Most of us have been there. We’ve heard a knock at the door, turned around to see one of our friends waving a piece of paper and frantically asking if we’ve downloaded and installed a VPN client. We’ve since then referred to that moment as the inflection point when everything turned upside down. Suddenly, our regular activities—browsing the web, shopping, or socialising—have vanished in a puff of paranoia.
How did this happen? Why would someone want to harm us? What can we do to protect ourselves?
These are all valid questions and if we’re not careful, they can lead us down a dangerous path. After all, we’ve all seen what can happen when a VPN stops working as intended. Whether it’s a glitch or an attack, the results can always be disastrous. So let’s take a step back and examine the role of the VPN client in the first place. How did we get here, and what can we do going forward?
The Rise In Popularity Of Virtual Private Networks
In the past, when we wanted to secure our data, we’d use a VPN to connect to a restricted network, like a corporate network or a government one. These are still valid uses for a VPN, but the technology has evolved to make our lives easier. Today, we can use virtual private networks to secure all of our devices and keep our data wherever we please.
Thanks to major improvements in encryption and security over the past decade, the use of VPNs has increased exponentially. For example, according to Gartner, the worldwide market share of VPNs was just 2.9% in 2016, but it’s expected to hit 19% by 2021.
What does this mean for you? If you’re running a business, it means you must have a handle on what’s going on with your employees. It’s no longer enough to trust your security procedures. You must also trust that your VPN is up to date and not compromised by a third party. The most up-to-date statistics will tell you that hackers try to steal your personal information around 48.9 million times a day. Why would you put yourself in that kind of danger when you can deploy a VPN to protect you?
The Many Forms Of VPN Clients
The world of VPNs is highly complex. There are a variety of providers, each with many different versions, plans, and features. Trying to keep track of all the differences can be overwhelming. So it’s essential that you pick a VPN that suits your needs. The most popular ones are
- Macro VPN
- Private Internet Access
Each of these offer a free version, so you can try them out before you commit to a paid plan. Of course, the paid versions are more convenient as you won’t need to update the software as often as with the free versions. Additionally, the paid versions usually offer more features and protections.
You should also check out our review of the best VPNs if you’re looking for an impartial evaluation of the various platforms. With so many different options to choose from, it can be quite the dilemma. Especially when you’re in the thick of setting up a new VPN, you might not have the time to devote to understanding the differences between each one. So it’s essential that you pick one that is both convenient and secure.
Setting Up The VPN Client
Once you’ve made the decision to go with a VPN, the next step is to set it up. Depending on your operating system, you’ll need to download and install the appropriate software. Fortunately, this is a very straightforward process and mostly involves following the steps provided by the manufacturer/provider of the product.
If you’re using Windows, you’ll need to download and install the Microsoft Edge VPN client. This is also the case if you’re using macOS. The process will be a lot smoother if you use the built-in VPN client, which is why we recommend you download and install the Microsoft one instead.
Once you’ve installed the VPN software on your device, you’ll need to add a VPN profile. The device will then search for available networks and offer you a secure connection to one that you choose. It’s important to add a profile for every device you use, even if you use the same one on a daily basis. This way, the software will always know where it is and what kind of configuration to use when connecting to a secured network.
Why Is It Important To Set The Right Authentication Method?
It’s been a long time coming, but the world of cybersecurity is finally starting to catch up to the reality of our phones. In the last decade, people have become massively dependent on their phones and tech-related products in general. Add to that the rise of the internet of things (IoT) and it’s evident that our dependence on technology has reached unprecedented levels. This is why it’s important to pick the right authentication method and ensure that it is both unique to the device and easily maintained.
You’ll see many different authentication methods when connecting to a VPN. The most common ones are username and password, smart card, and one-time password. Each one of these has its perks but you must pick the one that works best in your environment. Do some research before you commit to using a certain type of authentication. Try out several of them and see which one works best for your needs.
Using A VPN To Access Netflix
One of the first and most important things you’ll need to do once you’ve set up a VPN is to enable remote connections. This is a much safer and more convenient option than connecting to a networked computer, especially if you work from home. You don’t have to worry about your home network being hacked, or worse, your computer being infected with malware. Just make sure that you don’t leave your device unsecured while you’re using a public WiFi connection. Even if you’re not using the remote connection feature, public WiFi is generally unsecured and can be dangerous.
With that, we’d like to welcome you to the wonderful world of VPNs. Whether you’re an individual traveller or a business owner, a VPN is something you should consider. It can help you keep your personal data secure and private while you’re surfing the web or shopping online. Plus, you can use a VPN to access media services like Netflix and Hulu, which are often blocked by traditional broadband providers. So you’ll need to use a VPN to get the content you want when you want it!