January 28, 2021
VPN Effectiveness: Do You Really Need One?
Posted by Rhiannon
For as long as VPNs have existed, questions about VPN effectiveness have also existed. This is hardly unusual; with any technology comes a group of naysayers who claim that technology doesn’t work, or doesn’t function as it claims to. In the case of VPNs, this group has doubts about whether or not virtual private networks really encrypt your data and really keep you anonymous online. Should you believe their claims and doubts about VPNs? In short; no! VPNs are an effective digital tool that increase your digital privacy and security. Take a look at how they work, and why you should always use one:
- In terms of encryption
- In terms of anonymity
- Should you use a VPN?
In Terms of Encryption
When it comes to online security, VPNs are one of the best, and easiest-to-use tools you can protect yourself with.
Without a VPN, all of your online activity is unprotected and visible to anyone determined to see it. This means your internet service provider, advertisers, the websites you visit, digital snoops and hackers, and even government bodies can see what you do online. Details like your passwords, emails, and banking information may be exposed to anyone watching if the services behind them don’t use the right security measures. Why risk it? With a VPN, you take your privacy into your own hands.
But how does a VPN prevent your activity and information from falling into the wrong hands? Simple! It encrypts it. Essentially, when you connect to a VPN, the software builds a digital “tunnel” between your device, and the website you’re connected to. All of your activity flows through this tunnel and anyone outside of it (your ISP, advertisers, snoops, governments, etc.) will not be able to see your data. Even if they intercept it, it will be scrambled (or encrypted), and appear to be useless gibberish.
To ensure full VPN effectiveness, however, you should research the service you choose to use thoroughly. Free VPNs, for example, are typically less safe than paid ones because they need to make money somehow. In some cases, they make that money by collecting your data themselves then selling it to the highest bidder. Take the time to read the reviews for any VPN you’re considering so you know you’re choosing the right one for you.
In Terms of Anonymity
VPNs protect their users with a two-pronged approach. The first prong, as discussed above, is that of encryption. But encryption alone isn’t enough. Although your activity can’t be viewed by others, your identity may still be visible, along with the websites you visit. This can reveal a surprising amount of information about a person.
To increase your privacy and security online, a good VPN also uses the second prong of protection, by making you anonymous online. Without a VPN, all of your activity must be routed through the servers of your internet service provider. Even if they can’t see the full extent of your activity, they know where you are online and can give that information away (or sell it). With a VPN, your activity will actually be routed away from your ISP’s servers and through those of the VPN. Your IP address, which is used to identify you online, will also be masked. Both of these things prevent your activity from being traced back to you at all, making you effectively anonymous online.
That being said, a lot of the misconceptions around VPN effectiveness, or a lack thereof, come from VPNs not being used correctly. For example, if you sign into your Facebook account while using your VPN, Facebook can still see your activity associated with your account.
In addition, as mentioned above, free VPNs are also unlikely to keep you as anonymous as you would like. Take your time to find the right service for your needs, but expect to pay for a reputable one.
Should You Use a VPN?
Now you know why VPNs are used. You know how they protect you online. And you know how they work. All of this information should tell you that a VPN is a crucial tool that you should absolutely be using online. If privacy isn’t your jam, VPNs have even more uses that you can take advantage of. For example, VPNs can help you unblock streaming content that isn’t available in your country. They can also help you find the cheapest rates when online shopping, especially for things like flights and hotel bookings. A VPN can even prevent tracking ads from following you across the web. Convinced yet?
The effectiveness of a good VPN cannot be understated. With just one simple tool, you can protect your data and identity, and enhance your overall online experience.
If you’re looking for a reputable VPN service, look no further than HotBot VPN. Our service can be installed on your Android, iOS, or Windows devices, and even used on up to six devices at a time, so you can protect all of your tech at once. Download today!
Posted by Rhiannon
More Blog Posts
February 14, 2023
How the Investigatory Powers Act Impacts Citizen PrivacyIn 2016, the United Kingdom passed the Investigatory Powers Act or IP Act, into law. This act empowered the government and related agencies to access and collect citizen data, without consent. Critics immediately slammed the new law. The media dubbed it the “Snoopers’ Charter.” Meanwhile, Edward Snowden described the act as “the most extreme surveillance […] Read more
February 14, 2023
Review: qBittorrent Torrent ClientIf you plan on torrenting files, you need a client with which to do so. There are dozens on the market, some paid, some free. Others are feature-heavy while some have just the basics. A few are recent additions to the market while others have been around nearly as long as torrenting. The qBittorrent torrent […] Read more
February 14, 2023