Post-December 2019, in the span of almost two years, a large part of our routine has transitioned from an offline to online mode-a a shift from a physical to a virtual model. Technology has seeped into various spectrums of our life. It has become a necessity today. In such a scenario, cyber security becomes a crucial matter to discuss. We usually think that VPNs are the solution to this. But is it so? Let us ponder together.
What is VPN?
Virtual Private Network, or commonly abbreviated VPN, is a secured, private connection across the internet. Through this connection, one can access the data, that is already existing on the internet, but in an encoded version. Due to this, such access becomes nearly untraceable, and there is less worry of anyone knowing about the remote activities on that device. It is used for various purposes in different areas. VPN is used in corporate settings to prevent the leak of confidential data, while some use it to get resources on the internet, that cannot be accessed openly.
Working of VPN
For understanding how do Virtual Private Network works, knowing what is IP address is very essential. In the simplest sense, IP (Internet Protocol) address is the unique identity of your device over the internet. Read more about IP address at:
When VPN is used on a device, it camouflages your IP address, so that no one can accurately track your online activities, not even your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Everything you do on the internet while using a VPN goes through a different server, that is your VPN hosts. Since, the source is changed, of the data that you seek online, it is difficult for your service provider or any other party, to exactly locate that unknown server.
VPN as a Privacy Protector
Let us say, you are enjoying a YouTube video using your ISP provider’s data. So, all the logs of your searches are usually visible to your ISP provider, with the help of the IP address assigned to your device. It is a privacy breach since whatever you will surf over the internet, could be saved as a session in your ISP’s logs. VPNs usually route or bypass all your traffic through their own servers, which basically hides your IP address in front of your ISP.
For example, you download some software onto your device. When you’re logged in, the VPN can offer its protection while you’re using free Wi-Fi at an airport, some library, or a coffee shop by making it harder for network administrators to see what you do online. Thus, it is popularly believed that using VPN keeps your data and online activities safe from infringement and eavesdropping. Though, is it true?
Some Popular VPN:
|ExpressVPN||The British Virgin Islands||Kape Technologies|
|F-Secure Freedome VPN||Finland||F-Secure|
|Hotspot Shield||The U.S.||Aura|
|IPVanish||The U.S.||Ziff Davis|
|Kaspersky VPN||Russia & Switzerland||Kaspersky|
|Mozilla VPN||The U.S.||Mozilla|
|Private Internet Access (PIA)||The U.S.||Kape Technologies|
|Private Tunnel||The U.S.||OpenVPN|
|ProtonVPN||Switzerland||Proton Technologies AG|
|Surfshark||The British Virgin Islands||Surfshark Ltd.|
Is VPN Safe?
Using VPN online can provide security and privacy to some extent. It cannot be said that VPNs are cent percent safe. They need to be combined with other protection tools, available out there, for complete security. Beware of the free VPN, ( pubg VPN download is not advisable ).
Some of the instances when VPNs are not that efficient in its work are:
- When the website saves the data that you feed in and the VPN fails to retrieve it.
- When websites purposefully extract your information, penetrating even firewalls and antivirus software.
- When you voluntarily submit your consent to the website to use your information, anyway they desire.
- When you, knowingly or unknowingly, download a virus, much VPNs could not protect your data.
- When you are caught in a social engineering or such scam, VPNs are unable to keep your data safe.
Zero Log VPN
VPNs that do not log in or store your data with itself are called zero log VPN or logless VPN. They claim that they don’t keep the information of what their users do on the internet. They are more appealing as they somehow guarantee the anonymity of the user, thereby keeping them and their data preserved, unfound. Beware of the free VPN, ( pubg VPN download ).
However, let this myth be busted now and here. There is almost nothing like Zero log VPN. All VPNs log some data of its user, no matter what they claim while attracting their consumers. Just the extent of this data being logged in differs with various service providers.
Common Myths about VPNs
- Every VPN available out there are same– A big no. All VPN services, though provide similar services, are not identically same. Each of them offers varying services, of which one must choose the best suit for themselves. Like, some VPNs are good for protecting major data against outsiders’ invention. While, some other VPN might be good for accessing particular resources over the web.
- Using VPNs is illegal– Again, it is a popular belief, which is not true. The reason why you are using a VPN service could land you behind bars, but merely using VPN will not. The VPN was originally created with the motive of data protection itself. Therefore, unless you are carrying out an explicit illegal activity using VPN, you are definitely safe.
- Free VPNs are enough for everything– Well, not necessarily, always. Maintaining VPNs could be a costly affair. And providing free VPN service is thus a difficult job. This implies that such providers earn money from different source, perhaps by selling your data. Hence, it is highly advisable, to be cautious while using these services.
- VPN works the same across all platforms– Many people have this misconception that all devices with various operating systems support all VPNs in the exact trend. This is not true. There are different VPNs that are compatible with different operating systems such as android and iOS.
Knowing about VPN is a primary requisite before using it. One must be aware of all the perks as well as the dangers involved. Before indulging in the cyber world, understand its intricacies as much as you can, and be self-armed with everything you could manage. Because, in the end, your privacy lies in your hands.
Edited by: Indranil Bhuin
I am always open to book recommendations and writing advice.