A virtual private network (VPN) is a technology that creates a safe and encrypted network from a public internet connection – giving you anonymity and privacy.
What Is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
There are a number of reasons you might want to use a VPN. The encryption ensures that no one can see what you’re doing online, even if you’re using an unsecured Wi-Fi network. A VPN can also spoof your location so that your computer appears to be somewhere else. This is useful for accessing region-locked content, like streaming video services, and for overcoming government censorship restrictions.
The most common use for a VPN is to protect personal privacy, especially when using public Wi-Fi networks. A VPN will encrypt all the data between your laptop and the internet connection — preventing anyone on the same network from being able to see what you’re up to.
In general, VPNs offer several advantages:
Security: When you’re connected to a VPN, your web traffic appears to come from the VPN’s server instead of your computer. That makes it more difficult for hackers or identity thieves to track your movements online. For example, if you’re in the U.S. and the VPN server is in Iceland, your browsing will look like it’s coming from Iceland instead of your home country.
Anonymity: Because some websites block content based on where a visitor is located, using a VPN allows you to access content that might otherwise be off-limits.
Privacy: Many consumers are concerned about ISPs tracking their online activities. Because there are no logs of user activity (apart from payment information), VPNs have built-in privacy features that prevent tracking.
How Does VPN Technology Work?
Tunneling is a common feature in VPNs because it’s one way to avoid limiting users to specific websites or applications. If a user has access through the VPN, they can access anything on the network. Tunneling can also be used to allow access from outside your network. For example, some companies use VPNs so employees working remotely can connect securely to the company database even when they’re working at home or on vacation.
Why Is Online Privacy Important?
Online privacy is the ability to control who can see your information online. This is a fundamental human right, and one that is becoming increasingly endangered as more of our lives move online.
Technology is making this worse by allowing governments and corporations to collect massive amounts of data about individuals, which can then be used for various purposes.
You can use a VPN to stay anonymous and maintain your privacy.