As its name implies, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts all the data sent between your computer and the Internet, making it unreadable to the outside world. This is helpful for when you’re surfing online since anything you do would then not be available to the world unless someone knows the password to your encryption. Privacy-conscious people are finding this an increasingly popular way to safeguard information. Nevertheless, before you get started using one, there are some things you should know before establishing a VPN connection.
How Do They Work?
There are two types of VPNs: Point to Point (P2P) and Site to Site (S2S). P2P connects two separate devices, such as a PC and a smartphone, directly to one another through a secure connection. S2S connects a private network to the Internet. The purpose of a VPN is to create an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the Internet through which you can securely send and receive data. Your computer acts as a server that encrypts and decrypts your data and sends it to the remote server. The remote server then solves it and sends it back to your computer, where you can access it through the tunnel.
Why Would You Want To Use One?
This type of tool is great for keeping your information private by encrypting your internet traffic and creating a secure tunnel between your computer and a server in a different location. With a VPN, you can access a website from a country where you can’t get a connection, log into social networks and chat services from a different part of the world, or connect to game servers and stream video from places without the legal right to do so.
When Choosing A VPN, What Should You Consider?
VPNs offer excellent protection for your online activities. However, you should make sure that the VPN you choose will provide you with the features and quality you need.
Choose A Provider
There are many and varied options of VPN to choose from, all with their unique features. They also range in price from extremely cheap to relatively cheap. You can see that none are overly expensive as there is a lot of competition among brands. The best thing to do before choosing one is to find a provider such as NordVPN of which you can read the review here, and then make a decision based on your requirements. For example, you might want to go for something more affordable if you only use it occasionally. On the other hand, if you are a frequent user, you should look for the more essential features. When you consider the features, there are some options that you need to look for when deciding, such as:
- Reliable Encryption
- Ease of Use
- Static IP
- P2P Functionality
Should You Pay Or Use A Free Option?
Unlike companies, who use special network appliances to set up their VPNs, consumers can choose dozens of free and commercial VPN services. The connection speeds of free VPNs are slower because overcrowded servers display ads, feature fewer server options, and display advertisements. The occasional user may be able to get away with this, however. However, other more severe issues are associated with free options, such as the higher chance of being blacklisted due to the small number of servers or overuse. One final use of a non-paid opportunity relates to the usage allowance. Many free varieties will only allow a certain amount of bandwidth, often up to 10GB per month. This may sound like a lot, but it can get used up quickly.
Legal Or Illegal?
Some countries prohibit VPNs, so you must check if you live in such a country. If they are illegal, you should exercise extreme caution as many of the leading providers will be on a watchlist. Although you can circumvent the laws, such as building your own VPN or routing through something like the TOR browser, it remains illegal, and you will be breaking the law by doing so.
Not All VPNs Are The Same
VPNs differ in their encryption strength and use different technologies. For example, the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol has a faster speed. Still, it is significantly less secure than other standards such as IPSec or OpenVPN, which utilize Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security. Besides encryption algorithms and key length, another aspect of TLS VPNs is their encryption protocols.
There are some nuances to VPNs that you must think about before diving in. These can include legalities and even the type of technology they implement.