Whether you work from a traditional office, home office, or phone or are a beginner in your industry, it’s essential to understand the importance of Virtual Private Network (VPN), especially when using public Wi-Fi networks. Basically, a VPN allows one to stay protected from data breaches on the Internet and safeguard us from one of the most indispensable problems with the Internet – insecurity.
But why has VPN become so popular today?
When the Internet was initially launched, its focus was to be able to send packets (chunks of data) as reliably as possible. Networking across the country at this time was relatively new, and the nodes used to get down very often. Most of the Internet’s core protocols were designed more to tackle failure than secure data.
Be it any kind of application one is using – email, web, messaging, Facebook, or any other – they are all built on top of Internet Protocol (IP) core. Since then, some standards have been developed, but not all internet apps are secure. Many apps still send their information without any security or privacy protection whatsoever.
Internet users are, hence, left vulnerable to criminals who might steal vital information. Other Internet users might want to spy on you for various nefarious reasons.
This is where a VPN comes to the rescue by creating a private tunnel over the open Internet. The motive is to encapsulate everything in a private communications channel and encrypt them so that they can’t be deciphered. VPNs are an essential tool to protect yourself and your data, but they have limitations.
VPNs allow individuals as well as organizations to transfer data to an external server, the VPN server, via an encrypted, secure connection. Your data will then be sent onward to its destination on the Internet.
Due to increased cybercrime issues, the demand for VPNs is expected to grow in the next few years. According to a report, the VPN market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.39% to reach USD 50.153 billion by 2024, from USD 34.591 billion in 2018.
This security feature can be used to access various online services. Since VPNs store the user’s data on a different server, people can experience slow speed and performance issues compared to other types of Internet services.
Let me help you know some VPNs use cases to make you know more about them –
Geo restriction is a method or a service to restrict the usage of specific content based on the user’s geographic location. The technique is also called geo blocking. Regular or casual browsers encounter geo restrictions too often while accessing streaming platforms as they contain different content for different countries. A few Governments, too, implement geo restrictions to block some sites and online services.
How does this service function?
All devices have a separate IP address provided by the Internet Service Provider (ISP). This means your ISP very well knows your IP address. And while you visit a website, your network’s IP address is sent to the server, so it knows where it has to send the content. With the help of specialized software, one can effortless track your activities and online behaviour. It’s also easy to identify the geographical location of your device. Then, the website administrators apply geo-blocking based on the information they receive.
There are many tools to get your geo-location, VPN being the most common one. It has several benefits. Importantly, it’s easy to use; even for those who are not tech-savvy can use it at ease. With the use of local VPN servers, one can quickly change location and access any website quickly and unrestrictedly. You can choose your desired location.
Thus, VPNs give internet freedom to people to manage data if it is to be revealed or not. Also, it saves data from the prying eye of the snoopers.
Remote workforce working
With the pandemic, a lot many companies were forced to function with a remote workforce wherein some employees were working from different geographic locations. Monitoring their work and granting them secure access to the IT network has been a difficult task.
Here, remote access VPN made things simpler by facilitating access to data and computer resources available at a physically distant place to the employees.
It was possible to create a secure connection between an employee’s device and the company’s private network with the help of login credentials, and certificates that help authenticate a secure connection. With all of the data encrypted and strict security protocols in place, data exchange between two nodes can be done securely.
Employees travelling overseas
Often, employees are needed to travel to client locations to close a specific deal or carry out after-sales work, which necessitates them to be present on-sight. An employee may also be required to visit another country to represent the company at an annual conference. Employees need to have access to a private business network for all such reasons.
Replacing the real IP address with your VPN may be a necessity. Many countries restrict what one can access, so to stay connected to the office and, hence, you’ll need a VPN to complete your work. Moreover, many clients do not trust an email that appears to be sent from overseas. A VPN can help ensure genuine representation of your company emails, posts.
Public Wi-Fi is convenient but has limitations as well. While you may be answering an email or scrolling through social media at the airport, your activity may be tracked by someone.
VPN can, however, protect your data while you are surfing on other networks. It may also help you hide your browsing history, banking information, account passwords and more from ill-intentioned internet strangers.
Benefits of VPN
Some of the common benefits of VPN are mentioned below:
VPN improves the security of web sessions by passing data through a secure tunnel and encrypting it. It can also detect malware in files downloaded from the Internet very easily and provide warnings.
A major issue today is privacy while using the Internet. A VPN helps mask identity by facilitating new IP addresses when browsing online. Encryption of transmitted data strengthens data privacy by ensuring that prying eyes on the Internet cannot read your data.
VPNs are the security tools that help make the Internet experience safer and that, too, at lower costs, approximately USD 10 per month. Companies can also opt for a multi-year plan, making it a lower rate for the month.
While using VPN has become essential for the reasons stated above, drawbacks with such a network remain. It might not be legal to use in some countries, some VPNs also limit Internet usage, and some VPN service providers may also slow down your desktop or computer.
Check on the VPN service provider that you opt for, your home office or your organization. The most suitable service providers are NordVPN, Norton Secure VPN, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, IPVanish VPN, and SurfShark. In short, be vigilant during your selection process, and you can land up doing safe and secure browsing.
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