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    VPN 101: What is it, How it works, and Why you should use it

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    Whether you work from the office or simply use the internet every day, a VPN has become an essential factor in strengthening your security and safeguarding your privacy from cybercriminals. The number of VPN users has significantly increased within the past year, but many people still do not entirely understand it, how it works, and how they can benefit from it.

    In this article, we’ll dive into the necessary information you’ll need about VPNs and why you should use them as soon as possible.

    What is a VPN?

    A Virtual Private Network or VPN is a tool that secures your data and protects your online privacy. It creates a private network connection to a public internet connection, masking your device’s internet protocol (IP) address to keep your online activities untraceable. Think of a VPN like a private tunnel that hides the sites you visit, the links you click, and the files you download so that cybercriminals and even government agencies cannot monitor and trace what you do online. It establishes secure and encrypted connections, especially if you frequently connect to free public Wi-Fi, such as hotel lobbies, libraries, coffee shops, and even government-provided city Wi-Fi.

    How does a VPN Work?

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    A VPN provides an added level of security to online users. Before you head out to the public internet, it changes your IP address and makes you appear from a different location. Encryption is also a reason why most users use a VPN. Most online browsing is encrypted, but the encrypted connection still leaks personal information that hackers and cybercriminals may use against you. VPNs use strong encryption to strengthen your online security.  It establishes an encrypted tunnel to protect your personal information from going outside the tunnel, making your browsing data secure and protected from anyone outside your private tunnel. For safer online browsing, it’s wise to choose the best VPN for online security.

    What Are the Different Types of VPN?

    VPNs can be classified into three categories — Site-to-site VPN, personal VPN, and remote access VPN. If you’re new to VPNs, you might get confused with all the different types, making it harder to choose which one is best for your needs. So, let’s get into it and find the best one for you.

    Site-to-site VPN

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    Site-to-site VPNs come in two types, intranet-based and extranet-based. They allow multiple users to access each other’s resources in a fixed location.

    So, for example, you’re working in an Australian company branch in Manila, and you’re simultaneously working with your co-workers in Australia. An intranet-based site-to-site VPN will allow you to securely share resources because your local area networks are connected to a similar wide-area network. On the other hand, extranet-based site-to-site VPN is used when two different intranet connections are required without giving direct access to their resources. A collaboration between two companies is an excellent example of this type of site-to-site VPN.

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    This type of VPN is mainly utilized by large businesses where secure communication is crucial between different branches or departments globally. Unfortunately, implementing this VPN network can be very complicated and not offer flexibility as one might expect.

    Personal VPN

    Personal VPN is a service that’s specifically designed for individual use. It can protect your home and office network from cyberattacks and possible exploitations. This VPN creates a secure and encrypted tunnel that keeps all data going in and out of your devices safe from cybercriminals. It also conceals your IP address, allowing you to browse online anonymously. Just make sure to get the best VPN for online security for the best features.

    Remote Access VPN

    Remote access VPN is usually used by businesses that let their employees work remotely. By establishing a secure connection between their network and their employees’ devices, everyone can easily access resources anywhere as if they’re plugged in at their office. The virtual tunnel between the employee’s device and the company’s network ensures a safe and private data exchange, as security protocols and encryption protect their tunnel.

     

    What Can I Do with a VPN?

    Having a VPN can help you do many things because it masks your IP address. An IP address is a unique series of numbers that identifies every device connected to the internet. While it does not show your name and number, it can reveal your location and where your online connection is coming from.

    By using a VPN, you can connect to different servers worldwide, making your online activities look like they’re coming from a different location. In most VPN services, you can choose a specific location yourself. Having a new IP address from another country gives you many possibilities online, including the following:

    Browsing Content Worldwide

    Some of the most used streaming platforms, like Netflix, offer different content libraries for different locations. Having a VPN can let you access these geo-restricted movies and TV shows around the world.

    Bypassing Website Censorship

    In some countries, the government blocks access to specific websites and services. A VPN service can bypass these restrictions because it changes your location, allowing you to access any blocked website in your country.

    Stopping Online Tracking

    A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel, stopping websites and internet service providers (ISPs) from tracking your IP address, location, and browsing habits.

    Downloading Content from Torrents

    Using a torrent is generally not illegal, but downloading copyrighted content, such as movies and games, is illegal in most countries. While it’s still illegal to download content even with a VPN, you can hide your identity with it.

    Why Should I Use a VPN?

    Have you ever logged into your bank account in a coffee shop or maybe paid your credit card bill online in your hotel during a vacation? Unfortunately, if you’re guilty of doing this without a VPN, you might have exposed your private information to hackers. You should keep in mind that unless you’re logged in from a private network that requires a password, anyone could snoop in and track your browsing habits. The risk of cybersecurity attacks is becoming higher, now that almost all industries have shifted digitally. This situation encourages everyone, including telecommunications companies, to be vigilant against online fraud and shows the importance of enhancing your online security more than ever.

    Conclusion

    VPN is a valuable tool that can protect you from a variety of online threats. Aside from that, it can allow you to access geo-restricted content with ease. With many options to choose from, it’s better to select only the best VPN for online security. That way, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re safe and secure from cybercriminals.

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