2020 has been a rough year so far, and as a result people are spending more time at home then they are probably used to. A silver lining to this is that people now have more time to spend on the internet than ever. While spending countless hours scrolling through social media, watching cute cat videos, and bingeing out on your new favorite tv show are all great ways to spend your free time, you may want to consider protecting yourself with a VPN while you’re at it.
So what even is a VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. In so many words a VPN masks your IP address. The IP address functions kind of like your internet name tag. Every router gives off its own IP address. The VPN disguises your IP address to look read as something completely different. Most of the time this is done by masking your IP address with one in a completely different area or even a different country!
Why should you use a VPN?
There are quite a few benefits to using a VPN. The most important one being privacy. Your data is encrypted which makes it much harder for people with potentially malicious intent to acquire it. On top of that the VPN keeps your internet browsing completely anonymous. This aspect of a VPN is most beneficial for individuals in places where access to the internet is greatly restricted. If you’d like to know more about internet censorship and where it is predominantly located feel free to pay this wikipedia page a visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_and_surveillance_by_country
Privacy is not the only reason to pick up a VPN. One can be used to grant you access to entertainment that might not be available in your country of residency. For instance many streaming platforms have programs that are unavailable in the US. This tends to be due to licensing rights and distribution contracts.
As a result some programs that are available in other countries aren’t available here in the US. A VPN can solve that issue by masking your IP as a country where that material is available. You can watch it from the comfort of your own home without having to step foot outside the states.
Of course VPN’s arent magic. They can’t protect you from every threat found on the internet. However, when you couple the enhanced protection provided by a VPN along with an educated and alert internet user, you get a pretty safe browsing experience. Most good quality VPNs aren’t free, but if you have the skill and know how you can set one up yourself.
We live in strange and unpredictable times. Companies and governments alike now more than ever want access to as much data about you as possible. I for one don’t want to hand out my private information or browsing data to anyone or anything that I haven’t given permission to. I do hope that many of you feel the same.