With the growing number of data breaches and overall fear of the unknown touching our personal details, more and more individuals and businesses are looking to secure their personal information and data.
There are several different approaches to securing the details you gather online. One of the simplest and most effective methods is to set up a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt all your internet traffic.
Let’s explore how you can do that.
What Is A VPN?
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a software or hardware based service that encrypts and masks your IP address. Your IP address is a numeric identifying code that is automatically generated and assigned to your computer when you log on to the internet.
This code is impossible to disguise and allows anyone who knows where to look to track your activity online as you browse the web, search or use other online services. Your anonymity and security while online are therefore reliant on your VPN provider maintaining sufficient security measures.
Setting up a VPN not only secures your personal information while on the internet but also allows you to do everything you normally do online with added security and anonymity.
Why Should You Use A VPN?
The advantages of using a VPN are countless. First, it acts as a fire wall between your personal computer and the internet. This means that your digital life is protected from cyber-attacks and you are less likely to become a victim of identity theft or other crimes committed through cyber space. Vulnerabilities such as these increase as your personal data is more accessible due to the increasing digital transformation.
A VPN also improves your overall internet security by hiding your IP address. A masked IP address makes it more difficult for hackers to track your activity online and expose your personal information. Additionally, using a VPN provides you with a safer and more private browsing experience. When you use a VPN, your web traffic is encrypted which prevents third parties from monitoring your activities. This, in turn, has the potential to save your personal details from being stolen by hackers or data thieves.
How Do I Set Up A VPN?
The installation and setup process for a VPN is generally simple and straightforward. You will, however, need to take into consideration a few things before you begin so that you can secure the most out of your VPN. First, make sure that you have a dedicated internet connection. This is important because you will need to connect to the internet to download and install the VPN software. You should also look for a VPN that supports your chosen device platform (e.g. Windows, Mac, or Linux). Finally, you must have a way to keep track of your VPN login details (e.g. username and password).
Once you have a dedicated internet connection and device, you can begin the installation process. First, you will need to identify the location from which you will be installing the VPN software. As this is a crucial step to the setup process, you should take your time in finding the perfect location that suits your needs. If you are looking for a simple and secure VPN solution, then you should opt for a dedicated server located in a secure facility (e.g. a data center).
Next, you will need to download and install the VPN software on your device. Depending on your setup needs, you may opt to download and install the software directly from the provider’s website or you may choose to use a third-party installer such as GetFile.
Once I Have Setup A VPN, How Do I Use It?
Once you have setup a VPN, you can start using it immediately. To use a VPN, simply open up your favorite internet browser and search for the domain name for your chosen VPN provider (e.g. VPN.com). Once you have found the domain name, you will need to click the connect button to establish a connection. You will then be presented with a login screen where you can input your username and password. After you have logged in successfully, you will be presented with a welcome screen that will give you the option to create a new password or choose an option to save your current password.
Once you have successfully created a new password or chosen to save your current password, you will be ready to begin using the VPN. To access your VPN account, you will need to input your chosen login details on the main login screen and click the connect button to establish the connection.
To access the security benefits of the VPN, you will need to click the options button at the top of the screen. From here, you can view information about your VPN account including your login credentials and the type of service you have purchased. You can also change your VPN setting to manual mode or automatic mode to modify the way your VPN functions when you use it. For instance, consider having automatic updates enabled so that you do not have to manually connect to the internet to update your VPN software when a new version is made available. This can also be configured to allow you to connect to a different server if the server you are connected to becomes unavailable or unreachable.
The Downsides Of Using A VPN
Although there are many advantages to using a VPN, there are also some significant disadvantages. One of the biggest drawbacks to using a VPN is the limited choice of locations where you can download the VPN software. For instance, if you are looking for a simple and secure VPN solution, then you should avoid free VPN providers as these services tend to have very limited server locations. Additionally, if you are using a free VPN service, then you will have limited access to features such as email support and device management (e.g. changing your username and password).
Another significant downside to using a VPN is the performance hit that it causes. When you use a VPN, your device’s performance will noticeably decrease, especially if you are using it on a broadband connection. This decrease in performance is due to the encryption that is taking place as you transmit information across the internet. In some cases, this decrease in performance can be so great that it is detectable by others using the services (e.g. employees of a company you are doing business with). If you are concerned about your device’s performance decrease when you use a VPN, then you should look for a VPN that has been optimized for your specific device (e.g. phone or computer).
To use a VPN on your home network without hurting the performance of your other devices, you should consider using a VPN on a wired connection. When you use a VPN on a wired connection, your speeds will not be affected as much as they are when you use a VPN on a wireless connection (e.g. Wi-Fi). Additionally, when you use a VPN on a wired connection, you will not have as much exposure to security risks as you would when you use a VPN on a wireless connection. Therefore, if you use a VPN on your home network, you should opt for wired connection instead of wireless connection to prevent any unnecessary security risks.
Additional Things To Consider
Before you begin using a VPN, you should consider several other factors. First, make sure that you have a good understanding of what you are getting yourself into. Second, consider how much you are willing to spend on a VPN. With the vast majority of VPNs costing only a few dollars a month, it is often not worth the risk of using a weak VPN that can be compromised by a skilled hacker. Finally, assess how important security is to you. If you are completely unaware of the details of a VPN and its uses, then it might not be the best choice for you as you could potentially put your personal details and security at risk. If you are not sure whether or not a VPN is right for you, then opt for a free trial or use one of the many reputable VPN comparison websites to easily find the best fit.