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What Is a VPN, How Does It Work, and Do I Need One?

Imagine a world where, while you are browsing the web, you are secure. You know no one will try and infiltrate your connection and try to steal your data. You know you aren’t being tracked.

This is why a VPN connection

Whether you’re traveling to China or are wanting more security, you can’t go wrong with a VPN connection.

But what is a VPN connection? And what is a VPN to begin with? You can find all of these answers and more in this article here.

What Is a Virtual Private Network?

A virtual private network, often called VPN for short, is a way to turn a public internet connection into a private one.

What this means is that you can use the VPN almost like you would use an app. When you are on a public network, the VPN will allow you to retain anonymity by creating an encrypted connection that is secure.

So, what is a virtual private network? It is a way that you can ensure a secure connection by disguising your IP (internet protocol) address as coming from elsewhere. This is often called a data tunnel that connects your location to some exit portal that could be anywhere else in the world.

That way, it seems as though you are connecting from a different location.

Now you know what a VPN is, but do you know how the connection works?

What Is a VPN Connection?

A VPN connection can sound tricky or impossible. In fact, the opposite is true. It is a smart way to keep your connection private and secure.

Here is how a VPN connection works:

A VPN starts its work by disguising your IP (internet protocol) address as coming from elsewhere. This is often called a data tunnel that connects your location to some exit portal that could be anywhere else in the world.

That way, it seems as though you are connecting from a different location.

Why You Should Use a VPN

There are several reasons to use a VPN, beginning with safety concerns. Let’s take a look at how it encrypts your data.

Encrypts Your Data

Remember that data tunnel? That data tunnel is what encrypts your data.

When using a VPN, you mask your IP address from the Wi-Fi you are connected to. This is all because the data tunnel encrypts your data, which makes your data unreadable to a hacker or whoever is trying to spy on your internet activity.

This goes beyond cybercriminals too. Some governments track online data of their citizens and foreign nationals visiting their countries. With a VPN, you can avoid being tracked by both criminals and governments alike.

In addition to your data, your IP address and location are hidden when you use a VPN.

Keeps Your Location Private

There are many reasons why you wouldn’t want someone to know your location. When using a public Wi-Fi connection, someone can find out your location easily. With a VPN, they can’t.

This is because the data tunnel not only encrypts your data but also shows you connecting from a different geographic location.

Let’s say you are in a coffee shop in San Diego. You boot up your VPN and choose Tokyo as your location. Then, you connect to the coffee shop’s Wi-Fi.

If someone tries to find your location, it will show Tokyo instead of San Diego. This is all the VPN’s doing.

Gone are the days when someone can trace your IP address from your browsing history at the coffee shop all the way back to your home, which can put you in both physical and digital danger. With a VPN, you mask your location easily.

Allows You to Download in Peace

Downloading torrents is illegal depending on your location. With a VPN, you can download your music, movies, and TV in peace.

In addition, if you are wanting to upload or download files without interference, then using a VPN is always a good option. A secure connection will disguise your upload and download data, protecting you from cybercriminals who want to steal your uploads or downloads for their own.

With uploading or downloading sensitive documents, it is all the more imperative to use a VPN for your information’s protection.

Getting Around Censorship of the Internet

Depending on what country you may be in, you may have internet censorship. The biggest example that comes to mind is China, which censors the internet. Other countries that have internet censorship include Iran, Russia, and Turkey.

Everyone should have access to the free Internet, but for those countries, it is not a reality. Because of this, if you find yourself traveling or living in one of these countries, you will need a VPN.

Let’s take China as an example. If you travel around or live in China, you may want to invest in a VPN so that you can access blocked social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. With a VPN, you will also be able to access YouTube and Google.

Only using a VPN will help you access these websites and apps. Otherwise, you will be unable to connect to them. For many expats and Chinese citizens alike, they want to stay connected to the world at large, so they invest in VPNs.

Do keep in mind that in many of these countries with internet censorship, VPNs are illegal. Use it at your own risk. However, it is very common for people to use VPNs in their everyday lives regardless.

Streaming Videos from “Another Location”

Whether you want to watch Netflix while living in a country with internet censorship or you want to find that Japanese anime that isn’t available on US Netflix, a VPN has your back.

With a VPN, you will be allowed to access streaming services from the location you are connecting to within the VPN. For example, let’s say you are a U.S. citizen, but you want to watch French Netflix. You can use your VPN to connect from the U.S. to a French location in order to view French Netflix streaming options.

What Is the Best VPN?

As more and more people want to use VPNs, more are popping up. Some do not work as well as others, though. To find the best VPN, consider the following questions.

How Much Does It Cost?

Will it break your bank, or is it worth the investment? Some VPNs are expensive, only to give you poor service and connection. Do your research to see that you’re getting the most for your buck.

What Platforms Can You Use It On?

Maybe you have an iPhone but use a PC as your laptop. Contrarily, you are Apple all the way.

Either way, you want to know what platforms your potential VPN works well on. In addition, you want to make sure that it will work on more than one device. Otherwise, it’s not worth it.

Can You Install and Use It Easily?

Is it simple to install, or will it give you a headache just trying to figure out how to get it on your device?

Then, after you’ve installed it, do you find it easy to use, or will it confuse you?

By answering these questions, you’ll know whether the VPN you chose is worth the investment or if you should go for another one.

How Many Country Servers Does the VPN Have?

If you go with a well-known VPN, the chances are that it has a lot of different country servers to choose from. You can connect to almost anywhere in the world.

If you go with a lesser-known VPN, it may not have this flexible perk.

Does the VPN Connect Quickly?

You want your VPN to connect quickly. Otherwise, it may not be as secure nor as convenient as you hoped it would be.

Anyway, no one likes staring at the spinning wheel of death, especially when you just want to do some secure Internet browsing.

Can It Stream Videos?

This is a big question now that the world is in the age of streaming. If your VPN can’t stream videos, it may be worth it to check out a VPN that can do that.

Buy a VPN for Security Today

Look, no one wants their data and information compromised. With a VPN, you won’t have to worry about that anymore.

What is a VPN connection? It is a secure, easy way to do what you love to do on the web without fear of interference. Keep your privacy private!

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