What is a VPN?
Virtual Private Networks (VPN) are online security tools, which create encrypted tunnels that can transfer your data securely through the Internet or any private networks. Even when you use a public Wifi network, with the help of VPN you can protect your data from the eyes of hackers. Most corporate companies never transfer any information without a VPN. It means for those who require secured data transfers on the Internet, VPN is the best choice! This VPN guide is written in such a manner that will let you know all about Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).
Why You Need a VPN?
- Overcomes Geo-restrictions: With a VPN, You can access Hulu, HotStar, BBC iPlayer, Pandora, or any live streaming service even when you are away from the service provider’s country. We might have come across so many people who travel overseas for higher education, job, or any other purpose. In such a case, it is difficult for them to access websites from their country as a result of geo-restriction. It blocks websites for the people in their country to access the websites from other countries. Few of the countries that follow geo-restrictions are Iran, China, etc. So next time when you plan for travel to such countries, be sure to get a VPN account to get connected with the web pages that you visit often. This VPN guide recommends a good VPN for frequent travelers while they plan for it.
- Secure accesses: The Internet communication is not always secured as hackers, Trojans, snoopers, etc. can harm your data by any unauthorized data access due to inadequate security and privacy measures. When we send our sensitive information such as bank account details, passwords, etc., anybody could hack our data and may use it improperly. It is a worrying fact, and it has to be dealt with caution in prior than it happens to us. Yes, the VPN guide suggests you subscribe a VPN connection when you send sensitive or any personal information via public or private networks.
- Bypasses Firewalls: A firewall is a virtual wall that blocks requests from certain countries, places, any set of websites, or any other matching conditions. For example, many educational institutes have firewalls to block social media websites, gaming websites, etc. A VPN is capable of bypassing such checks and can get you the access you need. This is not an illegal activity, and the usage of VPNs are widely accepted by governments all around the world.
- Anonymous online activities: When you use the Internet, anyone can come to know your Internet Protocol (IP) address. An IP address is an identification of your system or electronic device in the public or private network. Even the physical address and other details can be found using an IP address. It means that there is a potential risk of letting your information to others when you leak the IP. To be on a safer side, VPNs are the best solutions. VPNs hide the actual IP address and replace it with the IP address of its servers. So, nobody could track the actual IP from where the requests arise, and you can remain anonymous on each of your online activities. Just read the VPN guide further for more useful information.
So, is VPN a Good Decision?
In our day-to-day lives, many online fraudulent activities are being trapped by cyber-crime departments all around the world. The worst cases include the loss of millions of money, personal images, etc. Who wants to be one of the next trap to such happenings? Of course, each one of us wants to be in a safer zone and there comes the need of a VPN. This VPN guide explains how a VPN can protect your information even when it just resides on your place without being transmitted. When a VPN is not working the way it is meant to be, then there would be fewer users, right? But its user count is getting increased day-by-day due to the reliable protection against emerging fraudulent activities and due to the need for a proper solution to handle it. We suggest you read the entire VPN guide to realize that it is a wiser decision to pick a VPN irrespective of the public or private network you use.
How Does it Work?
In this VPN guide, let us assume that you are an employee of a company working from a branch office. Being in a corporate company, the daily interactions with a remote corporate hub is inevitable. The information that you send gets encrypted at your side and is routed to the Internet through a dial-up or dedicated link to the Internet Service Provider (ISP). When it travels through the internet, it is guarded by a VPN tunnel, and it is not a physical unit. A VPN tunnel is a secured channel, either encrypted or unencrypted), through which your data passes to the reach the destination. In this scenario, it reaches the corporate hub where it gets decrypted to its original form. During its traversal, your data remains safer and away from the eyes of cyber criminals.
How to Choose a VPN?
Our needs are different from that of others when it comes to a VPN network. So here we have drafted few points as part of this VPN guide that could help you. Be sure to check all the below-mentioned requirements before you choose a VPN.
- Locations in which Services are offered: Few VPN operates only in certain countries and others may extend its service across many countries and even across many locations within a country. The first and foremost thing is that we must check whether the VPN provider has servers operated where you need the service. For example, you might be in China, and the VPN provider might not have a server there. Through this VPN guide, we suggest you pick a VPN that has either its server or third party servers in the location where the service is required.
- Simultaneous Connections: Simultaneous connections can get VPN access to more than one member through the VPN account. It means that members of a family can use a single account and can save more. Also, a smaller firm can get one VPN account and can be shared by its employees. Most VPN providers offer 3 to 6 simultaneous connections and you can ask for more if you are taking a VPN connection for a corporate company or so. Anyhow, they charge extra for the increased count but few of them many give discounts as well. So do not forget to contact the customer support for such inquiries.
