With the rise of the “gig economy” and the decline of the classic 9-5, employees are gaining increased flexibility in how and when they work. A number of companies have begun to offer remote work opportunities, allowing employees to take on some tasks from home. In some cases, this flexibility is great, but in other cases, it can be frustrating trying to share a remote connection with your spouse, parent, child, or friend.
A common complaint among WiFi users is that their wireless connectivity is not always secure. Even when they are on protected networks, such as at home or in the office, public hotspots are vulnerable to eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks. To address this, many VPNs include “wireless isolation”—the ability to create a secure and private zone for all WiFi connections on your phone or tablet. When you use a VPN app to connect to a secure server, all of your data is encrypted before it leaves your device. This prevents eavesdropping, snooping, and man-in-the-middle attacks by hackers and malware.
The problem is that while this is all well and good when you’re wirelessly connecting to a VPN server located in the US or Europe, you likely won’t be able to maintain a private connection when you’re on a public network. For example, say you’re at a coffee shop and decide to connect to the VPN server provided by your work. If a hacker or wifi snooping malware were to gain access to the coffee shop’s WiFi network, they could potentially see everything you do while connected to the VPN server.
PPPoE or USB For Connectivity
If you’re running out of WiFi hotspots, or if you just want to keep your personal data secure and private when using public WiFis, you have the option of using a VPN app with traditional PPPoE or USB connectivity. These are generally considered more secure methods of connecting to a network. When you use a PPPoE connection, all of your data is sent in the clear across the Internet. USB connections are only as secure as the security on your USB port—if your computer or phone has a vulnerability, a determined attacker could potentially steal your personal data. To keep your personal data secure, use a VPN app with these types of connectivity options.
A VPN Is A VPN
To fully utilize the capabilities of a VPN on your iPhone or Android device, you’ll need to install the app on both your personal computer and mobile device. Once you’ve done that, you can use the VPN app to create a secure connection between the two devices so that you can enjoy all of the service’s features. Remember that just because a device is connected to the Internet doesn’t mean it’s secure. Even when you’re on a trusted network, such as your home or work network, there are always risks of eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks. Be sure to use strong passwords and implement security measures on all your accounts. This will help to keep your personal data secure. In some cases, VPN apps can also be used in conjunction with a proxy server to give you additional security and privacy when browsing the web.
Choosing A VPN Service
Depending on your needs, you can choose from a variety of VPN providers. While it’s generally good practice to go for a VPN service with a good reputation and track record, there are a number of factors you’ll need to consider when choosing a VPN service.
Location Of The Server
The first and perhaps most critical factor in choosing a VPN service is the location of the server. Much like your home Internet service provider, the server location determines which countries you’re allowed to connect to and how much bandwidth you’re allowed to use. The closer the server is to your location, the more bandwidth you’ll be able to use and the faster you’ll be able to download content. If you live in a country where your Internet provider is restricted, such as China or Russia, you’ll need to find a VPN service that has servers located in another country.
One of the unique features of a VPN service is the ability to control your bandwidth—the amount of data you can download or stream per month. Some providers will allow you to sign up for a free trial or use a credit card to sign up for a monthly plan. Look for a VPN service that offers unlimited bandwidth on their paid plans to ensure you’ll have sufficient speed for online gaming, streaming, and downloading large files without interruptions.
Just like with your home Internet connection, your VPN service’s download and upload speeds will determine how much content you can view and interact with online. The faster your Internet connection, the faster you’ll be able to download content from the web and the more smoothly you’ll be able to play games and stream videos online. If you’re looking for a VPN service that offers high speeds, make sure to keep your eyes open for special offers and discounts.
A VPN service’s features will determine how useful the service is to you. Many providers will boast an entire section of their website devoted to explaining all of their features and how to use them. Looking for a VPN service with a simple user interface? Choose one with fewer features, or look for a free trial before you buy.
Just like with your home Internet connection, your VPN service’s security protocols and encryption methods determine how much security you have online. While all Internet traffic is protected by encryption, the particular methods used by your VPN determine how much privacy and security you have. Look for a VPN service that uses strong encryption protocols, such as PAE, to protect your data. A good VPN service will also offer support for VPN clients on all platforms, as well as a kill switch that will disconnect you from the Internet if your device is stolen or damaged.
Depending on your personal preferences, you may want to consider looking for a VPN service that is compatible with your operating systems. For example, if you have an iPhone and are looking for a VPN that supports iOS, make sure to check their website to see if they have an app available for download. If you’re looking for a more PC-compatible solution, make sure to check if their website is dedicated to providing information about their software and whether or not it’s compatible with your operating system.
Choosing A VPN App
Once you’ve chosen a VPN service, you’ll need to choose a VPN app. While there are a number of options available on the App Store, Google Play, and other major app markets, not all of them will provide you with the features and functionality you’re looking for. Do some research before you make a purchase decision, and be sure to read reviews from previous users before you choose any app.
One of the most popular and well-known VPN apps on the market is OpenVPN. Created by OpenVPN Inc., a company founded by Richard Mullins and Dennis Scholtes, OpenVPN is a free and open-source software application that creates a secure and private connection using public WiFis. OpenVPN provides all of the functionality you need to create a secure connection, including a simple-to-use interface, dedicated apps for Android and iOS, advanced encryption protocols, and many more.
OpenVPN is a bit more complicated to setup than many other VPN apps. The first step is to install the OpenVPN client on your computer. This will allow you to connect to a VPN server, which OpenVPN will then use to establish a secure connection. To use the VPN, you’ll need to visit the OpenVPN website and create an account. You’ll then be asked to choose a username and password, and provide a confirmation email. You’ll then be given a randomly generated key (known as a “virtual private key” or “VPK”) which you can use to connect to the VPN server. You can download the OpenVPN app from the App Store or Play Store.