VPNs are becoming increasingly popular on today’s internet, but many people still don’t know what they do or how to use them. This guide will walk you through the basics of VPNs and some reasons why they may be right for you.
1. What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network, or VPN for short, is a network that allows you to access the internet securely and privately. When using your usual connection (whether it’s Wi-Fi at home or public hotspots), any devices connected through this connection can see what you’re doing online – including intercepting data sent between websites servers. This could be passwords, private messages, emails, etc..
VPNs work by setting up an encrypted ‘tunnel’ between yourself and another server which then acts as if it were directly attached to the internet itself. All of your traffic is now passing through this tunnel instead of over your usual connection; meaning no one else will know where you’ve been browsing or what sites you visit on Facebook/Twitter etc.
Why you should get VPN?
The benefits of using a VPN:
- Improved online privacy and security. Your data isn’t visible to other people on your usual connection, meaning no one can intercept or spy on your activities.
- Improved access to websites/services from other locations. For example, if you’re living in the UK but need to use a US-based website, simply connect through your VPN provider which will allow you full access.
- Improved security on public Wi-Fi. Connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots (which are extremely common in cafes, airports, etc.) can be very dangerous as you’re putting your data at risk of being intercepted. Using a VPN ensures that all traffic from these hotspots is secure and private.
- Unblocking of websites/services. By connecting to a server in another location (e.g the US), will allow you to unblock access to services that may be blocked in your own country (e.g watching US Netflix while you’re still in the UK).
- Bypass censorship and online restrictions. For example, if you’re in China and trying to access Google – this will be blocked but connecting through a VPN server located outside of China will allow you full access.
- Stay anonymous online while browsing through a private tunnel.
- No one will be able to see your IP address, location, and more!
- Save money when you travel – have access to online TV, movies, and more!
How To Get A VPN?
A number of top companies provide their own custom software for connecting via these servers but if you’re not interested in subscribing to a monthly service then there’s plenty of free options out there too including proXPN and even Hola. You might also want to consider trying OpenVPN from here which is open source so anyone can contribute information about it. There are countless tutorials on YouTube that’ll show you how to use OpenVPN on your Windows or Mac device, so it’s definitely worth a look if you’re new to this kind of thing.
When not to use VPN?
There are some rare cases when using a VPN might not be the best idea. This can vary depending on your needs, so we’ll go through them below:
- If you’re living in an oppressive country where use of censorship is high then it’s probably better to avoid getting one until things change otherwise you could land yourself into serious trouble with the law.
- If you’re in a country that doesn’t have very strict censorship, then it’s still possible for your VPN to run slow – so if high speeds are important for streaming or downloading data from torrents etc. then we’d recommend trying out one of the free options first and seeing how they perform before making a long-term commitment.
VPNs are legal in most countries but there’s always the chance that specific VPN services could be blocked by ISPs or even banned completely – so it’s worth checking before you sign up and pay money for something which ends up being useless!
The best VPNs on the market today
NordVPN is another excellent choice – they offer double encryption on all traffic for free (which means that even if your ISP decides to snoop, they won’t make any headway), and the speeds are great thanks to their vast network of servers.
IPVanish is perfect for users who want high speeds without sacrificing privacy – we’d say it’s probably one of the very best right now since they’re always working hard to add new servers and keep up the high speeds which are important for streaming.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is another great all-rounder – one of their selling points includes a ‘Kill Switch’ feature that ensures your IP address doesn’t leak when you disconnect from a server, so it’s perfect if privacy is your main concern in life!
And here comes our last recommendation: HideMyAss. This may seem like an unusual choice but this VPN service has proven itself time and again thanks to its massive network of over 850+ servers located across 190 countries worldwide. So whether you need access to blocked sites or want to protect yourself online on public WiFi hotspots, HMA has got you covered 24/365!
BlufVPN is a relatively new company on the market but they’ve already made themselves known – their service is fast and completely free to use. They don’t store any logs on their users, and there’s also a kill switch feature in case you’re paranoid about your information leaking.
So there you have it – all of them are the best VPN service providers. If you’re still unsure exactly which one to go for, don’t worry as all of them offer a 30-day money-back guarantee so if they don’t work out for whatever reason then feel free to ask for your cashback and try another service instead. We hope that this article has helped clear up any confusion about how VPNs actually work and we wish you happy browsing in the future!
The best FREE VPNs on the market today
Using a VPN has never been easier thanks to TunnelBear. This service is completely free and although they keep some minimal logs about your activity, they promise not to examine them unless absolutely necessary.
ProtonVPN is another great free service that’s perfect for protecting you online. They have servers all over the world so speeds are good and they also don’t keep any logs about your activity, which means there’ll always be one more thing to love about this company!
Hotspot Shield Free VPN Proxy
And finally, Hotspot Shield Free VPN Proxy, which is another great choice if you’re looking for speed and security. This service only keeps a record of your email address but they claim that it’s never shared with anyone else!
So there you have it – all the best free VPNs on the market today! Of course, we’d always recommend going for a paid
Windscribe Free VPN
Windscribe is a great all-rounder that’s perfect for any user – their speeds and security are both exemplary, so if you’re looking to use a VPN on your next holiday but don’t want to spend the money then we’d recommend Windscribe free VPN.
Hola Unlimited Free VPN
Hola Unlimited Free VPN is another great choice if you’re looking for speed and security – this service works by sharing idle resources of their users to create a private network, which means there’s no single point of failure and speeds are great!
Speedify Free VPN
Speedify Free VPN is another great choice – they don’t keep logs of any kind and with servers all over the world so you can always rely on this company to give your privacy a much-needed boost!
Hide.me Free VPN
Hide.Me Free VPN may seem like an unusual option but trust us: you’ll want to check this one out! They only keep the most necessary logs and their speeds are great for streaming.
So there you have it – all of them are perfect choices if you’re looking for a free VPN service that is fast, secure, and reliable so feel free to try any or all of these recommendations and see which ones work best for you!
FAQs about VPN
What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network, or VPN for short, allows users to securely connect to the internet and browse websites by hiding their IP address.
What is an IP address?
An IP address is a set of numbers that identifies your device whenever you’re connected to the internet.
How does a VPN work?
The first thing that happens when you connect to an online server is that your IP address gets swapped out for another one that belongs to the server you’re connecting to. This means that no one can see your original IP address, giving you complete anonymity online! The second thing that happens is that your internet service provider can’t track which websites you’re visiting – they’ll only see the connection to the VPN server.
Is it legal to get a VPN?
Getting your own virtual private network is completely legal and will not break any laws.
How much does a VPN cost?
VPNs are completely free to download and use, although there may be some paid features or subscription options available depending on your chosen provider. However, we always recommend trying out any service for free before committing to anything long-term!
Are VPNs Safe? Yes/No?
No. There are many VPNs that keep logs of their users’ online activity and store this data on servers that can be accessed by the government or cybercriminals. We recommend using a no-log service like IPVanish, HideMyAss!, or NordVPN for maximum security at all times – they’re safe too!
We hope that this article has helped clear up any confusion about how VPNs actually work and we wish you happy browsing in the future!