A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a type of network which creates a secure connection between two or more devices or systems. It is most commonly used to provide security and anonymity when browsing the Internet. When a VPN connection is established, all data which flows between the connected devices or systems is scrambled, making it harder for anyone else to eavesdrop, hack or analyze the communication.
VPNs are categorized into two distinct types based on their encryption methods: OpenVPN and IKEv2. OpenVPN is commonly used and is considered more secure than IKEv2. However, if you are looking for a simpler solution then IKEv2 may be the better option for you.
Choosing A VPN Based On Your Needs
If you are looking for a VPN to protect your privacy, then OpenVPN is the best solution. It is extremely easy to set up and use, ensuring that even a beginner will have no trouble using it. In addition, OpenVPN supports a wide range of platforms, making it perfect for use on both Macs and PCs.
If, however, you are looking for a VPN to help you stream content smoothly, then IKEv2 is the better option. This type of VPN provides better performance than OpenVPN when it comes to streaming, since everything is encrypted end-to-end. There is no need to concern yourself with configuring advanced encryption protocols or setting up complex VPN tunnels. Simply connect to the server, and you’re good to go.
Both options have their perks, so it’s best to look at your needs and decide which one is the best for you.
Setting Up Your VPN
Setting up a VPN is very easy and can be accomplished by following these simple steps:
- Choose a service provider that you trust and whose service you intend to use. If you are planning on using the VPN for online banking or shopping, then make sure that the provider you choose is a reputable company and has a good reputation.
- Download and install the VPN’s client, which is the piece of software (available for most operating systems) that allows you to connect to the VPN.
- Open the client and follow the onscreen instructions to complete the setup. When the setup is complete, you will see a confirmation screen. Click on the Finish button to continue to the VPN’s secured page.
- Log in to the VPN and you’re ready to use it!
If you are on a computer, touch the display to wake it from sleep mode and then select the WiFi network connection. Alternatively, you can connect via cable if you are on a laptop.
On a smartphone, simply tap on the screen to connect to the network and then follow the onscreen instructions to complete the setup. After the setup, you will see a security code screen. Once you’ve entered the correct code (which will be sent to you via SMS), you will be ready to use the VPN.
If you are using Apple devices, you can find the VPN app either in the App Store or on Google Play. If you are on a PC, you can find the VPN software in your system’s software package or you can download a trial version from the provider’s website.
Some VPNs are more secure than others, so make sure the company you choose has a good reputation and keeps its software up to date. In addition, make sure that their customer support is available 24/7/365 via email or live chat.
Checking If Your VPN Is On
Once you have installed the VPN software on your device, you can easily check to see if it is working by following these steps:
- Open a web browser and go to the VPN’s secured page (usually vpn.com or myvpn.com) that you created during setup. You will see a page that prompts you to create a login page (this is so you can quickly and easily log in when you return online).
- If you’re using a PC, click on the Settings button and then click on the Security tab. You will see a list of your active connections. If you see the VPN you’ve set up, then your installation worked successfully.
- On a Mac, choose Edit ➤ Preferences and then click on the Network heading in the sidebar. You will see a list of your active connections. If you see the VPN you’ve set up, then your installation worked successfully.
- On a smartphone, open the Settings app and then choose VPN.
If you don’t see the VPN you’ve set up, then you may have to choose a different service provider or you may need to set up the VPN on your device manually. If this is the case, make sure you follow the steps above, but instead of going to the VPN’s secured page, you will land on a login page that allows you to set up the VPN manually.
Avoid Unsecured Networks
Even if you’re not using the VPN for nefarious purposes, it is still a good idea to avoid using unsecured networks when you can. Unsecured networks are common in airports and hotels, so other people nearby may be able to eavesdrop on your communication. This is a particular risk if you are using a public Wi-Fi network to connect to the Internet.
If you absolutely have to use an unsecured network to get your work done, then use a VPN to ensure that your personal information is safe. It is also advisable to use a separate device for work, so if that device is compromised, then your work will be too.
Avoid Social Engineering Attacks
If someone claims to be from the hotel’s IT department and asks for personal information, then it is a social engineering attack. Never, under any circumstances, provide any personal information to anyone (unless you’re absolutely sure who they are and what they want). If you feel like you’re being asked for personal information, then change your password immediately and notify the hotel’s security team of the incident. They will be able to help you figure out what happened and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
It is also advisable to change your email address and any emails you may have received from anyone claiming to be from the hotel’s IT department. If you do not change your email address, then it may provide an opportunity for someone to impersonate an IT employee and trick you into handing over your personal information. Change your password and email address as soon as the incident is reported and do not respond to any emails or contact requests from anyone claiming to be from the hotel’s IT department. It is highly likely that the person or people behind the attack are still around and are waiting for a chance to steal your personal information.
Use A Firewall
Even if you’re not at risk of being compromised online, it is still a good idea to use a firewall to protect your system from harmful intrusions. Doing so can help protect your privacy and stop malware from being downloaded to your device. It is also advisable to set up a firewall just as you setup the VPN. This way, whenever you log in to the VPN, the firewall will be activated, ensuring that you’re always protected.
Installing updates as soon as they become available is important for keeping your device (and therefore its privacy) safe and secure. Regular updates may also contain enhancements or new features. Make sure you keep your software up to date and install the latest security patches as soon as they are available.
Keeping your software on the up to date is important for providing you with the best experience and ensuring that your device continues to work as intended. Malware and virus scanners may also be provided by your software manufacturer to ensure that your device is always protected.
Regular Review Of Privacy Policies
If you’re not certain whether or not you’ve read the policy, then it may be a good idea to re-read it immediately. It is also advisable to save it to a PDF file for later reference.