As the use of the Internet balloons so does its misuse. Increasing security, privacy, and censorship are becoming a problem for both small businesses and the individual. This where a virtual private network or VPN can help. A VPN used to be something expensive only utilized by big corporations and government, but now demand and advances in technology are making them common place and extremely affordable even for the everyday internet user. Here are some of the reasons why a VPN should be considered.
VPN security is probably foremost on the minds of those considering purchasing or renting the use of a VPN. When the end user connects to the Internet their data is encrypted on their computer before it ever hits the World Wide Web. The data then travels, still encrypted, to the VPN server. The data then travels on to another computer in the network or out onto the Internet unencrypted from the VPN service provider’s computer. This provides several services.
- If the data’s destination is another computer on the network then the complete communication secure and safe from spying eyes.
- If the data’s destination is another computer or websites out on the Internet then:
a) The data was protected if sent over a public Wi-Fi like from restaurant, hotel, or airport
b) The data was protected from spying by the local Internet provider
c) The data will be seen by the destination computer as coming from the geographical location of the VPN server.
Another main reason a VPN would be rented is because it can make the user highly anonymous. When using a virtual private network service provider the VPN provider acts like a firewall. Anyone on the Internet will only see the communication as originating from the VPN server and everything from the VPN server to the end user is encrypted and hidden. So a person can visit any website they want and they cannot be tracked locally. The high anonymity provided by a VPN is one reason they are so popular with those that use torrent clients like uTorrent, qBittorent, MediaGet, Vuze, or Tixati. It is not safe to use these programs without a VPS. Even without intending to people have unknowingly downloaded or shared copyrighted MP3s, videos, and software making them vulnerable to legal action.
It is important to note the some VPN service providers will track and log what goes through their servers and who it goes to. So for truly anonymous web surfing, use one of the best VPN providers that keep no logs and is even great for Torrenting.
Get past filtering
It’s been noted that a VPN provides anonymity but they also work to bypass web filtering. Because the data is encrypted before it leaves the end-user’s computer till it reaches the VPN server schools, work, and even entire countries cannot censor the communication. So for those that travel to countries where censorship is a problem, or go to school where the college blocks certain websites, and even at work; complete access to the Internet is a synch by just renting a VPN. A VPN is simply a most to safely access blocked websites.
Keep in mind that if you are accessing the VPN server from a computer that is owned by the school or a business then the owner still has the ability to peek in on what that computer is being used for. To bypass school or work filtering only use a personal computer, tablet, or smart phone to set up a VPN connection. Then it does not matter if the connection is over the school or work Wi-Fi.
Get around geographical blocking
Schools, businesses, and countries are not the only reasons websites are blocked. Often the website itself will block access because the user is not from the right geographical location. This is a common problem for people wanting to watch TV or stream video over the Internet from their home country when they are traveling or working abroad.
A good example would be someone in Japan wanting to watch Netflix, Hulu, or maybe BBC iPlayer could do so by renting a VPN. From Japan they would connect to the VPN server located in their home country and then to Netflix. Netflix would then think the connection is coming from that person’s home country and not block them.
location-restricted streaming is not limited to TV and Video. Internet radio and many web based application are geographically blocked limited to specific countries or regions. So for any expatriate, professional, or migrant worker gallivanting around the globe renting from a virtual private network service provider is a great way to bring a little bit of home along with them.
VPN and businesses
Big corporations are the traditional users of VPN services. They would spend lots of money setting up and maintaining their own expensive and controlled virtual private networks to keep all their remote offices securely connected. Today VPN service is most often outsourced, readily available and affordable to small businesses as well. So today when a business has offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Miami and their headquarters is in Texas getting them all securely interconnected is easy and affordable.
For businesses that have work from home employees or telecommuters a VPN provides peace of mind security. A VPN enables these employees to have secure access to a company network and its vital resources so they can do their job from a remote location. Remote-access VPNs are simply an invaluable asset to companies that value the security of the data transmitted over the Internet out to their employees.
Even startup entrepreneurs are purchasing VPN services just for the security offered. Who wants worry about having their passwords, banking, or login information stolen when they are simply trying to get some work done while sitting at McDonalds or Starbucks.
Another advantage of purchasing a VPN service
There is yet another advantage not listed above when it comes to renting a VPN. VPNs have become so popular and the technology inexpensive that most VPN services are very affordable. The average person even on a tight budget can usually afford to rent a cheap VPN.
So what are you waiting for? Start using a VPN today. It takes a little bit of work up front, but spending a short amount of time to get set up on a VPN is one of the smartest steps that can be taken towards making your online activities secure, anonymous, and without restrictions.