A very frequent and Genuine question “Will VPN Protect my Privacy?” is asked by both an existing VPN user and someone who is planning to use VPN. A piece of adequate knowledge about VPN can solve this query.
A VPN Protects privacy by Encryption data packets sent and received by your device, Introducing a new IP address (VPN Server’s IP) that saves you from being traced, and it changes your virtual location that provides anonymity.
Will VPN Protect Your Privacy?- Short Summary
A VPN simply adds an extra layer of security to your online activities.
VPN works on the Data Encryption and Decryption technique and sends traffic through a virtual tunnel.
Below given are the key benefits of using a good VPN service.
Hackers, Governments, Employers, and others can’t intercept your data.
You can search, surf, stream and download movies and TV shows more freely and anonymously.
It allows you to access data from any country without disclosing your identity and location.
VPN allows you to access public Wi-Fi or the internet safely.
What is a VPN and How does it work?
What is a VPN and How does it protect you from hackers?
Before talking about the functionality of VPN, we should ask ourselves “Why we need this?”
What are the risks involved in using the direct internet?
I have covered everything in this article.
Cyber-attacks and identity theft are common nowadays.
And it may take decades for a Victim to recover from these incidents.
The newspapers, Televisions, and the internet are full of articles related to cyber-crime.
This is our reality nowadays.
According to Statista “The most common types of Cyber-crime”
The average Internet user doesn’t understand technical terms like DNS, IP, URL, and ISP.
But there is one acronym that every Internet or computer user should know, that is VPN.
What is VPN?
VPN basically stands for “Virtual Private Network”.
A private network of Giant Servers located in almost every country.
It adds an additional path to the data by routing it through VPN servers.
this additional path makes your data extremely secure and changes your IP address.
It is used to Encrypt the data and to add an extra layer of safety to your online activities.
VPN Establish a secure private connection between two devices or networks like a tunnel.
The data encryption is technically a “Bit-Encryption”, Higher the bit-encryption rate, the higher the security.
For Example – 256 bit-encryption is more secure than 128 bit-Encryption.
VPN not only encrypts the data but masks your location also.
It is important to understand that a VPN is the only secure way to access the internet, not a connection to the internet.
Why VPN is used? Will it Secure my Privacy?
According to Statista, American citizens lost 4.2 Billion in 2020 due to Internet crime.
As online activity is increasing because of the Pandemic there is a sharp increase in cyber-crimes also.
Privacy and Security are the first priority of Internet users working online.
But compromising these crucial needs may cause data theft and privacy exposure.
Public Wi-Fis are the biggest threat to Online Privacy and Security that’s why avoid sharing sensitive information over public Wi-Fi.
Most small and large-scale businesses use VPN to perform their online business activities.
VPNs create a virtual tunnel to send or receive data through the device. This feature adds makes data ultra-secure.
How does VPN work to Secure Your Privacy?
Now you have a general understanding of VPN, Let’s understand how it works?
Each domain name is associated with an IP address
And to access a website or data from a server, You basically send a request to the Internet with IP and Location.
IPs are traceable especially if you are using public internet or Wi-Fi.
Therefore it is super easy for Hackers to steal data and find your location.
The VPNs simply Encrypts the data into another format that a random guy can’t read.
The VPN companies use their Extra servers to send and receive the data files as an additional security measure.
They also use a No-log policy to avoid Browsing History data theft.
What are VPN Protocols and which Protocol is best?
VPN protocols are basically the different techniques used by different VPN services.
These techniques are used to send and receive the data through the Internet.
Each protocol has specific features that help you to determine the best VPN Service.
Let’s discuss the different VPN protocols.
Open VPN is OpenSSL and SSLv3/TLSv1 Encryption-based open-source Protocol.
It is one of the most widely used and supported by most VPN services.
Open VPN is available for almost every Major platform (E.g. Android, Linux, Windows, Routers) Except IOS and Mac OS.
You need to use IKEv2/IPsec protocols for IOS and Mac OS.
If Open VPN is not available, IPsec/L2TP protocol is the best choice.
IPsec performs Encryption of data and L2TP establishes a secure connection.
And the best part is most of the operating systems support this Protocol.
IKEv2/IPsec protocol works best with smartphones because of its rapid switching feature.
Smartphones regularly switch between private Wi-Fi and public Wi-Fi networks.
And they need an established and secure connection during frequent switching.
IKEv2 is considered faster than Open VPN but still, Open VPN is a better Protocol.
PPTP stands for Point to Point Tunneling Protocol.
A few years ago it was the first most widely used protocol.
But because of few potential leaks in the protocol, It is not advisable to use it for a secure connection.
Nowadays it is only used to bypass the data speed restrictions imposed by streaming services.
PPTP protocol should be used only when speed is more important than security.
Softether is not a stand-alone protocol.
It is an Open-source application that offers support to other VPN protocols and is supported by different platforms.
WireGuard is a better protocol than Open VPN but it’s still in the developmental phase.
This new protocol runs on Linux Kernel.
How a VPN offers online Security, Privacy, and Anonymity?
Your online privacy, security, and anonymity revolve around the traceability of your real IP address.
As long as IP is traceable, your security, privacy, and anonymity can’t be ensured.
A Good VPN simply hides your real IP address and generates a virtual IP of the VPN server.
The person tracing that virtual IP will end up at the VPN server’s location, not at your location.
VPN changes your location according to your need.
A good VPN Encrypts your data through 256 bit-encryption, which is of Military Grade.
