Gone are the days of thoughtlessly browsing the world wide web, because to be connected to the internet is to expose yourself to the dangers that come with it. How can you ensure that you’re not affected by these dangers? The answer is a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
But was ist VPN exactly? A Virtual Private Network can be classified as a pseudo internet service provider because through their private servers you can connect to the public servers of the internet. But why use a VPN to connect to the internet, why not just use your internet service provider and be done with all these extra middlemen? Well, the truth is that you don’t NEED a VPN but it is highly recommended.
If you are familiar with the term ‘piracy’ then you would know that it is illegal in most countries. It is, however, very difficult to enforce online laws, especially for third world countries. In first world countries though there have been numerous cases of people being caught downloading pirated files. The reason is that you leave a digital footprint when you use the internet. Whoever is allowing you access to the internet (in other words your internet service provider) can view and store your internet history for up to 6 years. This means that if your internet service provider decides to work with the authorities, they can provide evidence of your misdeeds. This privacy issue doesn’t just affect those who download illegal files but also those that use the internet for more innocent reasons.
If you have ever wondered how adverts are getting so clever that you can literally google something once and then all of a sudden ads for that thing appears on your social media, it’s because someone has been tracking and storing data about you. When you use a VPN you are connected to the public server via a private server. What this basically means is that when you browse the internet through a VPN then you become anonymous. You can enjoy total privacy on the internet, depending on the quality of your VPN.
Another reason people recommend using a VPN these days is for safety. A lot of VPN’s come with built-in antivirus and anti-malware services. You will have to do a bit of research on the quality of these services before you decide to purchase a VPN service. Some VPN’s are specifically designed for accessing blocked sites and some are designed for improved anonymity so they might have a very weak antivirus and anti-malware service.
An important thing to note about VPN’s is that most of them come with a money-back guarantee. The default money-back period is 30-days but some have longer periods as well where you can get your money back if you are not satisfied with the service. It is not recommended to use a free VPN service because firstly they are almost impossible to find and secondly they have a high potential to record and sell your data (collected through their servers) to malicious third-parties.