If you have a smartphone, you put your data, finances, identity, and life at risk every second of every day. Even shutting down your devices can’t keep Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and other global corporations from watching and listening to everything you do. Does that explain why it’s important to use a VPN?
Guess what? If big tech can constantly access your phone, so can hackers. Dittos for the US Government.
Meanwhile, without receiving a warrant or a subpoena, your ISP will eagerly hand your entire internet browsing history to any attorney or law enforcement agency.
Heard enough? Visit our shop to get the best deals on the world’s top VPN services.
Why is it important to use a VPN?
If you’ve not yet guessed, a VPN is essential to your online security. Continue reading to learn about specific reasons and valuable facts about VPNs.
What is a Network?
A network is a connected group of computers, servers, and devices. For example, when you connect your computer or smartphone to a WiFi router, you join a network.
To use the internet, you probably have an ISP (internet service provider).
At home, your ISP is your cable or telephone company. Stores and coffee shops have their own ISP whose services they share via a “guest” or “public” WiFi connection.
What is an IP address?
An IP address is a unique numerical identifier that networks use to locate your computer or smartphone.
Most likely, your device has an internal IP address that’s used to identify the various computers, televisions, cameras, and other devices that use your WiFi network.
Your router, usually provided by your phone or cable company, has an external IP address that’s assigned to it by your ISP.
Your ISP can view all the information that’s routed between them and your WiFi router. Your router “routes” that information to the device that requested it.
So, regardless of whether you, a child, or a guest requested internet content, your ISP can associate that request with you via your account. Your router and ISP may also record the internal IP address of the device that requested data from a website or other internet server.
What is a VPN?
VPN stands for “virtual private network.” It creates a secure network inside a network. So, while the owners and administrators of the public network can see that you’re using their service, they can’t view, monitor, or record what you’re doing within your private network.
What happens when you use the internet?
When you’re connected to the internet, you can access remote servers and access data from them. Although you often visit web pages, you can also access data via peer-to-peer connections, streaming, email, instant messaging, and other configurations.
Let’s see what happens when you type a web address (URL) into your phone or computer’s web browser. Let’s illustrate this with https://Google.com.
- You have an internet connection with an IP address that’s furnished to you by your ISP.
- Your web browser sends a request from your device, through a WiFi router (or mobile-phone hotspot) to your ISP.
- Your ISP logs the request and your IP address and forwards it to a domain name server (DNS). That server logs your IP address and the website which you want to visit.
- Your DNS looks up the IP address of your destination site. It also gets routing information, so it knows how to connect you to that site.
- When your ISP knows the IP address of your destination server, it logs that information and routes your request through a series of routers until it reaches your intended destination.
- Every router through which your internet request passes records your IP address, your destination website, and the type of data you’re requesting. Some routers may store copies of the data you send to a website.
- Your destination website’s server (Google) logs your IP address and then processes your request. So, if you’re searching for “I Want My VPN!”, Google stores that request, along with your IP address, and then obtains search results.
- Google sends your search results, along with your identifying information through the internet and to your ISP.
- Your ISP logs the content that you’re about to receive and then forwards it to your IP address.
- A device that’s connected to your ISP’s IP address via WiFi (such as a smartphone or computer) displays your search results on its screen.
This sequence of events repeats continuously throughout your internet session.
Whenever you’re online, you leave tracks that people can follow to find out what you’re doing. They can also intercept and record the data that you exchange with other websites.
What’s the importance of using a VPN?
Without a VPN, you create a permanent record of what you do, what websites you visit, and what kind of data you access online. This includes everything:
- Tax returns.
- Social media accounts (including Instagram).
- P2P files and torrents.
- Email messages.
- Credit card numbers.
- Purchase histories.
- Online forms.
- Medical records.
- Netflix videos/
It’s all out there. It’s permanently out there.
However, when you connect to a VPN before visiting online resources, your ISP, hackers, snoops, and police only know that you visited one online server.
What happens when I use the internet via VPN?
When you’re connected to a VPN, your VPN replaces most of your ISP’s DNS and routing functions. Here’s how it goes:
- Your ISP knows that your IP address has connected to a distant server,
- Your VPN app creates a secure, encrypted tunnel between your computer and their server. No one can see what’s going on inside that tunnel.
- When your data arrives at your VPN server, your VPN strips your ISP-assigned IP address and attaches to it a new, anonymous IP address.
- Your VPN server forwards your request through the internet and to the webserver you want to reach.
- Every router along the way can see the data exchanged between your VPN and your destination. However, since that data is associated with an anonymous IP address, it can’t be associated with you.
- Your destination web server sends the information you requested through the internet to your VPN server.
- Your VPN server forwards your data to your computer or smartphone via the encrypted tunnel. Your ISP can’t see what website you’re visiting.
CAUTION: If you use user-identifiable credentials to log into a destination web site (such as your bank), you associate you with your “anonymous” IP address. Therefore, you lose your anonymity. However, you still enjoy the security and privacy of your VPNs encrypted tunnel.
Why is a paid, no-logs, verified VPN important?
If your VPN stores server logs, anyone can access those logs to associate you with your online activity. Therefore, you become vulnerable to the same threats that you faced when you used the internet without a VPN:
So, never, ever use a “free” VPN or a VPN service that doesn’t guarantee that it’s a “no logs” operation.
You need to know what user-identifiable data (if any) your VPN stores before you trust it.
Activists who disagree with your political, social, economic, or other opinions find out what sites you visit and publish that information online.
When people dox you, they may also publish your telephone number, home address, social security number, license plate number, and other private information.
The owners of copyrighted movies, software applications, and other intellectual property can track you down unless you’re using a verified, anonymous, paid VPN service.
Criminals can obtain your personal data such as your date of birth, race, gender, place of birth, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and social security number. Afterward, they can take out payday loans, credit cards in your name and perpetrate other types of fraud.
A government, school, ISP, employer, or other entity which owns your internet connection can block your access to certain types of online content. If you have access to one of the best VPNs, you’ll have a chance to circumvent those restrictions.
Divorce attorneys, law enforcement, the IRS, and government agencies can acquire your online history from your ISP. Therefore, such entities can track you to your VPN service. If you don’t have a reputable no-logs VPN service, investigators will have a way to connect you to your online activities.
Your ISP sells your online activities to marketers who may sell your information to the highest bidder.
If you use a VPN service that stores logs, your ISP won’t have your online history to sell, but your VPN company will.
If you choose a VPN that doesn’t store your information, they can’t sell it.
What are the best VPN benefits?
You now understand how a VPN works. Let’s review some of the top VPN benefits.
- Safety. Add a layer of security to prevent people from abusing you and your data.
- Privacy. When you’re connected to a paid, no-logs VPN, no one can see what you’re doing online.
- Anonymity. As long as you don’t do anything to disclose your identity, you can anonymously use the internet.
- Freedom. You can use a VPN to unblock Instagram for school or work. You can also circumvent government and institutional firewalls.
- Torrents. You can safely download torrents and watch BitChute without disclosing your true IP address.
- Streaming. When you travel abroad, you can still access Netflix’s catalog for your country.
Why is it important to use a VPN? You now know the answer. What do you think?
My VPN has revolutionized my life. Yours will do the same for you.
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