Articles

All you need to know about VPN

Written by Ajith Srikumar

After the NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden made shocking revelations regarding the mass surveillance practices of the federal government, cyber security and cryptography became of the hottest topics of discussion in the technology world.

Well then, what’s VPN got to do with this?

A VPN is like your private lounge on the internet where you can hang out without interference from other people. It allows you access your home network or the corporate network of your company even if you’re in some other corner of the world.

In simpler terms, VPNs can be considered as a private and controlled network that connect you to the internet. Your connection to the VPN server is encrypted, the network is secure, and it’s difficult for your ISP to keep a tab on your browsing habits.

Now that being said, Why VPN?

If you think that you’re a normal citizen and you don’t need a VPN service for your daily internet activities, there are chances that you’re wrong. A VPN can help you get access to region-restricted sites, save yourself from hacking risks while using public Wi-Fi, etc. Overall, it gives you more control over your privacy, which is a basic human right.

7 Important reasons To Use A VPN Service in your daily life:

  1. Hide your internet activity from ISP. Now, the ISP has complete hold on your browsing history. VPN services make sure that all your connections between your devices and remote resources are clocked.
  2. Use public Wi-Fi without risks. Everybody loves free stuff, there’s no doubt about that. Same goes with the free internet being provided at cafes, restaurants, airports, and other public places. We don’t hesitate while connecting to such networks. But, do you know that such hotspots are not safe for confidential browsing and logins? It’s one of the biggest reasons why a mobile user must consider using a quality VPN service and make a wise investment.
  3. Bypass restrictions in office/school/college. This is one of the most common problems faced when you are in school or office where you are only allowed to browser just few internet websites. Many organizations believe in blocking social networking websites, torrent connections, YouTube, etc. to “boost the productivity” of their employees. The same reasons are also given when many services are blocked in schools and colleges. But one may wish to break those restrictions by adding a VPN.
  4. Stop Google from tracking you. No matter how much you love Google for its “free” services, it knows everything about you. If you don’t take care of your privacy settings and browse the web casually, Google stores your every search, movement, activity, download, etc. Very often people end up facing troubles and embarrassment. Well, get a VPN, hide your IP and avoid such troubles.
  5. Use if you’re a researcher/whistle blower/activist/journalist. These are some of the scenarios where you can’t afford to browse the web without a good VPN service. In these cases, it’s in your personal interest to make your activity and device hidden to the government and your competitors. VPN allows you to manipulate your IP address, cloak your internet traffic, and perform your work without any risk.
  6. Using BitTorrent. Ok, let’s accept that most of the internet uses BitTorrent for downloading purposes. While most of the users use it for downloading movies and TV shows illegally from notorious torrent websites, some users use if for grabbing legal content. It’s a known fact that different ISPs don’t support torrent downloading in many regions. Using BitTorrent can also put you on the surveillance list of many governments and copyright organizations in some countries. To avert such situations, the use of VPN is recommended.
  7. Privacy is your right. This argument sums up all above-mentioned reasons to use a VPN service. In today’s times, the use of VPN is growing rapidly and it’s being seen as a basic internet security practice. Even if you’re a normal citizen and you think you’ve got nothing to hide, a VPN service can act as your best friend very often.

How does a VPN work? (In layman terms)

The working of VPN is not a terrible deal to understand, though it is. Let us see how it works. When you connect to a public network, for example, free WiFi networks at airports, you can assume that all your data is flowing through a big tunnel along with the data of other users.

So, anyone who wants to spy on you can easily sniff your data packets from the network. When VPN comes into the scene, it provides you a secret tunnel inside that big tunnel. And all your data is transformed into garbage values so that no one can recognize it.

Now, if you want to access a website, your device will send the access request to the VPN server which will then forward the request to the website in its name and receive the data from it. Then this data will be sent to your device. And the website will think, the VPN server is the user and it will find no trace of your or your device as the actual user. Unless you transmit some personal information over the connection. For example, your identity can be known if you access a social networking website like Facebook or Twitter.

Popular VPN services:

ExpressVPN, HideMyAss, PureVPN, VyprVPN, all these are well known for their QoS and security they provide in their VPN connections.

Don’t want to shell out your pocket?

Cyber Ghost, Surf Easy, Tunnel Bear are some free VPN services you can use. But you’ll have to satisfy yourself with fewer features, download limits, or advertisements. Also, these free services can’t beat the paid services, note that.

Get cool deals on VPN @ Stacksocial.  I prefer “VPNSecure.me”

VPN on Android:

You can also setup a VPN connection on your smartphones running Android OS. It allows you to access your company’s private network right on your Android device. VPN also facilitates a network administrator to control your device, add or delete data and track your usage.

About the author

Ajith Srikumar

Editor, Graphic designer, Electronic music producer, Software geek, interested more in technologies connecting life, and writes about them.

  • Nice info bro… I got a lifetime vpn subscription from vpnsecure

  • Ajith Srikumar

    Just be anonymous, like the world’s great artists! 🙂