Internet criminal activity is at an all-time high. Why? Because everything we do has some kind of tie to the online world. That means it’s more important than it has ever been to keep yourself and your information as safe as possible. There’s nothing wrong with going online, you just have to be smart about it.
Using a free VPN to connect to the Internet is one way you can be smart about getting online. The benefits you can get from using one of these are worth it for just about anyone. Read on to see how a VPN helps you live in an online world more safely.
Let’s Start with the Basics
Not everyone knows what a VPN is, so we’re going to start with that. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. A VPN will provide you a safe connection from your device to the Internet through an information tunnel that sends and receives data in an encrypted form over the public network, but to the private network.
If you think about a road trip, there are highways and interstates that will take you right through the heart of a big metropolitan city. And sometimes when you have to drive through there, it’s crazy and chaotic and filled with very heavy traffic. But then, there’s the bypass. This is the road that goes around the city and lets you bypass all of that dangerous traffic. You can go from one quiet road on one side of the city to the other quiet road on the other side of the city without having to merge with the heavy traffic. This is a lot like what a VPN does. Your data can bypass the public network to get to the other side where the private network is.
How Is the VPN Safer for You?
Cybersecurity is a hot topic right now. As technology advances and we reap the benefits of all the things AI can do for us, we have to keep in mind that AI can also be used by online criminals to do their bidding in sneakier and more efficient ways. When you connect to the Internet over an unsecured, public network, there could be any number of people watching for people like you to connect so that they can watch everything you’re doing online and start gathering your information to use it for whatever they see fit.
Connecting over a VPN gives you added layers of protection so that those cyber criminals who are waiting for you will never see you connect. Your network is kept private so you can do what you’re doing under the cover of your VPN. You can protect your identity and your information, including passwords, bank data and other sensitive tidbits by using a VPN for the things that you do online.
How Do You Get a VPN?
VPNs are pretty easy to come by. You can start by checking out a free VPN to see if you think that this would meet your needs. There are some really good ones that give you decent speeds and the protection you’ll be looking for. Many of the free VPNs just make you have to deal with ads popping up periodically. But if you can put up with that, free is the way to go.
If you want to upgrade to a better VPN that’s faster, doesn’t have ads, gives you better access to other content that you want and offers more features, then you can sign up for a VPN subscription with any of the companies providing them. The fees aren’t usually very high, and you can get a discount on the monthly price if you agree to use the service for an extended amount of time and pay it up front.
What Else Does a VPN Do For You?
There are some things on the Internet that you won’t be able to access from specific parts of the world. A good example for this is with sporting events. Countries like to keep their big sporting events to themselves and their citizens. You’ll often find that even if you could live stream a certain event within the country where it’s being held, you can’t live stream it from locations outside of that country. This is referred to as geo-blocking. It’s taking away access to online content based on where the IP address you’re connecting with is coming from.
A VPN can work around the geo-block and get you access to that content if you have it set up with the IP address you need to get it. People often use VPNs when they travel from the U.S. to other parts of the world so they can maintain access to the sites and apps they love back home. One type of app that is notoriously used with a VPN is any media streaming app. These services will block content when you’re connecting from certain countries. A VPN will give you back the access you lose when you’re traveling internationally.
To VPN or Not to VPN, There’s Really No Question
VPNs are free or cheap if you upgrade. They give you better online security, better access to content and anonymity when you do connect to the Internet. There’s really no reason why you shouldn’t get a VPN set up so you can protect yourself from online crime and what could be a lot of stress.