A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a software program that allows you to connect to other computers and resources across the internet. Your traffic is encrypted while connecting to the VPN server, and the encryption is secured by a cryptographic key which is only known by the server and you. Think of it like a security blanket for your internet traffic, ensuring that only the intended recipient can read it. It also provides a layer of security between you and the website that you are connecting to, preventing anyone else from snooping on your activity.
While using a VPN on your computer is convenient and can protect your privacy, it’s not always the best option. In some cases, you may want to choose to disable the service.
Why would you want to disable a VPN? Let’s explore.
A VPN Is Not Always The Best Option
If you’re using a VPN to protect your privacy, you don’t necessarily need to disable it. Instead, you can choose to use a VPN that has a no-logging policy. A VPN with a no-logging policy will not retain or store any records of your internet activity, like the websites that you visit or emails that you send. Your VPN provider will also not keep track of your activity, as there is no way for them to do so.
A VPN with a no-logging policy is also more suitable for individuals who want to keep their personal data private. If you’re doing your internet banking or other personal activities online, you don’t want your VPN provider to know your personal details (like your name or account number).
Choosing a VPN with a no-logging policy is definitely a better option than selecting one that stores or retains your data, but it still has its advantages.
A VPN Provides Added Protection
If you’re concerned about your personal data being intercepted on the internet, you can use a VPN to add an additional layer of security. Some VPNs are designed to be as secure as possible, preventing traffic from being monitored while en route and offering the highest degree of encryption.
This extra layer of security is exactly what you need if you’re connecting to unsecure Wi-Fi networks at public places like coffee shops or hotels, or if you’re connecting to the internet via public computers at libraries or cafes.
Any data transmitted to or from a VPN is encrypted, scrambling the information in such a way that it can only be decrypted by the individual concerned – in this case, you.
Many VPNs Are Free
As mentioned above, not all VPNs are created equal. Some VPNs are free while others are not. If you’re looking for a VPN that doesn’t require you to pay for a subscription, you should look for a free VPN. These are generally the most secure choice and, usually, the one that you’ll want to use.
A VPN Can Be Tricky To Set Up
To ensure that you can use a VPN without any complications, make sure to read the instructions thoroughly. Many VPNs have easy-to-follow guides which will walk you through the steps to connect and use their service. However, if you’re not tech-savvy or have trouble using your computer, it can be tricky to set up a VPN.
The majority of VPNs require you to install additional software on your computer or mobile device. This software connects to a remote VPN server, protecting you while you browse the web and use other apps on your device. If you run into difficulties, there’s a chance that the additional software is not compatible with your operating system or has vulnerabilities which could be actively exploited by cybercriminals.
The good news is that some VPNs are designed to be virus-free. When you install a VPN that claims to be virus-free, you will not be challenged with an intrusive virus scan when you log in for the first time. The bad news is that not all virus-free VPNs are created equal, and some are actually more vulnerable than others. If you’re not sure whether a VPN is safe or not, consult the reviews online before making a decision.
A VPN Is Not A Completely Impenetrable Layer Of Security
While a VPN can be a helpful tool to protect your personal data, it is not a total security blanket. There are several points at which you can be hacked, allowing intruders to access your personal information.
If you’re using a public Wi-Fi network at a coffee shop or other public places, it’s imperative that you protect yourself from cyberattacks, especially if you’re entering any personal information (like credit card information or bank details).
To keep your personal data secure when using public Wi-Fi hotspots, you can use a VPN to secure your connection. However, it is not advised to do so unless you’re really experienced with using VPNs or are simply connecting to a trusted network. Otherwise, you may end up giving some internet-connected hackers the access to your personal details that they’re looking for.
Another scenario which can jeopardize your privacy is when you are connected to a VPN at home, but the service is not configured properly. In some cases, hackers can find a way around the encrypted tunnel, connecting to your network and stealing your personal information. Just think of the recent Verizon Wi-Fi data breach involving hundreds of thousands of customers, where hackers were able to access information like names, email addresses, physical addresses, and so on.
Even when you’re using a VPN at home, it’s still not a safe practice to automatically trust every website or service which you visit. That’s why it’s important to be mindful about what you’re doing online. If you want to keep your personal data secure, it’s a good idea to take precautions and use a VPN which you know and trust.
With the above in mind, let’s explore how to disable a VPN on a computer.
Find Out Which One You’re Using
To verify whether or not you’re connected to the internet via a VPN, you need to find out which one you’re using. This will not be easy, as different providers may implement VPNs in a variety of different ways. For example, some may ask you to log in or enter a user name and password, while others may automatically connect you without further action.
Once you’ve determined that you’re connected to the internet via a VPN, it’s a matter of finding out which one you’re using. The best way to do this is by seeking out the IP (Internet Protocol) address of the server that you are connected to. Your IP address is a number which identifies your computer or mobile device on the internet. It is typically displayed along with your device’s location in a small box located in the upper-right corner of your browser’s navigation bar. Just click the navigation bar and you’ll see your IP address.
If you’re using Google Chrome, click the menu button () in the top-right corner of the browser window and select Settings. Look for the Entry labeled Show Advanced Settings and switch it to On. This will make it easier for you to locate and change your network preferences and service settings as you see fit.
You can also try opening your device’s Settings app and looking for the VPN option, or visiting the website vpncheck.com with your internet browser. When you visit this website, you will see a list of all the VPN services currently available for download. Once you locate the one which you’re using, simply click the X to disconnect and continue using your regular internet connection.
Disable The VPN
Just because you’re connected to the internet via a VPN does not mean that you have to use it. If you decide that you no longer want to use a VPN, you can simply disable it on your device. Most importantly, make sure that you uninstall all the VPN software that you’ve previously installed. This will ensure that any leftover traces of the service do not cause your device to become infected with a virus or interfere with the security of your personal information.
Be Careful About Where You Place Your Order
Even when you know which VPN you’re using and have decided to disable it, it does not mean that all your concerns are taken care of. There are several situations where entering sensitive information (like credit card numbers) on a website could still pose a risk to your security. When placing an order online, always be careful about where you specify your details. For example, if you’re ordering food online and select the USA as your shipping address, there’s a chance that your order may be intercepted by the authorities. In a similar situation, if you order from a foreign website and they attempt to ship you the product internationally, there’s a chance that your package may be flagged by customs, leading to your details being disclosed to the authorities.