The internet is undoubtedly a useful instrument for information, opportunities, entertainment, and connections. However, along with the generous advantages of the internet come its dangers. As more and more people delve into the digital world, the more online footprintsare left behind. Whatever you browse, store, access, and download leave traces on their respective channels that can be used against you. Cybercriminals and online attackers could be lurking nearby to steal your data and utilize them to cause harm. Being cautious and responsible with your online use is extremely important for your protection and security.
Thankfully, there’s an excellent piece of technology that can protect you online, known as the VPN.
What is a VPN? How Does It Work?
Each computer network existing around the world is assigned to a unique internet protocol (IP) address. An IP address contains identifying numbers that allow your computer to send and receive information when connected to the internet. Your IP address is identifiable to any website and online service that you access.
To mask your IP address, virtual private networks (VPNs) come in handy. By using a VPN service, your network will be forwarded to a remote server. If third-party connections, including your Internet Service Provider (ISP), try to view data that you’ve sent and received through the internet, they’ll be unsuccessful.
Ways to Utilize VPN at Home
When people initially encounter VPNs, the first advantage that they can think of is online protection. While it’s the general objective of VPNs, they have a lot more to offer to people using the internet in different ways. If you want to learn more about VPNs, the best place to start is by identifying advantageous ways to use them.
Here are some ways on how an individual internet user like you can use VPNs in the comfort of your own home:
- General Privacy and Anonymity
First and foremost, VPNs exist to protect your identity online. As you’re using the internet inside your home for various tasks, it’s crucial to protect your identity and location from potential attackers. The internet can track your location based on which servers your computer is accessing.
By creating a remote server for your use, advertisement networks and websites can’t find you as the location you’re connecting to won’t match your virtual IP address. While this advantage sounds very simple, it can make a significant difference in your browsing experience by avoiding online spying disguised as unwanted online ads.
- Faster and Safer Online Gaming
VPNs aren’t just for browsing purposes. While they’re widely known for their benefits to personal and organizational use, many VPN service providers today are designing special safety features for gaming purposes. Whether you’re a casual or pro gamer, you can learn more about the best gaming VPN service from https://invpn.com/best-vpn-for-gaming/ and look for an option that fits your needs.
Take a look at some of the safety measures for gaming provided by VPNs:
- Block DDoS attacks: Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks attempt to dismantle normal traffic of your computer by flooding your computer with requests using compromised systems. If your IP address is hidden from other people, like other players of the game, you’ll be safe from DDoS attacks.
- Avoid bandwidth throttling: When your ISP detects heavy online activity like file sharing, streaming, and gaming, they intentionally slow down your connection speed to prevent congestion. Since your network is encrypted through a VPN, your ISP can’t identify if you’re causing heavy online traffic.
- Bypass geo-blocking: Game developers typically choose specific countries for the initial release of their games or game updates. If your country doesn’t happen to be included in the list, you can use a VPN to access the country where it’s released and be one of the first gamers to try the new release. It’s also useful if you want to play with friends from other regions.
- Geo-Blocked Content Streaming
As discussed briefly above, VPN can bypass geo-blocked gaming content, which means that you’ll also be able to access geological restrictions from other online services like video streaming. As streamable content varies from country to country, VPNs can broaden your streaming options useful when you’re traveling overseas, or you simply want to access content from other places.
Streaming sites and services are aware of VPN use, and they’re actively attempting to block VPN users from streaming their content. To access your desired geo-blocked content with ease, make sure that you find the fastest VPNs for 2021 that allow users to watch whatever and wherever they want.
- Hide from ISP Tracking
Despite being extra careful of your online activities, take note that there’s someone who can still monitor your online activities: your one and only ISP. While there are a few solutions to hiding your online activity from third-party entities, such as clearing your browser cookies and history, these are only quick fixes, and your ISP can still monitor your every move.
Being monitored by your ISP poses several safety and security risks, including data breaches. Fortunately, VPNs can help hide your data from your ISP through encryption. However, you should be careful in choosing the right VPN, as some free VPN services may sell your precious data to advertisers.
- Bypass ISP Restrictions
Aside from tracking your data, your ISP can also impose numerous online restrictions on the sites you can or cannot visit, or restrict screen time on the web,or even limit in-app purchases.
By having your activity encrypted by a VPN, you can bypass restrictions implemented by your ISP, mostly peer-to-peer (P2P) downloads on torrenting sites. Although downloading torrents isn’t encouraged, using VPN is highly useful in situations involving large file sharing without revealing your IP address to these torrenting sites.
Limits of Using VPN Services
VPNs aren’t available globally, as some strict governments prohibit the use of VPNs to maintain control and safety. Therefore, before finding, subscribing, and downloading any VPN service, make sure that you’re not located in one of these countries where VPN usage is banned:
- North Korea
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
VPN services are essential for traveling. If you’re paying a visit to one of these countries, it’s paramount to educate yourself about VPN-associated laws to steer clear of trouble.
Cybersecurity should be everyone’s top priority, regardless of their online purposes and activities, as long as they utilize the internet. By using virtual private networks and availing VPN services, you can keep your activities confidential and anonymous, play online games faster and safer, access geo-blocked content, get away from ISP tracking, and bypass ISP restrictions, all of which contribute to a better online experience.