Internet accessibility has grown tremendously over the last few years. As the number of people using the Internet increased, privacy concerns also popped up. Most of the websites started collecting a lot of data about its users. Adding to it, there was an increase in the number of free WiFi Hotspots. Most of the users never bothered if their data was safe over such networks.
The reality is that, it is much easier to access data of people connected to such networks. Usual types of attacks such as spoofing and Honeypots increased leading to the birth of the so-called Virtual Private Networks.
VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, allow users to securely access a private network and transfer data remotely through public networks. Basically, it creates a secure encrypted line through which the user data is transferred to the remote host. Thus, the intruders might be able to collect the data but not decode it.
Additionally, the VPNs also allow users to spoof their location, IP address etc. there by maintaining the privacy of users. This can also enable users to access content filtered by local firewalls (Another method is by changing the DNS). VPN makes use of many types of protocols such as IP Security, Secure Socket Layer, & Transport Layer Security, Secure Shell, Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol and Point-To-Point Tunneling Protocol.
Why do I need a VPN?
You might have nothing to hide on your front, but there are a lot of companies that are tracking your Internet activities on a frequent basis. Most of the websites track their customers in the name of analytics and find the trends in various demographic locations. The next time you go to any website, there would be ads for the previously viewed content so as to attract you. For eg., If I had viewed about iPhone’s specifications, the next time I go to some website, there are all probable chances of getting the Airtel iPhone Ad on the sidebar.
The company you work for, or the college you are studying might also limit your Internet access to a small amount of websites. Trying to download games or movies might be restricted. Also YouTube might be blocked in various locations. VPNs come to your rescue. By connecting your system to a VPN, your data from YouTube or similar websites might not get screened by the firewall, as it is transferred via an encrypted line.
Also, in some countries, services like Skype are blocked by the government. Accessing it through a Virtual Private Network makes it possible to utilize such services. Similarly, streaming services like Netflix makes some of it shows accessible to the people in US only. Under such situations, spoofing your location to be in United States gives you access to those screened content.
Here are the services that you can give a try for free. In case you are looking for transferring corporate data, it is advisable to go with a paid option.
Short List for evaluating VPN services:
- Data Log
Out of the above, data log refers to the data that the VPN itself collects. Not all the services do that, but there are many who uses your data logs for other purposes. Read their terms and conditions to see if they really use it or not.
Logging data also provides certain benefits also to customers. VPNs can improve the speed and performance of the network by identifying the optimal configuration, protect against spammers, DDOS attacks etc and also to monitor the usage based on plans.
There are chances that you might have heard about the Tor network and might think that to be completely anonymous. But it isn’t. Tor itself admits that it cannot address all the issues of anonymity and moreover it’s much slower.
If you want to try using VPNs, check these out.
-Supports Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and even Linux
-It also supports all the major platforms. Additionally, it has a browser add-on which can be configured at ease.
-OpenVPN is the completely free and open-source software that is backed by a community of users. It supports various VPN provider’s services to be incorporated.
Any other queries, please comment below.