A VPN (Virtual Private Network) was created with the sole purpose — to protect your online identity and ensure privacy. It really complicates a hacker’s life since it makes both your web traffic and location anonymous. Among other popular ways of use is for bypassing geo-blocks, faster torrents’ downloads, gaining worldwide access to streaming services, and more.
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How does a VPN protect you
Let’s take a closer look at how VPNs protect you in the online world.
Encrypts your data
After you hit the start button, you’re instantly connected to one of the VPN servers. From this moment on your entire internet traffic is encrypted. So, no one can even get an incentive about what you’re doing online. Not even your internet provider. This is extremely useful if you use streaming services a lot or play games all day long since the company can’t track and limit your speed. A pretty cool lifehack, right? Just make sure you use a good VPN with unlimited bandwidth to avoid paying for additional traffic.
An important note — encryption provides an amazing level of security and impedes hackers from knowing your browsing history, accessing passwords, or viewing your credit card info. Even if someone manages to steal the data, it will be useless since one needs to decrypt it first which is pretty impossible. So, using a VPN especially in places with public WiFi is a very smart choice.
Masks your IP address
The IP address is used to determine the exact location of a person. VPNs show the address of one of their servers making it look like you’re browsing from another location. By creating a tunnel to other countries, it opens up a lot of possibilities allowing to bypass geo-blocks, download torrents, and more. With a VPN you can watch any movie/tv show, play any game no matter where you are physically located. Masks your IP and makes the Internet free of ads & pop-ups.
Good VPNs (but not all) have built-in protection. They block malicious websites and ads before you even know. This reduces the risk of a malware tracker being downloaded to your computer and allows you to watch videos without any advertising.
As VPNs handle a lot of sensitive information, good and reliable services offer multiple features to protect your privacy. Among those is protection from a various number of leaks and a no-logs policy that ensures that your browsing activities are not recorded.
How to choose a good VPN
Before installing a VPN make sure to get acquainted with the online laws of your country. Although VPNs are legal in most countries, this is not always the case. If you are good to go, the next step is to pick a good VPN. When choosing a provider, it’s very important thing to consider the country where to business is registered. Keep in mind that there are international intelligence-sharing agreements like the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes Alliances that may pose a risk to your privacy.
If you are concerned about privacy and security, don’t choose a VPN associated with the above-mentioned alliances as there is a risk that your data might be shared with other countries within the alliance.
Make your pick
Now that we are familiar with the basic aspects, let’s take a look at four widely used VPN services — Nord VPN, Hotspot Shield, Express VPN, and Switcherry VPN. While they all are great, some have more outstanding features than others.