6 things you could (and should) use a VPN for

As security concerns continue to grow, it’s no wonder the virtual private network (VPN) industry is booming. Each new security breach brings with it a heightened interest in securing our online identity, and there’s no better way to do that for the average internet user than a VPN. 

For privacy enthusiasts, VPNs are a significant first step to anonymity. Unlike more intensive solutions, using one relies on turning it on (or configuring your router settings to an always-on installation) and browsing as normal.

How do VPNs work?

To avoid getting bogged down in the highly technical, the most straightforward explanation of how VPNs work can be summed up in just a few words: they route your traffic through someone else’s computer and encrypt your connection so that prying eyes aren’t privy to the data on either end of the connection. The computer, in this case, isn’t a computer at all. It’s actually a server that could be a few miles away or across the globe. And you’re not the only one using it. With thousands of people using the same server, it’s challenging to pinpoint who’s who. 

(Image credit: Pixabay)

The typical browsing experience begins by connecting to the internet via your ISP. Because it’s your access point to the internet, your ISP – whether it be Cox, Charter, Google, or others – can then track everything you do until you log off: from the sites you visit to the types of files you download most often. Using a VPN means you’ll connect to your ISP, but instead of routing traffic and data through its servers, you’ll route them through the VPN instead. From the ISP’s perspective, you’re logging on to a single website, that of your VPN. All data from that point on is routed through the VPN and its servers. 

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