A VPN (Virtual Private Network) has many benefits that makes it worth considering if you spend a lot of time on the Internet. VPN helps you with privacy, content censorship, hacking, malware attacks and many other things. VPN shields you and removes your footprint from the Internet, making you invisible. But there are still few things to keep in mind while using a VPN.
VPN helps you stay anonymous
Let me explain by example. A VPN service will indeed hide your activity and your real IP address on the Internet, but it doesn’t mean that it will completely erase your footprints. It will only be able to hide your activity from your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and any third party who is trying to snoop on you. If you log into Facebook using VPN, then no matter which VPN you use, Facebook will always know what you are doing.
Let’s say you have to search on Google for Tiger. Without a VPN, your ISP will know that you visited Google and then searched for Tiger. With VPN on, you are not directly connecting to Google’s server. Instead, you are sending all your requests to the VPN server which then, process your requests on your behalf. Your connection with VPN server is entirely encrypted and this is the part that your ISP can see. But because this connection is encrypted, although your ISP can see this connection, it can’t make any sense out of it.
Once your request reaches the VPN server, then it is completely out of your ISP’s territory. The VPN server then uses its bandwidth to process your request further to the destination. The ISP can’t even see what is happening once the request reaches the VPN server. Your data is decrypted by VPN and they will hit Google’s server on your behalf with the keyword Tiger. Google will do its algorithmic magic delivering search results for the given keyword to the VPN server. The VPN server will again encrypt all the data and send it back to you where it is decrypted again and displayed to you.
Now if you have signed into Google with your account, then, of course, Google will know what you searched for even if you use a VPN service. So if you really want to be anonymous, make sure to not log in to a website or making a pseudo account which can’t be tracked back o you. This will give you complete anonymity on the internet.
VPN + Incognito Mode (without any sign-ins) = Complete anonymity
VPN helps with censorship
This is one aspect of how a VPN can help you. VPN also helps you change your location on the internet and manipulate a website into thinking you are visiting from United Kingdom when you are actually in Canada. This can be useful to bypass censorship. If a website is blocked in Canada but works in the United Kingdom, you can switch your location to UK using a VPN.
Some websites may although open in your country, but won’t show you all the content due to some geographic censorship. Like Netflix has different movie library for different countries. Some movie or TV show that is available in UK, might not be available in US. This is also where a VPN comes handy.
VPN improves security
As VPN connections are encrypted, it makes it close to impossible for hackers to snoop on you as your real IP address is also hidden. Most of the paid VPNs offer military-grade level encryption. If you use public WiFi or open WiFi a lot, then you should invest in a VPN for safety reasons.
Most VPN works across devices including desktops, Macs, iPhone, Android etc. If you are looking for free VPN alternatives, make sure to read our article on Best Free VPNs with unlimited bandwidth.