A VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. This is a network that allows the user to securely and anonymously (privately) connect to the internet using a different IP address and bypass geographical limitations imposed on content on the internet.
Private networks were invented because of a recurring need for secure corporate communications and network access. Over time, however, non-corporate users began embracing the idea of VPNs. This has led to many people wanting to use VPN when browsing the internet. This technology has come with unanswered questions and created some myths around VPN.
VPNpro shares some of the 5 most common myths about VPNs:
1. With a VPN, No More Security is Required
This is the biggest myth of all time. A VPN may provide anonymity, but it will not protect the PC from any malware that it may encounter. To safeguard against malware and any kind of attacks such as phishing against your PC, be sure to invest in security software. People should learn that the VPN is not a substitute for web security apps and software. The Virtual Private Network will only hide your location and encrypt your data until it reaches the destination. Cybersecurity begins with you, ensure to follow all the advice regarding being safe over the internet!
2. I Don’t Need a VPN Because I’m Not an IT Geek
A lot of users assume that VPNs are only used by geeks and IT experts, but this information is very inaccurate. It is true that online administrators may benefit the most from VPNs, but this does not mean that an average web user will not benefit from a VPN since it provides a sense of privacy that is useful to all. The Virtual Private Network will provide a tool to users to access web content that they cannot view using regular methods. Initially, configuring a VPN was a difficult task, but this has changed over time. A simple software download and setup, and you can be up and running VPN on your PC in few minutes.
3. A VPN Will Slow Down the Internet Connection
This is not entirely true. Since a VPN routes all web traffic through servers, sometimes in another country, it may seem as if it slows down the connection, but this is not always the case. The bandwidth you get depends on the internet connection. Latency depends on the distance of your server to your location. With an increase in distance, your traffic travels more, hence the high latency and perceived slow down. The encryption and decryption at both ends of the tunnel take time and may actually slow down the connection due to the protocol overhead.
When searching for a VPN, ensure to get ones with servers located in countries you want to use. You can then pick the one you want that is closest to you.
4. I Can Use Any VPN Since All VPNs Are the Same
This could not be further from the truth. By the time you decide to use a VPN, you have made securing your online privacy a top priority. When you look into how a VPN works, you will notice that the encryption used to secure data servers is a concern in the operation.
Each VPN provider varies from the next since they may use different encryptions. Some use top-tier, military-grade encryption, while others settle for basic encryption standards. Using a VPN provider that keeps logs of your online activity may be unsafe; ensure you read through the terms and conditions from the provider and consult trusted reviews from experts and users. Different providers have varied policies; some keep minimum logs but delete after some time period.
5. Free VPNs Are the Best
For your budget, this may seem like a good thing, but in the long run, cheap is always risky when it comes to privacy. If you are not paying for a product, chances are that you are the product. Free VPNs are most likely to be selling your data to third parties and advertisers to make a profit – this they may do by tracking and throttling user traffic.
Paid VPN services offer several advantages such as much bigger data allowances and faster speeds. Another primary distinguishing element is that, with free VPNs, encryption is 128-bit through the less secure PPTP; paid options offer 256-bit encryption and higher security protocols such as OpenVPN.
A Virtual Private Network only ensures privacy but not entirely any other form of security. Users should do research on myths when using VPNs to avoid misleading information. There are many other myths that have been used to cause confusion when it comes to VPNs.
One thing is certain, VPNs are a powerful tool for protecting your identity online and accessing the internet with freedom.