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VPN: Safe or not??

Have you ever connected to a public Wi-Fi network while in line for a coffee or just at a random store browsing your emails?? Have you ever wondered whether browsing the internet over public wifi is safe enough? Does somewhere someone see your online activity? That’s entirely reasonable, considering the growing number of data hacks and privacy issues over the internet. With a virtual private network (VPN), you can protect your vulnerable information from prying eyes and regain a measure of privacy online.

What do you mean by a VPN? and how does it work?

A VPN or virtual private network creates anonymity and gives you online privacy by creating a private network from a public internet connection. When switched on, a VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between you and a remote server which is operated by a VPN service and your internet traffic is routed through this tunnel. Due to this your internet protocol (IP) address is masked so that your online actions are untraceable. Most important, VPN services establish secure and encrypted connections to provide greater privacy than even a secured Wi-Fi hotspot.

A VPN provides encryption and anonymity that helps protect your online activities like sending emails, shopping online, or paying bills.

What should a good VPN do?

If you use a VPN then you might want to use it to protect your data, have safe and secure online transactions, etc. But the VPN itself should also be safe against compromises. Therefore here are some things you should see for when choosing a VPN

Encryption of IP address

Keeping your IP address hidden, from your internet service provider(ISP) and other third parties is the most primary and essential task of the VPN. This will ensure that you send and receive information online without the risk of anyone else seeing it except you and the VPN service provider.

Encryption of logs

Another important feature of a good VPN should be that it should prevent you from leaving a trail. This is mostly in the form of internet history, search history and cookies. Cookie encryption is also especially important since it stops third parties from seeing sensitive information like personal details, financial information and any other content submitted to websites that you don’t intend to be traced.

Kill switch

Your secure connection will go down, in case your VPN connection suddenly drops. Therefore a good VPN should be able to detect this sudden downtime and quit preselected programs to reduce the chance of data compromise.

Multiauthor authentication

A strong VPN should be able to detect if anyone is trying to log into your account via a range of authentications. Example, you may be asked to enter your credentials and then a code called OTP might be sent to your mobile device. This makes it harder for third parties to access your secure connection.

Browsing internet without a VPN

You connect to the internet, by gaining access directly through an Internet Service Provider’s (ISP’s) Network Access Point. All ISPs own and maintain this technology that grants you access to the World Wide Web. Therefore, the ISP will assign an IP address to any device you that use to connect to the modem. Mostly, the IP address given by your ISP belongs to that modem alone.

Generally, when you’re connected to its network, an ISP can see all of your internet activity. Although most of them have certain safeguards to ensure that its network security professionals do not invade your privacy and steal any private information, it’s most certainly possible for them to do so. Security measures like SSL encryption and authentication, do exist on most secured websites to ensure that even your ISP can’t see everything you do.

Therefore you need not worry about some ISP employee stealing your data but overall, what you do, and what websites you visit, are easily tracked by your ISP, therefore some activity may trip certain protocols your ISP has in place and trigger alerts. This can include accessing sites that are illegal in your country or engaging in heavy download and upload activities.

Browsing internet with a VPN

When connecting to the internet via a virtual private network, first the computer’s connection is routed through a server located somewhere else. After that, you can access the internet from that server. While doing this, the remote server that you have connected to assigns you a new IP address. In spite, all of this you are still connected to your home ISP, and the data transmissions are heavily encrypted usually by SSL or AES encryption. However, when you connect through a VPN server, it provides you additional layers of protection meaning that your ISP cannot see what you’re doing, and also wouldn’t identify how much data is being uploaded and downloaded.

Are free VPN safe to use? - Answered by VPNSTORE

Are VPN’s safe?

VPNs having a good reputation are extremely safe to use. It will protect your anonymity and include high-level security features to prevent various kinds of hacking attempts. Your use your ISP’s internet connection to access the VPN’s remote servers. That private tunnel is deeply secure and protected from outside third party intrusion, like the government. Also your browsing and downloading activities are impossible to detect no matter how much data is getting uploaded and downloaded.

But we should remember that VPNs do not work in the same way as any anti-virus software. Even though they will protect your IP address and encrypt your internet history, that is the only thing they can do. They cannot keep you safe in case you visit phishing websites or download compromised files. Therefore you are still at risk of Trojans, Bots, Malware, Spyware and viruses. Such malware and viruses would still be able to damage the device regardless of whether you were running a VPN. Therefore, it is essential to use a VPN along with anti-virus software, to guarantee maximum security.

Usually, you are safe if you use a reputable paid VPN provider. As free VPNs need to make money somewhere they won’t usually offer the same levels of security for free as their paid services. Worse fact is that there are still fake VPNs that are an outright scam. Mostly, free VPNs make their money from advertising or even selling your data, therefore, we have to be sure to use a free VPN that you can trust in case you cannot afford a paid one.

Therefore it is safe to say that VPN’s are safe but the ultimate choice lies with the user, whether or not to use a VPN.

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