It is nearly impossible for a random guy to read the data.
All these features offer online Privacy, Security, and Anonymity to a VPN user.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it Illegal to use VPN?
VPN provides you more freedom, security, and Privacy which supports freedom of use of the Internet.
Almost every democracy supports freedom of use of the Internet.
It is completely legal to use a VPN unless you are involved in illegal online activities (E.g- Downloading copies of movies, songs, and fetching restricted files, etc)
Most Businesses, Corporates, and Government Officials use VPN to perform their online activities.
Can VPN be Tracked or Hacked?
Normally VPNs can’t be tracked or hacked but
Nothing is perfect in this world, and it is also true for VPNs also.
No VPN service can assure you of 100% data security, privacy, and anonymity.
Loopholes exist everywhere.
But VPN is a far better option to use the internet than direct access.
Can VPN Change your Location?
VPN uses this feature to trick the website algorithm and to maintain the anonymity of the user.
It is a super-powerful feature of a VPN to change the IP location of its user.
Using this feature you can access those websites or data which is Restricted by the Government of a particular Geo-location.
If you want to connect to the VPN server of a certain country, VPN allows you to access the internet freely in that country.
VPN simply tricks the system by assigning you an available IP address of that country.
For Example- By using a VPN you can access Netflix USA from any other country.
How VPN works in mobile and computers?
It is very easy to use a VPN on your Smartphone and computer.
You just have to purchase a subscription to a good VPN service.
Download and Install the VPN application of that service.
Do your preferred settings.
Now you can use the internet securely.
The application will handle security hustle in the background.
Download and Install the VPN software of your subscribed service.
Do your preferred settings
And you are good to go.
Is it safe to use VPN?
It is a genuine question and needs to be addressed.
Well, If you talk about Free VPN services! The safety, Security, anonymity of data can’t be assured.
But, In the case of paid VPN services, It is different.
Most of the paid VPN services neither take logs of what you do nor store your data.
Do your own research and then choose the best one.
How VPN encryption works and Protects Privacy?
VPN uses two types of Encryption
128 Indicates “Number of bits Encrypted per Second”.
This is also called Bit rate/ Speed of data encryption
There are many codes used to Encrypt and Decrypt the data.
During Encryption the data is encoded into a particular format using some complex algorithms.
A key is provided to Decrypt the data at the receiver’s end.
This Encryption is performed at 256 bit/second.
Data is highly secure with this encryption rate.
How VPN hides IP Addresses to Protect your Privacy?
VPN uses its own IP Address to maintain the anonymity of users.
It generates a new IP on the user’s behalf and hides the original IP address.
You can’t be traced through new generated IP because it is traced back to the VPN server location.
How Does a VPN Protect your Privacy on Public Wi-Fi?
VPN Encrypts your data packets through 256-bit Encryption.
That is almost impossible for anyone to read without a key.
The key decrypts the data at only the Receiver’s end.
Does VPN Protect Your IP Address?
VPN uses its own server IP address and hides your IP address.
An IP address is like a postal address of your home and it can disclose your location easily.
Does VPN Protect You from Government?
A VPN Completely hides your online activities that’s why no Government can spy on you.
Does VPN Protect You From Viruses?
A VPN blocks spammer and dangerous websites but can’t scan and clean your device.
VPN protects you during online activities but an antivirus works even if you are offline.
VPN Vs Proxy
Never use Proxy servers to send or receive sensitive information as they don’t encrypt your data.
Proxy servers can’t save you from Hackers, and Government Surveillance as they can be traced easily.
You can’t use Proxy servers for uninterrupted connections as they drop frequently.
VPNs reroute your data at the Operating system level while Proxies reroute your data at the browser/ application level.
VPN Vs Antivirus
In simple words
A VPN saves your data from Hackers, maintains your Anonymity, Prevents Data Leak/Breach.
It ensures your security from surveillance and Identity Theft.
Whereas an Antivirus works like a safety wall, that identifies and removes Spywares, malware, and viruses from your device.
VPN vs VPS
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server that is a private web hosting service.
Where you can rent a web hosting space and host your website.
VPN vs Remote Desktop
This software simply establishes a remote connection between two devices using internet.
They doesn’t ensure Security, Anonymity, and Safety of your sensitive data.
VPN vs VPC
VPC stands for Virtual Private Cloud.
Virtual Private Cloud is a reserved cloud space in Virtual Public Cloud to store the data.
VPN vs DNS
The VPN and DNS are little bit similar.
The major similarity between the two services is both the services can be used to access geo-restricted contents.
While the major difference is DNS Neither Hide IP address nor Encrypts your data.
That’s why it is not preferred for security, privacy, and anonymity.
VPN vs HTTPS
HTTPS is based on the End to End encryption technique.
The Encryption takes place from your browser to website.
In case of VPN the encryption takes place from your device to VPN server.
HTTPS can’t handle the critical cyber-attacks while VPN keeps you secure from such type of attacks.
Will VPN Protect my Privacy – Conclusion
Privacy and Security is the first priority for everyone working online. It is important to know Will a Particular VPN Protect my privacy and Security or not?
You can consider the points discussed in this article while choosing a Good VPN Service.
It is super important to avoid public Wi-Fi during sensitive-information sharing.
Both Free and Paid VPN’s are available, You can choose according to your requirement.
Awareness, Precautions, and using Right-tools are the keys to stay safe from Cyber-crimes.
Which VPN service are you going to use? Leave the comment below.