Published On: Mon, Jan 6th, 2020

Protecting Your Internet Usage Privacy With A VPN

In today’s digital age, privacy concerns are more important than they have ever been before. Just because you have a password for all of your most important sites, doesn’t mean you should skimp out on the tools needed for internet browsing privacy. In this article, we’ll go over how you can make sure your internet search is safe from foreign viruses and prying government eyes with the use of a top-quality VPN. Additionally, we’ll learn more about some of the best VPNs you can use that can work all over the world.  

What Is A VPN and How Does It Work?

A VPN or Virtual Privacy Network is a tool that allows you to connect to the internet via an encrypted network that has the ability to bypass many of the geographic-based restrictions for internet usage placed by the country you are currently in. Additionally, a VPN can hide your current IP address and display the IP address of a server that you are not connected to. But how does it work? 

When you think about an internet connection, the first thing that likely comes to your mind is a “connection” to the WiFi via an ISP or Internet Service Provider. Typically this connection is completely unencrypted with data and information like your IP address open to the public. As a result, your ISP and anyone else with the means can monitor what you are doing online (even if you are on “incognito” mode). 

When you use a VPN, you “scramble” or encrypt the data connection to the ISP while traveling along the same information highway an unencrypted data connection would go. As a result, you have access to the information or content that is blocked by a country that would have otherwise been able to recognize the IP address you were coming from and then block the website you were looking to access. 

Are VPNs Legal?

Depending on the country you are in, you will see a range of views regarding VPNs. While some countries in the west including the US, Canada, United Kingdom, and many countries in Europe are rather lax on the use of VPNs, other countries in Asia and the Middle East like North Korea, China, and Iraq are extremely strict and have limited the use of VPNs. Russia is extremely strict and has outright banned the use of these encryption tools for users to get to the sites that the state has explicitly blocked. 

Before you decide to use a VPN in a foreign country, make sure to read the fine print and determine whether it is “ok” to use in that country. Chances are that it is but you might be in a country that has extremely strict laws regarding their use. If this is the case, then you will want to know your specific rights when it comes to protecting your privacy as you browse in a foreign country. 

Additionally, you’ll want to keep on the lookout for companies that utilize suspicious and malicious business practices in order to get people to download their proxy tool. Sometimes these companies claim to have a “free” VPN but once you download it, they can take all of your information and sell it to a third party. Sometimes a third party could be a government entity. You won’t want that 3 am knock on your hotel room door when you are trying to get some sleep before visiting Bosnia’s city-scapes the next morning. 

What Are The Different Kinds Of VPNs

If you want to download a VPN, then it is best to be informed of the different kinds of VPNs that are actually out there. The last thing you want is for your own ignorance to lead you down the road towards downloading a VPN that delivers a virus or tags your device for prying government eyes. 

Remote Access VPN

Allows for remote access to files that might be located in a blocked site within the geographic region. 

Site To Site VPN

This is used in mainly corporate settings and allows companies with sites in different locations to communicate through the geographic limitations that have been set up.  

IPSec

Also known as Internet Protocol Security, IPSec offers a transport or tunneling mode to protect the data that is transferred between two different networks. 

L2TP

Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol creates a tunnel between two connection access points. Combined with the IPSec, it is a very secure VPN because the IPSec encrypts the data while the L2TP creates the tunneling mechanism. 

PPTP

PPTP or Point to Point Tunneling Protocol encrypts the data between the network connections. It encapsulates the data within an encryption packet before sending it down the information network. 

SSL and TLS

Secure Socket Layer and Transport Layer Security together create a connection that allows the user to browse the website when access is limited within the geographic location. 

OpenVPN

One of the most common VPNs in use today, OpenVPN uses an open-source method for creating VPN connections. This means that anyone with knowledge of VPN coding can edit the internal structure to make updates to the Point to Point and Site to Site connections. 

SSH

Also known as Secure Shell, SSH has an encrypted tunnel through which data transfer can occur. An SSH client creates this tunnel where data is transferred from a local port onto a remote server. It is how you are able to access a Netflix show only available in one region when you are located in another that would not have access to the show. 

If you are traveling to a foreign country and need to use the internet for business or personal reasons, it might be time to look into downloading a VPN that can protect you as you browse freely. However, it is important to know what kind of VPN you are looking to download and what the legality is from country to country. Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to surf the internet as if you are surfing it from home. 

 

 

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