When you hear about VPN, you probably think that it is a program to bypass blocked resources. In fact, this is only a small part of the technology’s capabilities, and the main task is to ensure the security of user data on the Internet. Interesting? Let's try to figure out what a VPN is and when it becomes necessary to use it.
How it works
The abbreviation VPN stands for «Virtual Privat Network». This is the collective name for a group of technologies that impose a new, secure Internet connection on the user.
Each computer connected to the network has its own IP address. It contains information about the location of the device. VPN services replace the computer's current IP address with an address in a different region. All data received and sent by the user during an active VPN connection is transmitted to the communication channel in encrypted form, which ensures complete confidentiality and security.
What is it for
The technology appeared just a few years after the popularization of the Internet, its original function was to secure the networks of large enterprises. During its existence, the types of encryption have changed, the speed of work has increased.
Today, based on VPN technology, they implement:
- Secure remote access to information over an encrypted channel.
This is relevant for organizations that process and send information with restricted access. If employees need to send data to another department, it is not safe to use regular email.
- Protection of information when connected to open networks.
If you don't miss the opportunity to use your neighbor's Wi-Fi and connect to networks in establishments, don't be surprised by data theft. When shopping online, use a VPN to protect your bank card details.
- Free surfing and getting bonuses.
A number of sites restrict access to their content to residents of certain regions (have you noticed on YouTube the inscription «This video is not available to watch in your region»?). There are also services that provide special privileges to residents of different countries. A VPN would be a suitable option for both situations.
- TV viewing.
Residents of America and the UK can watch TV online via the Internet. Want to be the first to see an episode of your favorite BBC series? Then you can not do without the British ip.
Benefits of using. Best services
If you use open networks and often make purchases in online stores, enter logins and passwords on various services, you need a VPN. This is a convenient way out if you want to secure the transmitted data for personal or work purposes. The technology is indispensable for those who need access to the network in full.
Today, browsers or extensions for them are written on the basis of VPNs, and special programs are constantly appearing. For personal purposes, free browser extensions (Touch VPN, VPN Opera) are enough. If the technology is used by a company for privacy purposes, it is better to subscribe to a popular service (The Safety, Trust VPN, Hotspot Sield).
Already wondering «why pay»? There are several reasons:
- traffic restriction;
- the ability to select the country whose address will be assigned;
- quality of data encryption;
- data transfer rate;
- connection stability.
If privacy, security and freedom of action are your current goals, a VPN will be an indispensable assistant on your computer and smartphone.
When it is better not to use a VPN. A few shortcomings
The blocking of popular resources led to the massive distribution of VPN services among Ukrainian users. In the first month after the ban went into effect, Kantar TNS Cmeter conducted a marketing study that showed that 4 million people installed applications and programs to circumvent the ban. Modern research by Factum Group shows that in mid-February 2018, only 39% of Ukrainians continued to use VPN.
Another bad example of using services is the violation of an employment contract at work. Many employers block access to popular social networks, YouTube and entertainment portals during working hours. Entrepreneurial employees install a VPN and violate company policy.
Speed is a significant drawback of technology. By turning on the free option, the user remembers what the Internet was like in 2008 or even earlier. If you are not ready to wait several minutes for a page to load, ask yourself: «Is the game worth the candle?»
If you are going to organize the activities of an enterprise with geographically dispersed divisions, any specialist in the field of information security will recommend using a high-quality VPN. It is also considered useful to protect the connection when connected to open Wi-Fi.
When it comes to using a VPN to communicate with family and friends, the choice is, of course, up to you. But still it is worth trying to switch to other social networks or instant messengers. We believe that having the opportunity to choose, it is better to give preference to another platform for communication. This will allow you to always stay connected and maintain the same connection speed.
How to use a VPN using Hotspot Shield as an example
Hotspot Shield is one of the most popular VPN browser extensions that comes in a free and premium version. To add it to Google Chrome, go to the link.
On the page that opens, click on the «Install» button.
After installation, you go to the start page and can start using the service.
To get started, click on the program icon in the upper right corner of the window, click «Next» on the banner. After that click on the start button.
All is ready! In the «View from» item, you can select any of the proposed countries. In addition to data encryption and a new IP address, you get protection from malware and blocking annoying ads.