To find yourself reading this it means your digital data privacy is a concern. But if you want to understand something about Virtual Private Network, then you too are in the right place as we got something for you too.
In this article I will explain
- What is a VPN? In simple terms
- Why you need a VPN/ Do You need a VPN?
- How VPN works and What is doesn’t do.
- Protocol to use when choosing a VPN
- Paid vs free VPN services
Using any affiliate link on our website help us earn commission at No extra cost to you.
These affiliate links have been verified and are safe according to our affiliate policy.
1. What is VPN (Virtual Private Network)
Virtual Private Network (VPN) offers you online privacy and anonymity by building a private network over a public internet link. VPNs mask your Internet Protocol (IP) address so that your online activities are practically untraceable. Most notably, VPN networks offer safe and secured communications that provide more protection than even a secure Wi-Fi hotspot.
In simple terms
A virtual private network, better known as a VPN, protects your identity and browsing activities from hackers, companies, government departments, and other snoops. When you connect to the internet, your data and your IP address are concealed by a virtual tunnel form. This stops others from spying on your online activities.
2. Why You Need to Have VPN.
Surfing the internet or trading on an unsecured Wi-Fi network means that you could be vulnerable to your private information and surfing habits. This is why a virtual private network, better known as a VPN, should be a must for those worried with their online security and privacy.
Think of all the times you’ve been on the go, reading emails when you’re in the coffee shop, or checking your bank statement while you’re waiting at the doctor’s office. Unless you have signed in to a private Wi-Fi network that needs a password, any data exchanged during your online session could be vulnerable to outsiders using the same network.
3. How VPN works and what is doesn’t do
a) How VPN works
When you turn it on, a VPN builds an encrypted tunnel between you and a remote server operating a VPN service. All of your internet traffic is redirected into this tube, so your data is shielded from prying eyes along the way. Since your traffic leaves the VPN server, your device appears to have the IP address of that website, masking your identity and location.
Here’s a closer look at how a virtual private network is operating. When transmitted over a Wi-Fi network, VPNs use encryption to scramble data. Encryption is rendering the data unreadable. Data encryption is highly important when using a public Wi-Fi network because it prohibits someone else on the network from listening to the internet activities.
There’s a different dimension of anonymity. Without a VPN, the internet service provider would be able to know your whole browsing history. Your search history is covered with a VPN. This is because the site operation will be connected to the IP address of the VPN host, not yours.
A VPN service provider can have servers around the globe. This means that your search activity can appear to start in any one of them. Bear in mind, search engines will still monitor your search history, but they will link the record with an IP address that isn’t yours. Again, your VPN will keep your online business secret.
- What Does VPN hide?
A VPN will mask a lot of details that could put your privacy at risk. Here Are Six of them.
1. Your browsing history
There’s no mystery where you’re going on the Internet. Your internet service provider and your web browser will watch anything you do on the internet. A lot of the pages you’re viewing will even have a history. Online browsers will trace your browsing history and link the information to your IP address.
Here are two examples of why you would want to keep your browsing history secret. You could have a medical problem and you’re checking the web for details about care options. Guess what, huh? Without a VPN, you immediately exchanged the information and could start receiving targeted advertising that may attract more attention to your condition.
2. Your IP address and location
Anyone that catches your IP address will access what you searched on the Internet and where you were located while you searched. Think of your IP address as the return address you put on the message. It’s going back to your device.
Because a VPN uses an IP address that is not your own, it helps you to preserve your anonymity online and browse the web anonymously. You are still safe from the search history being stored, accessed, or sold. Bear in mind that your search history can also be accessed whether you are using a public computer or one given by your boss, teacher, or other organization.
3. Your location for streaming
You could pay for subscription services that allow you to watch stuff like professional sports, Netflix. If you’re traveling outside the region, the subscription service might not be available. There are good arguments for this, like commercial terms and legislation in some nations. Even so, a VPN will allow you to pick an IP address from your home country. This will potentially grant you access to every case seen on your streaming service. You will also be able to stop data or throttling speed.
