What is a VPN, and when do I need one? — FGL Voice

What is a VPN, and when do I need one?

In the last couple of years, privacy has become one of the major concerns that several internet users have. We have seen more data breach scandals in the previous decade than ever before in internet history. Big tech platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yahoo have all been involved in these breaches.


If you want to safely use the internet, one of the most guaranteed ways you can do that is by using a VPN. A VPN plays several other roles but ensuring your privacy while using the internet is one of its primary roles. If you are keen to learn more about what a VPN is and why you need to start using one today, this article is for you.


What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is software designed to keep you private by hiding the IP address of the devices you are using to connect to the internet. Most cybercrimes and spying that happen on the internet are only possible if someone has access to your IP address. An IP address is a unique number assigned to every device connected to the internet or local network.


Your service provider or government will only know the websites you are accessing if it has your IP address. If they don’t have access to your IP address, they will never know your browsing activities in any way. There are several other privacy advantages for hiding your IP address that I will share in a bit.


How does a VPN work?

We now know that a VPN keeps you private on the internet by hiding your IP address. But how exactly does it do this? Let me explain.


Without a VPN, your device’s connection is routed (goes) through the servers of your internet service provider before connecting you to the rest of the websites you want to access on the internet. When you activate a VPN on your device, the connection is routed through the servers of your VPN provider instead of the ISP’s.


On top of that, all your data is encrypted in the VPN’s servers before sending it to your desired website, which makes it unreadable by anyone on the internet. Encrypting your data makes it impossible for the website you are accessing to know your IP address and where you are located. Without this data, it becomes almost impossible for the websites you are accessing to profile you.


VPN providers usually have multiple servers that you can connect to, depending on which one you want. However, this choice is usually limited to premium subscribers for most VPN services. Those who use the free VPN packages will only have access to a few servers that are generally very congested, which slows down their internet connection.


So, while choosing which VPN service provider you can trust, always find out the number of servers you will access for the various pricing packages they offer. Some of the best VPN service providers you may consider include; Express VPN, Nord VPN, Surfshark, and many more.


Why do you need a VPN?

There are several benefits that VPNs will bring to your browsing experience. If you have never thought of using a VPN before, here is why you need to consider using one today;

  1. Access region-restricted content

If you stream shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or any other services, you should already know about shows that are only accessible in certain regions. Thanks to VPNs, you can now access such shows by switching to a VPN server in a non-restricted region. For example, if you are in Asia and the shows you want to watch are limited to only the US and Europe, you just have to switch to a server in the US or any European country.


You can also use this method to access region-restricted applications on iOS and Android platforms. For example, if you want to use an app like Apple news, you have to be in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, or the United States. With a VPN, you can switch to a server in any of these countries to use the app. To avoid being disappointed, make sure you choose a VPN platform with servers in several regions across the globe.


  1. To access restricted websites

If you live in a country where your government doesn’t allow you to access certain websites, you need to install a VPN. Since your IP address is hidden and your connection is not routed through your ISP’s server, it becomes impossible for the government to know which websites you are trying to access. Without this knowledge, they won’t be able to block the connection.


  1. Protect your data against scammers and hackers

With a VPN activated, hackers and scammers will practically not know about your device and how it is connecting to the internet since your IP address is hidden. Hackers usually take advantage of security loopholes in public WiFi networks to access the devices of people using such networks. However, all this access is blocked if you are using a VPN.


  1. To be anonymous on the web

With a VPN, your connection is tunneled and encrypted through a private server, making it impossible for any website or platform to profile you while browsing. Most websites and apps can only track you using the IP address of your devices and location. Since a VPN hides all this information, it generally becomes harder for them to track your activities.


Final thoughts

All in all, a VPN is a revolutionary privacy solution for web users. It will give you peace of mind to browse the web, knowing that your government, internet service provider, or other third parties won’t know anything about your browsing activities. In addition to the high level of privacy, VPNs also make it possible to access region-locked content and apps. However, you will only enjoy most of these benefits if you subscribe to a premium VPN service.

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