If you are spending the most time at the computer, you probably already heard about the VPN. I am sure you did not feel the need to learn about it. The name of the VPN might be associated with business networks and corporations. The truth is that the VPN can be equally crucial for both – home users and businesses.
What is VPN
VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a way of connecting to the internet while maintaining privacy and security. It acts as an additional chain in your connection link, which takes care of your browsing confidentiality and security as it also, encrypts your data stream. Physically VPN is an intermediary – a server through which you make a connection to the desired location. This way, your activity is not visible by other services, because all they see is a VPN provider. Of course, there is more to that, and VPN can give more than anonymity and security.
What are the main benefits of using VPN
VPN technology brings several essential advantages. Here are a few crucial elements:
- Improved security. There is always a concern about browsing networks securely. If you use a fixed internet plan, you a probably safe, but still not entirely protected from potential threats such as hackers or data leakage. Public connections such as free Wi-Fi can be dangerous as they are not safe. In such a case, a VPN can protect you by hiding your real IP address, encrypt your connection and data.
- Remote connection. I find this feature very useful because it allows connecting to remote networks and intranets from any location on earth like you were a part of this network. For instance, my university has free access to publication libraries and other academic resources that work only from their local systems. As a student, I can browse free material with the help of VPN. VPN is such way can increase productivity because you do not have to be physically located near a specific network.
- Anonymity. Online anonymity is a big luxury. All your activity, browsing habits, shopping preferences are valuable data for large companies because they base their ads campaigns on such data. You probably already noticed how advertisement on webpages adapts to your interests. For instance, if you searched or bought some particular item, immediately, all advertisement becomes targeted to your last activity. Imagine how much data is leaked, which may also contain some critical stuff you would not want to share. VPN allows you to browse the web in complete anonymity. All they see is encrypted VPN data.
- Bypass block filters. By the initial idea, the internet should be free and accessible to everyone. However, many countries implement various filters to prevent users from accessing particular websites or networks. VPN allows overcoming such censorship as the VPN server can be located in different countries that are not blocking the access.
- Change geolocation. The main benefits of changing virtual geolocation by changing IP address with VPN is that you can get better services comparing to your physical location. For instance, many online shops, airline companies differentiate the prices according to a particular area. With VPN, you can find great deals and participate in special offers that are site specific.
Should I use a VPN at home?
The VPN does not appear as a vital thing for most regular users. Probably you do not need it if you are just browsing the Internet, dive into social networks, and watch online videos. You may not feel a significant difference if you use a VPN or not. However, many people are working from home, have small businesses, or are involved in other types of activities where data flow is essential. In this case, the VPN could make a difference.
You should consider VPN if you:
- Love shopping. With VPN, you can find great deals that are geolocation restricted.
- Reach privacy. VPN prevents your activity data access by masking your activist and encrypting data.
- Desire to access services that are blocked in your location. If this happens in your country or even by your internet service provider (ISP), you may bypass restrictions with VPN, which are located in different countries with no limits. For instance, Netflix may be streaming differently in specific locations. Elsewhere torrent traffic may be restricted. There is always an increase in VPN services where censorship is applied.
- Work from home. Access work network from home safely and securely like you would be physically at work.
Where to start as a home user. Check out on how to find the best free VPN provider and what limitations of free service are. For more intensive use, I advise to look out for the best-paid options.
Why VPN is vital for business
We already covered the significant benefits of a VPN that can be applied to business use as well. If home users are only encouraged to use VPN for particular reasons, the business VPN is necessary. Moreover, the more prominent company is the more reasons for using VPN there are.
There’s a common misconception that a VPN connection significantly decreases the internet speed. Indeed, you can expect a minor speed loss due to the time software requires to encrypt data. Check your internet speed online with and without a VPN enabled to see yourself.
The most significant advantage of using a VPN in a business environment is security. The vital data flow should be encrypted and secure as leakage or injection may lead to fatal consequences.
Large businesses usually have multiple ways of connecting to the internet and network. Keeping all connection links secured is tedious and expensive. Security issues may be prevented if everyone connects through VPN.
With VPN, remotely connect to sensitive resources such as file servers, FTP, and desktops. Remote connectivity gives a level of mobility for all employees in the organization. VPN can reduce the cost because it is cheaper to use a virtual private network rather than building and maintaining the local physical system with the ability to connect remotely.