VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are at the helm of providing online anonymity. They enhance your privacy while you are surfing the web, enable you to avoid censorship and access websites that may be blocked in your region for any number of reasons, let you share files anonymously, and do a lot more.
Below we are going to tell you what a Virtual Private Network actually is, and what it is good for in case you ever consider getting one.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is exactly that. It forms a virtually network between two individual and separate networks by using dedicated software, and in cases where security is paramount like in firms and government offices, with the help of dedicated hardware.
Why you may need VPN
The use of VPN, for instance, lets an employee of an investment firm work from home in the suburbs and have access to the firm’s intranet located miles away within the city as if he was physically accessing the LAN sitting in his office. This technology, or similar alternatives, can be employed by anyone wishing to form a connection between their laptops, mobile phones, and the home network while on the go, which will allow them complete access to files on their home computer or media server.
Apart from this basic feature of securely connecting people to their home or work networks, VPNs can also create a secure connection through which users can access the internet. This secure connection is much like a tunnel through which all traffic between the devices is routed so that no one on the outside can see or spy on what the user is accessing or doing on the internet.
They not only secure and enhance the privacy of the traffic originating from the user’s device, but also make it appear as if the user is in a different part of the world than where they actually are. This location information sent over to websites is not the location where the person is located, but the location of the VPN’s exit node, which enhances the user’s privacy.
Now that we have an idea of what VPNs are, it does not come as a surprise that they appeal to people the way they do. The security and privacy they provide while you are accessing the web, coupled with allowing you access to all your important files anywhere in the world, is reason enough for most people to opt for a VPN service.
And it’s not just the security it provides or the access to remote networks which it allows that attract people. As mentioned above, using a VPN network spoofs a person’s location, so someone accessing the internet in Spain will show up as being in the United States, or any other part of the world where the VPN exit node is located. The question on your mind may be why someone would want to do this in the first place?
The answer’s quite simple and if you live outside of the United States or the UK, chances are that you will already know why. A lot of services, like certain Youtube videos and online subscription streaming websites like Amazon Video and Netflix are geographically restricted. Trying to access them from a country they haven’t officially been made available in will return an error message telling you the service in question isn’t available in your part of the world yet.
VPN gets around censure
Quite a number of countries today apply high levels of rigid unconcealed censorship like the unavailability of Facebook in China, and many others, like the US, employ means of covert monitoring. With almost every move you make online being registered and monitored in one form or the other, an ideal way to avoid all the monitoring and get around restricted or censored websites is the application of a secure VPN channel to mislead any prying eyes from thinking that you’re from an entirely different geolocation.
In a nutshell, a VPN is a good service to opt for if you find the need to conceal your traffic and internet activity from prying eyes, like your network administrator, your ISP, or the government and also conveniently masks your real location, tricking services into thinking you’re somewhere else, and granting you access to restricted services and products in the process.