your location.
Choosing a server and other features
Your VPN will connect you to a server. But you can actually change what kind of server to be connected to. Some VPNs can customize your location. Some VPNs let you choose servers from other countries.
You can also automate this process. Some VPNs has this feature.
Features will always depend on the product that you choose. That is why we encourage you to read through their documentation and try clicking or checking out some advanced features.
When to use?
If online privacy is important to you, use it as often as possible and with all your devices. If you are having a problem with your VPN, you can always disconnect and contact their customer care. But the best time to use a VPN is when you are connected in a public wifi network.
So these are just some of the things you need to know about VPN and how to maximize the use of it so you can get your money’s worth