Many of you may be familiar with VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) if you have ever shopped online. A VPN allows you to connect to a server overseas which relays all of your internet traffic to an established location. If you are connecting from the UK, for example, it means all of your Google searchs, Facebook posts and Amazon orders will pass through a British server before reaching their intended target. Similarly, when you are traveling, connecting to a VPN allows you to access the websites and services you need without the fear of getting caught in the country’s national internet filters.
What exactly is a VPN in computers? Let’s take a look.
Types Of VPNs For Computers
There are several types of VPNs for computers which vary in complexity and function. The two most common types are:
- Hardware-based VPNs: These allow you to connect a physical piece of equipment to your computer. The most common model is the VPN router. Similar to how you might use a VPN on your mobile phone, you connect this hardware device to your computer via an Ethernet cable. Doing this will encrypt all of the data being transmitted across the network, providing you with increased privacy and security.
- Software-based VPNs: These are slightly more complex, yet still very easy to use. All you need to do to benefit from a VPN is install the appropriate software on one of your devices. When you do this, your computer will create a virtual gateway which allows you to securely access remote networks or locations via the internet. Many free VPN software products are available for download from the internet.
These two categories cover the most common types of VPNs available for computers. Each one has its perks and flaws, depending on your needs and what you are looking for. If you want a VPN for your mobile phone, for example, you should opt for a software-based solution since these are less prone to failure due to patching. On the other hand, if you are looking for a hardware-based solution that will stay connected at all times, you should opt for that instead.
How Do I Install A VPN On My Computer?
Once you have made the decision that you want to install a VPN on your computer, the next step is to figure out which one you should acquire. There are several different options to choose from, each one boasting a varying level of protection and functionality. To keep things simple, we have selected NordVPN, one of the most popular and trusted VPN providers around.
To start, visit the NordVPN website and click on the “Get Started” button. This will take you to their secure server, where you can enter your email address and click on the “Create Account” button.
In a nutshell, a VPN is just like a security layer put in place between your computer and the internet. It acts as a safe haven for all of your sensitive information, shielding you from hackers and identity thieves. When you use a VPN, your internet requests are rerouted through a different country (hence the name VPN) to prevent your personal data from being intercepted. All of this happens automatically, ensuring that your personal information is always protected and secure.
Why Do I Need A VPN On My Computer?
While the convenience of being able to access the internet wherever you go is certainly appealing, it is crucial that you understand the risks you are taking and why you are needing a VPN in the first place. Without one, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to hackers, identity thieves and government surveillance. The longer you leave your personal information unprotected, the greater the chance you will be hacked. When this happens, your personal data will be put up for auction or traded. To stay protected, you should always use a VPN.
A VPN is incredibly useful when you are traveling, since it allows you to access the sites and services you need without the fear of getting caught in the country’s national internet filters. If you forget to use a VPN when traveling, especially abroad, you may find that you are prevented from using certain services or accessing certain websites altogether. Being able to connect to a VPN when traveling is like having an additional login or password which you can use to access restricted platforms or services. If you forget your login details, you will have to start all of your searches again from the beginning. Not fun!
When you are using public Wi-Fi while traveling, you are also leaving yourself vulnerable to hackers. Since most Wi-Fi hotspots are connected to the internet through an unsecured connection, anyone eavesdropping on these transmissions will be able to see and intercept your personal information, whether it be credit card details, login details or even correspondence.
A VPN provides a level of security and anonymity which allows you to browse the internet without fear of being tracked by malicious parties. This is especially useful for when you are browsing social media websites which may log your IP address and track your activity. To learn more, you can read this informative piece by Sophos or take a look at their video tutorial below.
How Useful Is A VPN In Computers?
This mainly depends on your needs. If you want to stay safe and secure while surfing the web, a VPN is certainly not optional. A VPN allows you to choose your own server location which you can trust, safeguarding your personal data as you go about your daily internet activities. These servers are run by reputable companies such as NordVPN, who take your privacy and security seriously.
Once you have connected to the VPN, all of your internet traffic is relived through a secure connection to one of their many servers located around the world. This encrypts all of the data you send and receives, protecting your personal information as it crosses the web. If you are interested in trying out a VPN for your personal computer, you can download the NordVPN app from the Google Play Store or the App Store (this will give you a more seamless connection and prevent any lags or errors when accessing sites or services).
Once you have connected to the VPN, you can use their website to log in and access your account. From there, you can change your VPN settings and renew your agreement. It is as simple as that!
A VPN is a great tool for keeping your personal data secure while traveling or when using public Wi-Fi. When you are connecting to a VPN, your internet requests are routed through a different country’s server, protecting you from hacks and allowing you to get the most out of your devices.