Are you aware of what a VPN is?

Are you aware of what a VPN is?

Franco Brutti

Jun 12, 2023

Jun 12, 2023

Jun 12, 2023

Are you aware of what a VPN is?
Are you aware of what a VPN is?
Are you aware of what a VPN is?

Using the internet is something we do all the time, even if we’re not aware of it, because communicating through social networks is something that is now completely normalized.

However, even though you use the Internet all the time, you are probably not aware of the possible risks involved in its use.

Because yes, having a presence on the Internet and leaving a digital footprint is something that can be compromising and it’s data that any hacker can easily access.

When you become aware of this, you will need to start resorting to more secure browsing methods.

Luckily, nowadays there are several online protection tools available and a VPN connection is one of them.

That’s why we’ve decided to write about what it is, what it is for, and what kind of protection it gives you.

What is a VPN?

When dealing with complex topics, it’s always better to go bit by bit because, just as there may be readers who already know what this is, there are others who may not be clear about the definition or who don’t even know what it is.

Therefore, it’s important to begin by clarifying that a VPN is a "Virtual Private Network".

It’s a type of connection that allows you to surf privately and hidden during the entire time you are on the Internet.

By surfing hidden, the chances of a hacker tracking you and obtaining data about you are almost completely reduced.

In addition, you’ll also get extra protection for the data you send or receive over the Internet, as it will remain encrypted.

This is why, when you hear about VPN connection, it’s always referred to as one of the best options when it comes to keeping a low profile while online.

How does a VPN connection work?

Now, in theory, this certainly sounds interesting enough, but in practice, how is it possible for a VPN to "hide" you while you're on the internet?

Although you are probably expecting a more amazing and mystical answer, the truth is that the way it works is very simple.

All VPN does to offer you this type of protection is keeping your IP address hidden.

What is an IP address? It’s the address of your internet protocol and every device with internet access has one (computers, mobiles or tablets).

Metaphorically, we could say that the IP address is the identification number of each of these devices.

Therefore, when hackers see what your address is, they can track you, know what you are doing on the Internet, locate your geographical location, and much more.

So, as long as this is kept hidden or is changed to a different one that fictitiously changes your location, the protection you will enjoy will be superior.

This is why VPN connections work internally in this way and are so excellent.

What type of protection does a VPN provide?

Risks when surfing the Internet are always present, even though most of the time we are not aware of them.

Of course, this is not meant to be alarmist, since this doesn’t mean that every day a hacker could be behind what you are doing.

However, the protection you have while using the Internet will never be enough.

In order to give you a better understanding of the levels to which a VPN can protect you, we have created a list of the different aspects in which a VPN connection provides you with security:

1. Privacy and anonymity

Of course, as we have been highlighting throughout the article, the privacy you get when browsing is the first aspect on which you get protection.

If you keep yourself hidden, you will be able to prevent any kind of entity or person from watching what you are doing on the Internet.

Remember that, at the end of the day, by entering websites, accessing social networks and even downloading applications, you are agreeing to a series of terms and conditions that everyone finds boring to read.

But the point is that, without realizing it, you may be giving permission to any kind of institution to monitor what you are doing.

Which, as you can imagine, is not safe at all, especially if you work with sending confidential information or if you have the personal data of some clients.

Therefore, if what you need is to keep a low profile while using the Internet, a VPN can ensure this.

2. Preserving your security when using public Wi-Fi networks

One of the most common tactics used by hackers today is to access people's data via public Wi-Fi networks.

By this we mean the open networks that you access when you are in a hotel, a shopping mall, a coffee shop or even in the building of the company you work for.

Public networks, networks to which a large number of people access at the same time, are quite vulnerable networks.

Let's say you are staying at a hotel and you access its open Wi-Fi network to pay for your stay by means of a bank transaction.

You have no idea how easy it is for an experienced hacker to track what you are doing, get your personal data and hack into your bank account.

So, if you find yourself having to connect to these types of networks on a regular basis, it's a good idea to have a VPN on your personal devices.  

3. Protection against DDoS attacks

In addition to the risks we have been mentioning so far, it’s also worth noting how prone you can be to a DDoS attack.