4. Your devices
A VPN can help shield your computers from prying eyes, like your desktop, notebook, computer, and smartphone. Your computers can be the primary target for cyber criminals when you access the Internet, particularly if you’re on a public Wi-Fi network. In short, a VPN helps encrypt the data you send and receive on your computers so that hackers won’t be able to track every move you make.
5. Your web activity — to maintain internet freedom
Let’s hope you’re not a government monitoring target, but who knows. Mind, a VPN defends your surfing records against your internet service provider. And you’re covered anytime a federal agency demands the internet service provider to have logs of your internet usage. If your VPN provider does not record your surfing history (some VPN providers do), your VPN will help secure your Internet freedom.
6. VPN help protect against identity theft
Identity fraud happens when thieves take your personal details and use it to commit offenses under your name—such as taking over or opening new accounts, filing tax returns in your name, or renting or buying land. A VPN can help protect against identity fraud by helping to protect the data. It provides an encrypted tunnel for the data you send and receive that is out of the reach of cyber criminals.
If Wi-Fi is enabled on your mobile at all times, your computer can be insecure without you even knowing it. Everyday practices such as online shopping, banking and searching will reveal your knowledge, leaving you vulnerable to cybercrime.
4. Protocol to use when choosing a VPN
The VPN market is filled with choices, so it’s important to remember your needs when shopping for a VPN.
Dream of what’s really important to you. Would you like to be able to browse the web anonymously by masking your IP address? Are you scared that your details could be compromised from public Wi-Fi? You’re a regular flyer who likes to be able to watch your favorite shows when you’re on the go.
A strong VPN will help you check all three boxes, but here are few more points to remember.
The smart way to remain safe when using public Wi-Fi is to use a VPN solution. So what is the safest way to pick a virtual private network?
- Do they value your privacy, huh?
The point of using a VPN is to protect your privacy, so it is important that your VPN provider protects your privacy as well. They should have a no-log policy, which means they can never watch or log on your online activity.
- Do they run the most recent protocol?
OpenVPN has better protection than other protocols, such as PPTP. OpenVPN is an open source platform that supports all major operating systems.
- Where are their servers located?
Decide which server locations are important to you. If you want to appear as if you’re accessing the Web from a certain locale, make sure there’s a server in that country.
- Can you set up VPN access on different devices?
If you are the normal user, you normally use between three and five devices. Ideally, you should be able to use the VPN on both of them at the same time.
- How much is it going to cost?
If the price is important to you, you might think that a free VPN is the best choice. Note, though, that certain VPN programs do not cost you money, but you may “pay” in some ways, such as being constantly marketed or getting your personal information gathered and sold to third parties. If you compare paying vs. free options, you can find free VPNs:
- don’t offer the most current or secure protocols
- don’t offer the highest bandwidth and connection speeds to free users
- do have a higher disconnection rate
- don’t have as many servers in as many countries globally
- don’t offer support
- Do they set limits to the data?
Bandwidth can be a significant influencing factor for you, based on the use of the internet. Be sure that their offerings meet your needs by testing to see if you’re going to get maximum, unmetered bandwidth without data constraints.
There are several points to remember when choosing a VPN, so do your homework to make sure you find the perfect fit for your needs. No matter which service you use, be confident that a good VPN can have more online protection, secrecy, and confidentiality than a public Wi-Fi hotspot would do.
5. Free vs Paid VPN
The best VPNs keep you fully anonymous online, protect you from cyber-attacks, and allow you access to geo-restricted websites. The thought of having all that for free is fantastic.
The issue is that running a stable VPN service – which involves maintaining a global server network, creating client software, and delivering customer support just for starters – is not easy. And VPN companies are not charitable organizations; they are corporations.
Although paying VPN services make their profits out of subscription fees, providers of free VPNs must somehow make a profit out of your use.
6. What are the dangers and challenges of using a Free VPN?
The main thing is, if businesses make money by encouraging me to use the service free of charge, what do they know I don’t? We’ll start with the worst stuff that certain free VPN services do to make a buck, and then look at the mild problems that you can safely face by using VPN periodically.
