With the past decade filling up with data breaches, cyber thefts and password leaks which struck not only individuals, but also companies and even governmental institutions, internet privacy is not something any of us should take lightly.
Usually when people reflect on protecting their online privacy, they typically think of setting up strong antivirus and anti-malware softwares, or changing their passwords often. But as online crime rates continue to rise, so does our need of taking extra measures if we want to establish and maintain an effective line of defense.
At this point, there are plenty of Internet privacy solutions available. We have behavioral analytics, data loss prevention, firewalls, two step authentication, VPNs, or online privacy management to name a few. Each one of these tools can help keep your data safe but in today’s post we’ll have an in-depth look into how to protect your identity online, what VPNs are and how effective they are at protecting our privacy.
What Is A VPN?
VPNs are virtual private networks that allow users to connect to a public network by adding a layer of encrypted security to their browsing when HTTPS aren’t available.
What many people don’t know is that VPNs were not originally created for privacy, but for connecting business networks together securely over the Internet, or for allowing users to access a business network from home.
What Can VPNs Be Used At?
If you want to use a VPN thinking that this is your magic bullet towards Internet anonymity you couldn’t be further from the truth. Although a worthwhile investment for anyone wishing to add a layer of security when using public networks, or reducing online tracking, VPNS are also used for
- Bypassing geographic restrictions
- Streaming audio and video
- Watching streaming media like Netflix or HBO
- Protecting yourself from being logged while torrenting
What VPN To Choose?
With hundreds of VPNs available on the market, knowing which one to choose can be a difficult task. What you should know is that not all VPNs are built the same. Some allow access to streaming services, others aren’t P2P-friendly, and some might not be available in your country.
The first thing you must do is to figure out what you need a VPN for. Are you a developer needing a fast connection, do you plan to stream movies and music, or are you looking for a router-based VPN for your entire household?
Since each VPN company prioritizes an aspect, be it speed, encryption, or anonymity, you need to make sure that what you get matches your priorities. Using a trusted company is also a must. While a VPN service may help keep your data from being captured by some type of passive data collection, you should also trust the VPN company itself to not store or sell your data.
Among the most reputable VPNs on the market at the moment there’s:
- Express VPN – recommended for those needing speed and privacy
- Nord VPN – best for those looking for reliability and speed
- Proton VPN – high security standards at high speed
- Surfshark – a VPN packed with many feature