These acronyms refer to distributed denial of service attacks.

In plain English, this is a type of hacking attack that can affect and against which a VPN offers you a high level of protection.

The way this type of attack works is that hackers will saturate your network by flooding it with traffic and all kinds of requests.

This means that, at first, you may feel that your Internet connection becomes excessively slow, but it can reach the point where it becomes unusable and will not load any type of content.

Luckily, a VPN will also be of great help in keeping you protected from this type of attack that has become so popular nowadays.

4. Keeping your online activity hidden

As we mentioned earlier, on a daily basis we give many permissions to all kinds of platforms to access our personal data and record the activities we are carrying out on them.

As you can imagine, this is something that can lead you to be exposed and to any type of institution being aware of what you do, even the government.

Knowing that you may be under surveillance is something serious, especially when, for work reasons, you have to do confidential work.

So, if this is your case, you should know that with a VPN you will be able to keep your online activities hidden at all times.

5. Preventing your ISP from limiting your bandwidth

If we have mentioned that any hacker or institution can be aware of the activities you carry out on the Internet, of course, your IPS is also aware of this.

When we talk about IPS we are referring to your Internet Service Provider.

The company with which you have contracted the Internet service you are using is aware of everything you are doing and the amount of bandwidth you are consuming.

Even to the point that, if they notice that you are downloading a lot of content, they can limit your bandwidth and deliberately slow down your internet connection.

This is something that happens more frequently in countries that do not have net neutrality laws.

Fortunately, if you do not want to go through this type of situation, having a VPN connection will also be of great help.

6. Access to a greater amount of digital content

We cannot end this list without mentioning the fact that you will be able to access all those platforms that are blocked by your geolocation.

Now, this may not be something that has to do with protection as such, but it is good to know.

In many countries, some websites and even social networks are blocked, so it’s impossible to access them if you are in that region.

Also, in some countries, there is content that is geographically restricted.

This is when it comes in handy to have a VPN since you can make your IP address appear in another region and country.

Therefore, you will be able to access this web platform without any problem, since, in theory, you would be circumventing this geographical limitation.

Why use a VPN

Frequently asked questions about VPN connection

Although we’ve tried to go over all the key points about what a VPN is, it’s likely that some small details are still up in the air.

Our intention is that you clear up all those uncertainties you may have about this topic, so we are going to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions on this subject:

1. On which devices can I have a VPN?

Nowadays it is possible to have a VPN connection both on a computer and on a cell phone.

Since both devices have access to the internet and are connected to the network all day long, it’s quite useful to have extra, secure protection for the connection of both devices.

2. Does a VPN protect me from everything?

In theory, a VPN connection may be talked about as a magic solution to all possible security and privacy problems on the Internet.

And, in essence, it does help enormously in maintaining anonymity when browsing.

However, it should be noted that even so, there is still a fairly minimal risk of danger.

This is why you should also do your part and make sure that it is always active, avoid connecting to public networks of dubious origin and use passwords for your bank accounts and social networks that are super secure.

3. Are VPN connections paid or free?

The truth is that nowadays you will find both free and paid options.

In fact, there are already browsers that have an integrated VPN that you can activate and deactivate as you wish.

However, the programs that provide you with a free VPN continue to have their level of insecurity, as little can be known about how they work.

This is why, if you are really looking for superior protection, it’s better to invest in a paid VPN, as these give you greater guarantees, better security options and tools, and will allow you to keep all the devices in your home protected at the same time.

4. How many devices can be connected to a paid VPN?

One of the striking features of a paid VPN is that several devices can be connected to the same secure connection.

However, the number of devices supported may vary depending on the specific service you are going to contract.

However, it should be noted that, in most cases, they offer the possibility of connecting between six or seven devices at the same time.

There’s nothing better than always being safe and protected from any cybernetic attack, and this is something that you can achieve if you use a VPN on your devices.

Now that you are aware of how it works and everything it’s capable of doing, it’s time to try it out on your own technological devices.

Also, if you know someone who does not yet know about VPNs and you think they are unprotected, share this article with them so that they can stay informed.