What Is VPN and Why Should You Use One? We are making more and more use of the internet, which means that security is also becoming increasingly important. One way to protect yourself and your family from hackers online is a VPN. This is a service that ensures that all the data you send and receive online remains private. No one can see which site you have visited or what you have done there. But a VPN also helps to bypass certain blockages. In this article we explain step by step what a VPN exactly is, how you use it and especially what it will do for you.
What exactly is a VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Personal Network or Virtual Private Network. It is a service that ensures that your connection to websites or services is completely shielded from the outside world. Everything you send and receive from your computer or smartphone is secured and cannot be tapped.
This is not just about chats or e-mails, but all the services you use online. When you visit a website, your computer sends a request to the site’s server. The server replies with the page you requested. That traffic is also encrypted thanks to the VPN, which means that no one can see which site you visit and what you viewed there. Or at least, no one who can tap your data.
Compare it with a tunnel that you are only allowed through. While everyone just walks outside in the rain, you have your own protected route that only you have the key to.
There are hundreds of VPN providers but not all are recommendable. This 3 big ones are defiantly good to use: NordVPN, express VPN and Surfshark.
Why should you use a VPN?
The big question is of course: what do you do with a VPN? After all, you can already go on the internet. Why would you suddenly spend money for a VPN service?
There are several good reasons for this:
- Security on the internet
- Protection of your online privacy
- Bypassing geo-blocking
- Invisible to government agencies
We explain these points for you.
Secure and anonymous internet
The main reason for using a VPN is to protect yourself from strange eyes. With VPN you can use the internet completely anonymously and untraceable. For example, did you know that if you use a public Wi-Fi network, people with a very simple software can see exactly which sites you visit and what you do there? But even if you use the internet from home, you leave a large digital footprint where strangers can learn a lot about you.
Large companies are increasingly recording website visits by users. In part this is to improve their own services, but more often it is about ways to show better targeted advertising.
Hide your location
Companies can also determine where you are from your internet connection. When you connect to the internet, your device is assigned a so-called IP address. That is very similar to a telephone number. And just as you can see from a telephone number from which country and often even from which city it comes from, an IP address is also a source of information for companies.
This can affect which services you can or cannot use, and in some extreme cases it can even affect the price of products. This is called a geo-block.
How do you use a VPN?
A VPN is a service for which you (usually) pay a subscription. Once you have a subscription, it is necessary to set your devices so that from now on they send and receive all their data via the VPN.
For most mobile devices it is possible to install an app from the VPN provider. That is the fastest and easiest way to secure your smartphone or tablet. It is also possible to do this manually via the settings of your device, but that is cumbersome and not necessary.
Setting up your VPN
For your connection at home, you can choose to manually set each device, but it is more efficient to make this adjustment in your router. Most routers offer this option, which means that your entire home network is secured in once. However, the VPN settings can slow down your internet traffic, because all data has to go through the server of the VPN provider. However, the use of a VPN service has no influence on the speed within your home network.