Across the world, around 25% of people use VPNs while online. This might sound like some techy jargon, but VPNs are very easy to use and the average person can set one up easily.
Are you wondering: are VPNs safe? Are they legal? What are VPNs?
Then keep reading. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about VPNs.
What Are VPNs?
“VPN” stands for “virtual private network.” Basically, it’s a secure internet connection you can get on.
Think of it like a protected tunnel you can use to get to your destination (wherever you want to go on the internet). On your normal connection, you’re essentially walking out in broad daylight, where anyone can come up and rob you. On the internet, this is hackers stealing your information.
When you have a protected tunnel (the VPN), hackers won’t even know you’re online, which means you eliminate the threat of your private information being compromised. So VPNs provide you with a way to not only surf the internet securely, but also anonymously.
How Do VPNs Work?
First off, let’s describe how the internet works in relation to real life.
When you sign on, you have a digital address called an IP address. You connect online by using the private server of your internet service provider (ISP). When you’re online, your computer is both sending and receiving packets of data.
What all this means is that it’s easy for people to tell where you’re connecting from. Plus, they can easily intercept those data packets, read them, and do what they want with that information. For example, if you’re signing onto your digital bank account and someone intercepts that information, they can possibly break into your account.
What VPNs do is allow you to borrow another IP address. So when you connect and someone looks at your information, it doesn’t give your true IP address and location.
In addition, VPNs encrypt (digitally lock) all the data that’s sent and received. It’s much harder for hackers to intercept your data when you’re on a VPN, but if they did, they wouldn’t be able to read it because of the encryption.
Are VPNs Legal?
In the United States, VPNs are legal to use. This means you can subscribe to a VPN service and have peace of mind knowing that you’re not doing anything wrong.
However, do note that while you can browse anonymously on most VPNs, this doesn’t mean you have free reign to do whatever you want. If you commit an illegal act while using a VPN, it’s still a crime and it’ll definitely be punishable if it can be traced back to you.
Are VPNs Safe?
Another important question you may have is: is a VPN safe?
As we’ve explained in a previous section, VPNs provide you with a safe connection by letting you “borrow” an IP address and by encrypting all information that flows through your network.
In addition, many VPN providers have what’s called a VPN kill switch. You see, if something goes wrong with the VPN connection, this means you’re pushed back to your original IP address. If anyone was trying to trace you, they’d be able to find out lots of information on you.
To prevent this from happening, the VPN kill switch will just sever your internet connection of the VPN connection drops out. So if you choose a VPN that has this feature, then it’s ultra-safe for you.
What Can I Use VPNs For?
Now you know what a VPN is and what it can do. But what can you use it for?
For most people, they’ll use it to perform online tasks securely and anonymously. This can be anything from Googling to transferring money on their bank account. VPNs can essentially hide your internet history, so it can come in handy if you don’t want your internet activity saved.
Some people also use it to access geo-locked content. For instance, have you ever been locked out of a site because of your location? Or have you moved and found that your Netflix selection has changed?
In either case, you can get online with a VPN to bypass these restrictions. Simply choose an IP address in a different country than yours and it’ll be as if you were really there.
How Do I Get a VPN?
Today, there are many companies that offer VPN services. All you have to do is check out the fastest VPN review, look at their prices, and select the one you want.
What’s great is since this service is so accessible, many subscriptions are very affordable, such as $5 a month. Some even offer free VPNs, but in general, these are very slow.
In addition, VPNs are available for both Windows and Mac users. So it’s possible to look for the best free VPN for Mac and to get one.
Use a VPN for Your Internet Browsing
As you can see, “yes” is the answer to the question: are VPNs safe? They protect you while you’re surfing online, so if that’s your main concern, then VPNs are definitely for you.
In addition, you can use them to access geo-locked content, as you’ll be able to “borrow” IPs from all over the world. So if you’re frustrated with locked content in your country, VPNs can also be a fantastic solution.
Add in the fact that most of them are very affordable, and you’ll wonder why you never got one in the first place!
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