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What is a VPN? How Does it Help Me?

What is a VPN? How Does it Help Me?

A VPN, or a Virtual Private Network, is exactly how it sounds! In its essence, a VPN helps you create a secure and private connection between your computer or device and another network over the Internet. It uses encryption and other technologies to help you ensure that your Internet activity is safe from hackers and cybercriminals who may be lurking around when you’re using public wifi. Using a VPN to connect to the Internet allows you to surf websites privately and securely, as well as have access to restricted websites and overcome censorship blocks. In very simple terms, a VPN connects your PC, smartphone, or tablet to another server on the Internet and allows you to browse using that computer’s Internet connection.

Think about your home computer and its connection to the Internet. In most cases, there is a direct connection between your home computer and the Internet. Because of this, it’s very easy for cybercriminals to find you and attack your personal data. This is where the VPN comes in. A VPN connects your computer to a server located anywhere else in the world before making that connection to the Internet. Because there is no direct line between your computer and the Internet, cybercriminals don’t have a place to locate you and cannot attack your personal data. 

How does it help me?

No matter your purpose, having a VPN can be more than worthwhile. There are a variety of different things that you can achieve with them. 

You can use a VPN to: 

  1. Bypass geographic restrictions on websites or streaming audio/video
  2. Watch streaming media like Netflix and Hulu 
  3. Protect yourself from snooping on untrustworthy WIFI spots 
  4. Gain some anonymity online by hiding your location
  5. Protect yourself by torrenting 

Many people nowadays use a VPN for torrenting or bypassing geographic restrictions to watch content in a different country. VPNs are still a great way to protect yourself when using public wifi, but that’s not its only use anymore! While the examples above are all very relevant, VPNs capable of so much more. VPNs can allow you to access a business network while traveling, access your home network while traveling, hide your browsing activity from your local network and ISP, access geo-blocked websites, bypass Internet censorship, and download files.

When you connect to a VPN, you have a large choice of servers to connect to and each of those servers are located in different cities and countries. Once you’re connected, your computer will assume that you are connected to whichever city or country you have chosen the server from. For example, if there is Netflix series only available in Canada, you can connect to a server in Canada and watch the series without having to leave your house.

How do you get a VPN?

Depending on your needs, you can either use a VPN from your workplace, create one yourself using a service, have one created for you (we can do that for you) or even host one out of your house. If you want a way to create a VPN quickly and easily, there are a ton of websites out there that allow you to make one on your own. Websites like ExpressVPN, StrongVPN, and Tunnelbear are some of the most popular places that you can create a VPN. If you would rather have a physical piece of equipment that you can connect to your computer, just give us a call! We would be happy to create one for you.

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