You have probably heard of the abbreviation VPN even though it is not yet a common term. There are a few reasons you would wish to use a VPN or virtual private network.
The software, which is typically offered as an app, is primarily used to increase online privacy, hence the term “Private.” When used, a VPN can assist in preventing others from seeing what you do online. For instance, your internet provider is not permitted to reduce the speed of your connection depending on your online activities, nor is it permitted to sell your information to organizations that might target you with intrusive advertisements. With a VPN, none of them can because not all ISPs do this.
How To Use A VPN?
It’s a popular misconception that using a VPN will make you anonymous online. It does, to some extent, but what you do online can identify you. For instance, even if you’re using a VPN, a website you connect to with your username and password might be able to identify you.
One of the most widely used applications for a VPN, however, has nothing to do with privacy. The majority of VPN services have servers spread across a number of nations, so they might give the impression that you are someplace else in the world. The implication of this is that you can use a VPN to access websites, videos, and other web services that are restricted in your actual location. In order to access US Netflix content that isn’t available in their country, many individuals utilize a VPN.
A VPN server in the nation where the game is housed can also help you lower your ping if you enjoy playing online games.
On public Wi-Fi, a VPN can be helpful in another scenario. Numerous free Wi-Fi hotspots may be found at coffee shops, hotels, airports, and shopping centers. These hotspots are ‘open,’ meaning you can connect without providing a password. Although convenient, this means you must rely on the encryption provided by the websites and apps you use because there is no encryption for that connection.
By adding the crucial encryption and greatly reducing the risk, using a VPN
Utilizing a VPN
So now you are aware of the benefits of using a VPN. Despite their seeming complexity, using them couldn’t be simpler. Additionally, they are incredibly inexpensive, usually costing only a few pounds or dollars every month.
Join a VPN service.
The selection of a service is the first step in using a VPN. You can view our lists of the top VPN providers, but if you must act quickly, consider these three:
On the provider’s website, you can choose how long to subscribe for when you join up. In most cases, the monthly cost decreases the longer you subscribe. They provide a money-back guarantee in all except the rarest of circumstances, usually lasting for roughly a month, so you can try the service and receive a return if you’re unhappy.
Install the software on your smartphone from the app store or the provider’s website once you’ve paid – you can pay with bitcoin if you want to remain anonymous to the VPN service you’re using – then launch it and enter your username and password (which you chose or were sent while signing up to the service).
Some service providers allow you to use an activation code instead of logging in, but the app will instruct you on what to type.
Select a VPN server
When you are signed into the app, a large “connect” button is typically visible. By doing this, a server will typically be selected automatically — either the one that will provide the fastest connection or the one that is closest to you.
Look for a list of countries or servers if you wish to change your location and appear to be in a different nation, such as to unblock a video service. The main interface of NordVPN, which we are utilizing today, features an interactive map in addition to a list of nations.
Simply select one, then wait for a connection confirmation to appear. Normally, this simply needs a few seconds.
Utilizing a VPN
Your new virtual location is then determined by the location of the server you connect to, so websites, video streaming services, and any other online services will see this as where you are right now. The server you select will therefore depend on the purpose for which you intend to use the VPN.
It’s not necessary to constantly use a VPN. When you need to unblock anything or need a little more privacy when browsing the internet, you can enable it.
You must choose the United States from the list if you wish to view a show that is only available on US Netflix. You must establish a connection to a UK server in order to use BBC iPlayer. Not all VPN services will unblock all streaming services, it should be noted.
The scenario can alter day to day as streaming providers and VPNs engage in a cat-and-mouse game of blocking and unblocking. Since you can ask for a solution in a chat window if you can’t view something, choosing a VPN service with live chat available around-the-clock is a good option.
To resume using your regular internet connection without the VPN after finishing whatever it is you’re doing, click the Disconnect button.
Verify the VPN’s functionality
Use a website like IPleak.net to verify that the VPN is functioning properly and that your true location cannot be determined. This will reveal your virtual IP address and geographic location.
Visit the website and review the information before connecting to the VPN. Your nation should be displayed, and it might even say who your internet service provider is.
Refresh the page by connecting to a VPN server in a different nation. You should now be able to see that both your DNS address and your IP address identify you as being in the nation of the server you selected. There is an issue if your own country is still displayed for either your IP address or DNS address. If not, the VPN is operationally sound.
Make the kill switch active
Many VPN providers have a kill switch that, in the event that the VPN connection dies unexpectedly, will prevent any data from being transferred via the internet connection. In order to prevent your actual location from ever being “leaked,” this helps to protect your privacy.
The kill switch is frequently turned off by default, so you’ll need to access the settings of your VPN software to activate it. It’s possible that not all of the apps a VPN company provides include a kill switch. Some don’t provide a kill switch option because it is always on and cannot be turned off, like NordVPN’s iOS app.
But there’s a good reason kill switches aren’t turned on by default: without a VPN connection, you won’t be able to access the internet.
You might want to use the “App Kill Switch” option that Nord provides in its Windows app if it is accessible. This enables you to choose which apps should have their internet connections cut off if the VPN stops functioning while maintaining regular operation for all other apps.
You can select which apps utilize the VPN connection and all other apps use the regular connection using a function similar to this one called split-tunneling.
There are other solutions, but using a VPN is really simple and is basically all you need to do.
Making the VPN connection automatically if your device connects to an unidentified Wi-Fi network is the only other adjustment you might wish to make. This makes sure you don’t forget to turn on the security a VPN provides.
What distinguishes free and paid Virtual Private Network services?
There are numerous VPN services available, some of which are totally free.
Free VPNs may be appropriate depending on your needs, but for the majority of users, they are too constrained due to their restricted server selection (and possibly lack of availability in the desired countries) and meager data allocation, which is rarely sufficient for video streaming.
In rare instances, a free VPN service may sell your email address and browsing patterns to recoup the cost of providing you with service, which for some people defeats the purpose to use a VPN.
With paid VPNs, you often get limitless data to stream as much video as you want along with hundreds or thousands of servers spread throughout the globe. That is why the majority of individuals pay for a VPN.
Selection of a Virtual Private Network
Picking a trustworthy Virtual Private Network is crucial because they are built on trust. Nowadays, almost all services claim that they don’t record your activities, including when you used the service, your IP address, and other information. However, as a user, you can’t confirm whether this is indeed the case. You have to believe what they say.
This is why you should read our virtual Private Network reviews, but you can also check a provider’s website to see what privacy practices they have in place. It’s typically a dangerous sign if the website contains very little information about the company’s headquarters and the people who operate it and is mostly anonymous.
Some companies hire outside auditors to analyze their policies in order to “show” that they keep their promises; we make note of these in our reports.
There is also a VPN Trust Initiative, which has been established by a number of businesses in an effort to enhance the baseline requirements for VPN services and, as a result, boosts consumer confidence in them.
Beyond these factors, you should consider if the provider has servers in the locations you require and whether it provides apps for the devices you wish to use a VPN on, such as Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac.
Your internet connection speed will be impacted by all VPNs, although the fastest services shouldn’t experience any apparent differences, especially if they use the new WireGuard protocol.