What does VPN stand for?
VPN stans for Virtual Private Network. What does that mean? We’ll come to that!
What does a VPN do?
Protects your identity whenever you go online.
Keeps your online activity and data private, away from prying eyes.
Protects you from viruses and online threats.
How does a VPN work?
Whenever you use the internet without a VPN, your identity and what you’re doing online is not private.
Other people, with possible bad intentions, can figure out your identity using something called your IP address.
These people can also see exactly what you’re doing online because your data is not protected as it travels across the web. This means your credit card details, passwords, and details of the sites you visit are not secure and able to be viewed by others.
A VPN solves these problems by masking your identity so you can go online anonymously, and by encrypting your data to protect you from hackers and other prying eyes.
How a VPN protects your identity
Whenever you go online, the device you are using will have an IP address, which can be used to determine your location and identity.
By connecting to a VPN, your IP address is hidden, therefore masking your identity and enabling you to go online anonymously.
The VPN does this by replacing your actual IP address with the IP address of one of their own servers that can be located anywhere in the world. To anyone snooping on your activity, it will look like you are located wherever that server is, therefore keeping your actual identity completely private.
You can browse anonymously and your identity is protected from:
- Hackers and snoopers.
- Internet service providers.
- Law enforcement agencies.
Additional benefits of masking your location with a VPN – unlocking content
You can actually choose the location of the VPN that you connect to.
For example if you are browsing the internet in the United Kingdom, you could connect to a VPN server with an address in the USA.
To any website or application that you visit, it will look like you are accessing from the USA.
This can be especially useful in unblocking geolocked content.
For example, certain shows on Netflix are only available to users in America. By connecting to a VPN server that is in America, you can make Netflix think your are actually in America, even if you are not!
You’ll be able to watch those shows that you normally wouldn’t have access to. Cool, right!
How a VPN keeps your online activity and data private and secure
When you’re connected to a VPN, all of your data is encrypted whenever you go online.
This means that your privacy is protected, and hackers or other malicious individuals cannot see what you are sending or doing online.
This encryption of your data will protect all of the information you put online from prying eyes, including:
- Personal details you fill in online.
- Bank or credit card details.
- What websites you are visiting.
- Usernames and passwords.
- What content you stream or download.
Do I need to use a VPN?
Anyone who uses the internet would benefit from a VPN.
Ask yourself how important the following are to you:
- Keeping the websites you visit private.
- Keeping what you stream and download private.
- Keeping your location and identity private.
- Having the right to remain anonymous online.
- Resisting surveillance and tracking.
- Protecting your bank and credit card details.
- Protecting your usernames and passwords.
- Protecting your personal and sensitive information
If one or more of the above are important to you, then you would benefit from using VPN software.
Often people only become aware of the risks of going online once their privacy or data has been compromised; We’d like to see more people get protected before this happens.
Our top recommended VPN
How do I connect to a VPN?
Step by step guide to sign up and connect to a VPN on your computer or phone:
Sign up to a VPN service via their website. Our top recommendation is Nord VPN.
Download their VPN application onto your device. You’ll get step by step instructions on how to do this once you have signed up.
Login to the application you have just downloaded using the username and password you chose when you signed up (step 1).
Connect your device to a VPN network with one click from within the VPN application.
Enjoy browsing, streaming and downloading privately and safely!
Compare the top VPNs