Do You Need A VPN?
A virtual private network or VPN is a great way to protect yourself while living in an increasingly connected world. A VPN application for personal computers (PCs), laptops and mobile devices acts like your own tunnel onto the Internet, keeping everyone from hackers to advertisers from seeing what you are doing or knowing how you are connecting. There are times when a VPN should be an absolute essential, such as logging into your bank account or email over a public Wi-Fi® connection. Other times, this app is a safety blanket that lets you access legal content without any blocks that might be in place for geographic licensing reasons. This includes trying to use your own Netflix subscription or upload a YouTube™ video, while traveling abroad.
Does A VPN Cost Extra?
Yes, there is an extra expense with using a VPN, and most major-name providers offer a free trial.
What Happens To Your IP Address?
Before installing a VPN, find out what the VPN does to your Internet protocol (IP) address, your computer’s personal name. Some VPNs only mask your IP address so that other people theoretically should not be able to find it or track it; other VPNs actually assign you a new IP address that does not belong to your computer. That is important, because it means you cannot be accused of specific Internet behaviors, when your computer’s own IP address is not used to connect online. Anyone who wanted to track your Internet activity would be tracking a made-up number, instead of your actual address.
Is Your Activity Still Monitored Online?
It depends. Some companies have a policy of not storing their logs about your Internet activity, while other companies do not actively monitor activity in the first place. Be careful because while they should all allow you to mask your activity from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the websites you visit, some of them may actually keep their own logs of your browsing activity. Be sure to check their terms of service. You must decide how sensitive you are to being monitored online.
Is The VPN Provider Using A Foreign Web Server?
A VPN works by connecting you to a Web server that the VPN provider controls, then connecting you to the Internet. The number and location of those servers are where the different VPNs set themselves apart from their competition. A number of VPN providers are advertising VPN locations around the world that are actually located in the United States. They are only updating the IP ownership information. This makes it appear that the IP address is located in another country.
How Many Devices Can You Connect To Your VPN?
Another area where VPNs differ is in the type of device you can connect, as well the number of devices. Some VPNs let you connect unlimited devices, but will only let you use five of those devices at the same time.
When Considering A VPN, Remember Your Router
Your network Router is especially important when you have sensitive Internet-of-things (IoT) connected devices, such as a video doorbell or voice-activated virtual assistant. Router hacking has led to the theft of personal/business data from other connected devices. It is a good idea to wrap your router’s connection in a private tunnel, too.
We recommend you use a VPN when accessing personal information online and traveling abroad. Securing your IoT connected devices is a good idea, too. Remember to take advantage of VPN free trials. Evaluate your VPN options based on features, ease of use and Internet speed, before making a choice. Call Nuvodia today at 1-855-568-8634 for a Security Risk Assessment for your business or organization.
By Josh Andrade (Nuvodia, Marketing Specialist)
- Identity Theft Resource Center – Do You Need a VPN?
- Wi-Fi Alliance – Wi-Fi
- Nuvodia – Security Risk Assessment.