- OS Support: The operating systems that VPN supports plays a major role in selecting the VPN provider. We may be using the Windows or Linux on all our systems. What happens if such a platform support is not extended by the VPN provider? Is it possible to change our OS? It is an absolute waste of time and money! So before you choose the VPN, look for the VPNs platform support. Just for a better understanding, we present you the operating systems supported by the Open Connect, the Open Source VPN Client. It includes Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, Mac OS X, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, Solaris, Android, and iOS.
- Device Support: The technology driven world requires us to access the internet through various devices such as a smartphone, tablets, iPhone, PC, and desktop. To cope up the need, the VPN provider should extend a good device support. Once you are done with this VPN guide, be sure to check whether the devices used are being supported by the VPN that you choose.
- Customer Service: This is the next important aspect when you consider any VPN guide. The staff members of the VPN that you select should be able to answer your queries and should resolve issues instantly. A 24×7 customer support is also appreciated when it comes to choosing a VPN. The easier access to forum and emails along with proper replies altogether judges the performance of the support team. You should also look for multiple language support if you have problems contacting them in English. Also, most VPN providers follow a ticketing system to resolve the issues in the order they arise.
- Cost: The budget plays a vital role in selecting a VPN, and you can get a VPN service starting from $3 or even slightly lesser. Most of them offer a variety of pricing plans, and they classified based on the subscription duration such as monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or annual. The more the duration you choose, the more you can save and hence go for a VPN service on a longer-term basis unless you need it for a short span of time. With this VPN guide, we wish to insist you that not all low-cost VPNs can provide you the required quality of service that you need. So, before choosing it just go through its features and ensure whether you have all that you need or see these best cheap VPN services to avail high-end VPN service at affordable price.
- Encryption Quality: The encryption process encodes your data and makes it to machine readable forms. This process safeguards our data from online frauds, and it needs encryption algorithm and keys. The quality of a VPN encryption depends on the kind of algorithm and key that you use. Some of the well-known encryption algorithms are AES-256 and AES-128. Most of the VPN providers use RSA or DHE keys and SHA1 or SHA-2 for handshaking purposes. Also, this VPN guide can help you choose a more secure VPN by actually concentrating on the encryption, read about VPN encryption terms in detail.
- Protocol Support: Protocol is the set of instructions that is followed to transfer messages from one system to the other over the internet. Some of the VPN protocols include Point-to-Point Tunneling (PPTP), Secure Socket Tunnelling Protocol (SSTP), Layer 2 tunneling protocol, Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2), and OpenVPN. The VPN guide also suggests you read the article on which is the best VPN protocol, better for your purpose.
- Server count and Maintenance: The server load is significantly influenced by the number of servers that a VPN provider has. The VPN providers with huge server count can offer speedy services as the server load would be lesser when compared to VPNs with lesser servers. But this is not a major drawback for a VPN as there are few exceptions where a VPN serves its best even with fewer servers. The download and upload time gets affected with presence and the location of the servers. Therefore, through this VPN guide, we alert you pick a VPN having servers at apt locations for your need.
- Speed test: When you are much concerned about the speed of connections, it is better to test its speed with www.speedtest.net or any other network speed testing websites. It is extremely recommended through our VPN guide when you go for a VPN, especially, for audio or video streaming services where speed matters the most. A VPN connection consumes a little extra time for downloads or uploads than a connection without VPN. This is because it requires some time to do the encryption and decryption processes. But the overall speed of a VPN connection is determined by how well the VPN handles it, read more about testing VPN speed.
Steps to Get a VPN Connection
- Go through our VPN guide and decide on which factors matters the most when it comes to choosing a VPN.
- Look for a VPN with all those features and if possible contact it’s the customer support for further clarifications.
- Avail free trials, if any.
- Choose a subscription plan and get your VPN account by giving them your e-mail ID. Most VPN providers just ask your e-mail id and few payment details. Also, you can pay with anonymous online payments such as Bitcoins, etc.
- Download & Install the VPN client from the corresponding web page.
- Start using it to enjoy secure, anonymity and privacy in your transmissions.
Hope, this VPN guide by sharing the qualities of VPNs is useful for you. A VPN by any mean is advantageous to have and it would never let you down while using it. But the choice of VPN can help you get the right kind of service that you need. If you still have questions on VPNs, please feel free to write to us. We will try our best to help you!