How To

VPN: 5 Things it Does and 5 Things it Doesn’t Do

If you are a privacy-conscious person, chances are you have already bought yourself a VPN subscription.

VPNs have been proven to increase your privacy level online, making it safer to browse.

They provide much-needed peace of mind at which you know that you are not monitored the second you clear history and close down the browser.

The Things a VPN Does

If you go online and search ‘what is my IP’, the website you visit will warn you that your IP is publicly visible.

  1. VPNs can mask your IP address and give you access to geographically blocked content.

When using a VPN, you connect to a server that has its IP address. Each server can provide you with a variety of IP addresses, which means that if one becomes blocked for any reason, you can hop on to the next one and unlock the content.

Each of the servers is located in different geographical locations, which means you can travel the entire world online.

  1. VPNs do protect your privacy with a high level of encryption.

It works by routing your connection through an encrypted tunnel which means your activity cannot be monitored.

Most VPN providers, in reality, simply do not have any intention of monitoring your activity.

  1. VPNs will make your downloads private

Most countries have restrictions that might not allow you to download certain content, and as such, you can be fined or get in trouble for downloading content which is extremely regulated and restricted.

VPNs provide a higher level of security and anonymity, so your download activity cannot be monitored.

  1. VPNs provide security and privacy when using a public Wi-Fi

A Virtual Private Network encrypts and transmits data while it travels from one place to another.

When you connect to a public Wi-Fi since it does not have a password or security of any kind, your data can easily be compromised through man in the middle attacks. This could compromise all of your passwords or banking information.

By using a VPN to connect to public Wi-Fi spots, you can browse and enter information privately and securely.

  1. VPNs bypass geo-restrictions traffic policies.

Network Bandwidth is a rate of information transfer capacity expressed in bits per second.

Many ISPs throttle the internet connection and make it slower.

A VPN helps you bypass these restrictions and gain access to as much information as possible.

The Things a VPN Does Not Do

Just like with any service, VPNs can have flaws and are not 100% effective.

  1. VPNs have a minimal chance of providing you with inefficient file transfers.

As your data has to flow both through your ISP and a VPN, it can end up misplaced along the path to your local drive and end up somewhere else, and this can result in packet loss.

  1. While your activity does remain anonymous, some VPN providers have holes when it comes to the complete anonymity of their users.

There are VPN providers that do not require you to create an account, and even allow you to pay through bitcoin. However, many of them do require you to sign up, and some of them do have log policies, which means that if the government asks for your information, they have to hand it over.

  1. You can still be exposed to viruses and malware.

While the difficulty curve of stealing your data increases dramatically when using a VPN, it is not a fool-proof method of staying safe. So you should always make sure to install an antivirus or antimalware software on your device just in case.

  1. VPNs do not increase the performance of your network connection.

A VPN routes your traffic throughout different servers to finally arrive at your local network.

As such, things can take a bit more time to arrive, and this is why you might see drops in your internet connection when using a VPN.

However, this is nothing drastic. Just your speed will not increase.

  1. A VPN will not anonymize online payments, which means that your purchases will not be a secret.

If you buy anything online with a credit card, and not through anonymous methods like bitcoin, the online store you bought from can associate your credit card with your account.

A VPN just makes sure that the credit card data remains encrypted and safe.

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