What Is A VPN And Why Should I Use One?
Let’s take a minute today to talk about something that I get a lot of questions about and that is:
What is a VPN and why should I use one?
First of all, VPN stands for virtual private network.
Using a VPN centers around two basic ideas: Privacy and Security.
VPN Provides: Privacy
Local ISP and Privacy
Your normal connection to the Internet is through your local Internet Service Provider (ISP) and is not private.
Your ISP can and almost all of them do watch what you’re doing. Almost all of them keep logs automatic logs of every URL or website that you go to.
When you’re using a virtual private network your local ISP cannot monitor what you’re doing. The VPN allows you to bypass your local internet service provider, providing you with an alternate internet connection.
IP Address and Privacy
Further your VPN will mask your IP address and from there hide your physical location. If you’re unaware of it, every computer the hooks up to the Internet has a unique IP address.
An IP (Internet Protocol) address is how the Internet as a whole can differentiate one person’s browsing from another and keep things straight.
Knowing your IP address, it’s very easy to backtrack to your actual physical address – where you are when you’re online. Creep yea?
Privacy When Browsing
A virtual private network is also very very nice in terms of securing your privacy.
With your VPN anyone interested can’t see which sites you access. So for instance if I’m using my virtual private network and I go on Google to look for something, Google can’t tell who I am, they can’t tell where I’m coming from.
So they can’t add that information at that little database that they have on me and you.
Privacy From Tracking
Merchants, marketers and advertisers can not track you either.
You’ve probably had the experience where maybe you’re browsing and you click on an ad. You decide you’re not interested and go about your business.
All of a sudden it seems like for the next week or the next month, that ad is there wherever you go on the internet. Not going into details, it’s because opening that first ad allows them to track you and keep putting in front of you.
With a virtual private network they’re not able to track you, they’re not able to keep hounding you with ads.
By now with should be clear that all of this basically amounts to anonymity.
You can be out on the Internet and be private.
VPN Prevents: GEO Locking
A virtual private network will also allow you to access geo locked content.
Many countries or ISPs can prevent you from viewing content that you want to see because you’re not in a location that they deem appropriate.
A VPN ‘spoof’ or fake your location so you can appear as though you’re anywhere in the world. This allows you to bypass these restrictions.
VPN Provides: SECURITY
Let’s talk about security. How secure do you think you are online? The answer – without a VPN – is that you’re NOT.
Nothing you send out (think email…) is secure. That email goes to your local ISP where anyone could read it. It’s then forwarded to any number of other computers before it gets to the person you sent it to.
Guess what? Anyone along that path could read your email without your knowledge.
A VPN provides a fully encrypted connection while you’re online so that what you do or send is actually private. Nobody can get their hands on it.
Another example? Hopefully you know if you’re someplace public that you never want to do anything important using their public WiFi.
You wouldn’t go into Starbucks or McDonald’s for example, hook up to their WiFi and start doing your banking. Why? Because they are unsecured and anyone can monitor and see what you’re doing.
Because a VPN provides encryption this is no longer an issue.
Provided you’ve connected to your VPN and it’s active you can use any public WiFi to do whatever you want.
OK, Which VPN To Get?
Now there are a ton of different choices for a virtual private network. If you Google for ‘vpn’ you’re going to come up with page after page after page of them.
I’ve used quite a few personally, including:
HideMyAss, Totalblink (in an emergency) which is free, VPN Unlimited, Private Internet Access and many, many more.
A word of warning: Do NOT choose and use a free VPN. Why? Well, ask yourself why it’s free? Who’s paying for it and making it available to you, and are you secure from them? Food for thought…
Anyway, the VPN that I have been using for a couple of years now is
Well, for a number of reasons and I encourage you to visit their website here to see for yourself.
A VPN by its very nature will slow down your connection a bit. It’s just in the nature of the beast. IpVanish is one of the fastest VPN’s I’ve seen – meaning that it slows things down the least. I normally get 150 mbps upload and download connected directly to my IPS. With IpVanish I still get around 120 – 140 mbps. Not too much of a ‘hit’ at all.
There are a bunch of other reasons as well, so do check them out.
Right now they’re running a special at $4.95 a month.
Full transparency: I am an affiliate for them and will make a small commission should you decide to subscribe.
That being said I stand behind them and I’m not recommending to you anything that I don’t use myself. Check out my video for proof at 08:01 (8 minutes, 1 second) and beyond.
I hope I’ve provided a decent overview of VPNs and that I’ve done you a service by pointing you
to one of the best.