The truth is, online or internet privacy is deteriorating by the day. And this leaves us with no choice but to rely on special tools to protect our privacy at all costs. And one of the most reliable tools to consider in the market today is a VPN or a virtual private network.
You may have already heard about VPNs but, exactly are VPNs, and what does a VPN hide?
In this post, we are going to answer these questions. So, keep reading.
Third-party ad companies, online retailers, and marketers are not the only people who shadow and use your private information to their advantage. The government, Internet Service Providers, and even hackers can track what you search, download and search.
Even though some of these parties are not out to harm you, if you surf your internet without a VPN, you’re leaving your digital fingerprints on each site you visit. Whether you’re browsing your social media, searching for information online, or just lurking on forums, all these activities can get backtracked. Even though a VPN may not make you anonymous, it provides a layer of protection to your online activities from unwelcome individuals.
In other words, a VPN hides your IP address. It masks your browsing location alongside online activities on your device. That way, third parties are kept from breaching your privacy and monetizing your personal information.
That said, what does a VPN hide?
Your IP address can show your general location. But does not give an accurate representation of where exactly you are. Usually, your IP displays information provided by your Internet Service Provider, for instance, the city where the internet servers you’re connected to are located. But besides your IP address, there’s no way third parties can track you.
Many apps, for instance, can do this by using your device’s physical GPS location. You might also notice that sometimes certain apps will require accessing your device’s GPS as a condition. And this allows them to track you everywhere you go or visit.
The best part is, a VPN will help keep these apps in check. They override your physical coordinate each time any app requests to access your location. That way, you can browse the internet without any third parties trying to monitor your actions.
2. Protects and hides your data
Coffee shops, salons, barbershops, airports, hotels, and other places you enjoy free Wi-Fi are gold mines for hackers.
To avoid falling prey to such cyber hooligans, you need to keep yourself from using Wi-Fi hotspots and unsecured public networks unless you have a VPN. If you’re not protected, anyone could steal your passwords, logins, and any other sensitive and private information that you might be accessing at the time.
However, a VPN will ensure that your privacy remains uncompromised. It encrypts all your data before any of it leaves your device. That way, your personal information becomes unreadable and inaccessible to any hackers or unauthorized persons.
If you’re traveling, you need to use a VPN always since it will keep you from worrying when you’re using a public hotspot.
3. Hide your online activity
A reliable VPN will hide your online activity. The majority of ISP providers in the US have been found to intentionally slow their user’s internet connection when streaming videos online. And what’s even worse is that some of these ISP throttled varying services, including YouTube and Netflix, more than Amazon Prime.
That means that internet service providers make money by boosting the speeds of certain streaming services against others. However, a VPN will hide your online activity from your ISP, ensuring that your internet connection is safe from throttling when downloading files and streaming videos.
4. IP address
Internet Protocol Addresses or IP are digital tags unique to every network that accesses the internet. The address gets linked to your ISP, browsing history, and physical location. Each time you receive or share information on your device, the same gets linked to your IP address. However, exposed IP addresses can bring a lot of web privacy issues.
If you do not want to expose your online identity on a web forum, you need to protect your real IP address. And a pseudonym will not help with this.
Hackers can use this method to gain information that will help them undertake malicious activities. Online retailers may also use this to track your behaviors to tailor-make ads, deals, and prices for you. That means that if you connect a VPN server in a different country, you will notice the disparity in prices due to a change in locations.
Since information is stored about your browsing history, whenever you visit a site, cookies will offer information to a web provider concerning your internet profile, search information, and any other information that can get used for selling a product to you.
However, a VPN connection protects you from all this. Your IP address gets replaced with the VPN server’s IP address. That means that you will use a similar IP address as other VPN users and that marketers, advertisers, and ISPs cannot use your information for personal motives.
5. VPNs hide your P2P traffic
P2P file-sharing networks is a bit controversial since it is deemed legal in other countries and severely prohibited in others.
You need to understand that P2P isn’t legal, but piracy is. The unfortunate bit is, there’s no way to tell if you use them to share legally obtained content or by violating copyright laws. Since ISPs can trace back all the traffic going through such a network, you may face serious legal troubles.
If you actively share files on a P2P network, you need to subscribe to a paid VPN service that complies with the best industry standards. That way, you can share files in total privacy without worrying about privacy issues.
6. Hides itself
A good VPN can hide its activity. And they do this by allowing you to connect to the internet via obfuscated servers. That way, you hide the fact that you’re relying on a VPN for your internet safety. And this will help you bypass VPN blockers from your ISP, government, or institutions such as universities.
Using a VPN helps you reclaim your freedom!
A reliable VPN should encrypt your data, location, IP address, internet activity, and hide itself. That way, you can browse the internet without any worries, as it should. And without having to think about your personal information getting used for someone else’s gain.