a VPN is a really broad subject to explain, there’s a lot of things that even we can’t explain and that’s just because the way some VPNs run is not being disclosed and we only know the basics. Nonetheless, we shall explain it to you as concise as possible, shedding light on the processes of VPNs.
What is a VPN and how does it protect you?
A virtual private network(VPN) extends a private network across a public network to provide security to the user. PC, phone, etc will use VPN for the same method, and when the user is within a private network, data will be encrypted, IP will be hidden, location will be changed, and no leaks will happen depending on the VPN provider.
- Data Encryption
When you surf the internet, a public network will transfer your raw data from one point to another, now if you think about this, it is like transferring money but you’re showing the money in public. Now, with VPN, that’s a different story, it makes a private network while you use the internet, then encrypts your data to protect it from vulnerabilities.
Hackers nowadays can easily hack into the network you are using and get that data easily, but with VPN, it ensures you that the data you want to transfer is being encrypted. When you are in a public network, most of the data that is being broadcasted from you are in plaintext, but with a VPN, it encrypts your data and turns the plaintext into something else which can’t be read that easily, called ciphertext.
Mask IP Address
When in a public network, your public IP address will be publicly known and you can’t do anything about it, unless you use a VPN. Now with public IP addresses, it can be used to easily track you down as it provides almost everything about you, location, country, just about anything. That can be pretty scary especially if you have problems with people knowing where you are.
This is where masking comes in, with VPNs nowadays, they mask your IP address and change it to a different format. That’s pretty convenient as when your public IP is changed, no information from you will be known, you surf the internet safe and sound without being tracked by people or hackers for that matter.
The internet is such a huge place now that you won’t know what is what. You might come across a website that offers free gift, free money, or whatever hoax they say and you happen to click it. Virus start flooding in, hackers breaching your data, your entire data is being stolen, all that can happen and might even be worse than this
With VPN, you can use a filter to protect your connection. Some providers offer a filter that will either not let you access a website since it knows its risky or filter the security risks from that website. You can’t be too careful with the internet and security is the most important thing.
How Well Does VPN run?
Well for starters, you need to select a VPN provider that is well trusted and secured to the brim. Once that’s done, you will then download the application provided by them and then run it.
When the application starts, it will change your public IP address to something different, with that, your traffic and route are now within the VPN servers.
When you access any website, your data is already encrypted by the VPN and the website will see that the VPN location or origin is your source. That will solve the problem of your location being known.
Perks to Streaming Videos when Using a VPN
The main perks of using a VPN while streaming is you can access geo-locked contents. Some contents, are only available in some countries, and while it is sad to think that you can watch your shows, geo-locked content has their reasons as well but that’s a different topic. Well with VPN, you can access the shows or any content you want to watch just by switching country servers, provided the VPN service you selected offers that feature.
Are VPNs Legal?
Yes, they are! You can use VPNs without worries but certain countries restrict the use of 3rd party VPNs and will insist that you use government-provided VPNs. If you are within those countries, chances are the VPN providers that complied with the anti-privacy and censorship requirements will likely become untrustworthy and if you still want to use the other 3rd party VPN providers that are not allowed by the government, you might not be able to find one since reports say the websites for those providers are either blocked by the government or just blocked literally.
Are VPNs Safe to Use?
Most VPN providers will implement this as a feature to ensure that they are not tracking you. It can be pretty vexing to think that you want to avoid that situation when in turn, the providers you are using does this.
The way the internet works is when you want to access a certain website, a request will be fired through the DNS you are using to look for the route for that website. Normally, an ISP DNS will be provided by default when it turns can provide monitoring to your ISP provider.
With VPN however, you can avoid that entirely. They provide their DNS thus solving the issue above.
IPv6 Leak Protection
IPv6 is a simple explanation is an upgrade for the IPv4 that is currently the default IP used. We suggest just disabling IPv6 from your devices so solve the problem but if you prefer to leave it on then a VPN will protect you from leaks that might happen.
WebRTC Leak Protection
WebRTC is used by almost every browser to communicate with each other, they communicate by knowing the other’s IP address. Now, if you are in a public network, most likely the IP address of the browser will be your public IP address.
What that risk is everything mentioned above about everything risky for a public IP. Third-party websites or just hackers, in general, can exploit that flaw and most likely access you with just that single vulnerability. With VPNs however, they can either disable WebRTC or mask the IP per browser, that way you will be protected.
Will Using a Free VPN be Good Enough?
The direct answer we can give you is no. Most free VPNs are either bogus or just doesn’t have enough security to protect you. Most VPN providers charge their services because they can provide you the utmost protection they can offer.
If you think about it, security is not a joke to do. It’s expensive to build a system that is as complicated as protecting a user’s identity on the internet. Not to mention that they have to acquire certain approvals from certain companies for their VPN to be legal. That will likely, cost money as well and if they just do everything for free, sooner or later, the providers will either flood the users with ads or just be lax with the security and that can pose problems.
This is why having a price for security is understandable.
What are the Cons of a VPN?
With what we mentioned above, most of the pros outweigh the cons by a huge margin, but still there are a handful of problems that you need to know.
Some VPN providers might not have their servers in your country. That will cause you to notice that load times might be longer or you would just say that your internet is slower but it didn’t slow down, rather it just took a while to load since the data traveled farther than it normally has to.
We have mentioned this before but it wouldn’t hurt to warn you again. Free VPNs has a ton of flaws that we can’t mention all of them. The flaw that we cant to really discuss is trust, most of the free VPNs out there are either people just wanting to provide free security or just a malicious servers that provide security but is being used to gather data from users.
If they aren’t after your data and are just providing security like other providers, then there might be flaws in their security. As we mentioned before, you need to have approvals when doing this kind of business and if you think about it, if they are just offering this service for free, they might have bypassed those necessary requirements and that will likely cause problems for users.
Websites Blocking VPN
Some websites will block VPN providers, Netflix is one of them and they will check your IP address and compare it to a list of IPs from VPN providers. This is likely due to the fact that some would dupe their IP address just to watch content from Netflix.
Banks will likely block the VPN as well as that will pose a lot of security issues, PayPal is one of them. Your account will likely be locked by them for using it as they might think that your account has been hacked if you login from a different region. You can just resolve this by contacting your bank and explaining to them the problem.
How to Get a VPN?
Pretty easy, you just have to choose from the multiple providers out there and choose what fits your needs the most. Luckily, we have a list of VPN providers and we also explained what’s good and bad about them so why not head to our blog and read the 10 Best VPNs.