- They watch you online and sell your personal or browsing details.
Most free VPNs, like a Better net VPN, understand that they exchange the session data with advertisers and blitz you with ads.
If third parties are able to view your private information and collect your data, your online privacy will be violated, defeating one of the most essential reasons of using a VPN.
In comparison, certain free VPNs can also hijack your browser and redirect you to partner websites without your permission.
- They will allow other users access to your connection.
Hola VPN and many other free providers function as P2P networks, transmit your data through another user’s computer, and redirect other users’ traffic through theirs. This configuration puts you at risk for ransomware and DNS threats, but it gets worse.
In reality, Hola VPN sells your unused bandwidth on the global data market. That’s how they make the money, and it’s risky.
c) They have fragile, easily crack able defense.
Like we have said, running a strong, stable network system is an expensive operation – unless you cut corners.
Unlike paid VPNs, many free VPNs use unreliable security mechanisms and weak encryption that can be close to malware. This poor encryption also ensures that hackers and intelligence agencies like the US NSA can easily decode your info.
d) Your surfing would be permanently disrupted by advertising.
Selling advertising is one of the most common ways to benefit from your use of free VPN services. Even if the provider doesn’t track your usage or sell your data, the constant annoyance of the ads may make you regret trying to save a few dollars a month.
It’s also unlikely that any free VPN screens would have any of those malware and spyware ads, so an accidental click could give you a big deal of trouble. On the other hand, NordVPN’s highly rated paid service protects you from hazardous sites with its CyberSec feature.
e) They’re going to bog down the internet service.
If you’re looking for a free VPN to stream videos, play games, or download torrents, you’re almost certainly going to be very disappointed. Usage of any VPN entails any lack of pace due to the encryption process, but with the best-paid VPNs, you can barely feel it.
It’s a different story for free programs. Because of their small networks, constant ads, or intentional speed throttling, they’re going to slow down your web surfing.
Luckily, slow speed is just an inconvenience, not a threat to your privacy or protection. If you just need to send a confidential email from a wi-fi café, you’ll get a little patience and a reliable free VPN.
f) They offer minimal functionality so you can upgrade to a paying service.
If you happen to find a free VPN that doesn’t gather data and holds ads to a reasonable amount, you’re likely to face another problem: service limits. However, depending on your needs, you might be in a position to live with the constraints.
Free plans are also provided by paid VPN companies who try to tell you that it’s easier to pay for a contract. So, while the free VPN doesn’t put your data or hardware at risk, the vendor will make sure it doesn’t fulfill all your needs.
For instance, most free versions of paid VPN services heavily restrict your use (in certain cases, to 500MB a month) and your network access (sometimes to a single, overworked server). They’re not going to unlock US Netflix or BBC iPlayer, either.
However, as with speed problems, service limits are more irritating than risky. If your surfing is light, they might never bother you.
7. When is it okay to use free VPN?
Despite their flaws, the safest free VPNs will perform well for occasional light use. If you’re on a quick trip and want to get back home to a weakly geo-blocked location, or just want some security when using public wi-fi, a restricted free service might do a decent job.
And yes, there are stable free VPNs available, as long as you’re willing to acknowledge their limitations.
First of all, we highly suggest that you avoid free VPNs that appear to have unrestricted services. These are some of the more dangerous choices available.
Instead, search for premium VPN services that provide exclusive free plans, such as TunnelBearVPN, WindscribeVPN, Hide.meVPN, or Hotspot ShieldVPN.
Although these free VPNs may restrict your bandwidth, speed, and server access, they provide much of the same protection and privacy features as paid service providers. No free stand-alone VPN will cope with that degree of defense.
Don’t expect these free VPNs to fulfill all your long-term needs, because providers want you to update. However, you should expect them to take your privacy and protection seriously.
Mind, however, that our top-rated paying VPNs give free trial and/or money return guarantees. Why gamble on short-term use, when you can get everything you want from a VPN at no cost?