Suppose you consider yourself technologically challenged and are only up for doing a simple thing that protects your online privacy. In that case, subscribing to a VPN service should be your top priority. A VPN service is a decades-old technology initially used by big companies so that their employees can access their private intranets. However, with techies everywhere resorting to VPNs for securing themselves online, this technology slowly penetrated the home users as well.
People use VPNs on their computers to mask their IP address when using uTorrent or to access subscription services with geo-restrictions. For instance, a reliable VPN service can come in handy when you are travelling for work to another state and want your local news and sports channel on the subscription service. A Los Angeles VPN can then redirect your IP address corresponding to Los Angeles’ location, and voila!
What is VPN?
Let us better understand a VPN before exploring how it helps protect your privacy online. VPN is short for Virtual Private Network – which, as the name suggests, lets you go private about your actual location. It secures the internet connection between the private and public network, thus, allowing you to send and receive data anonymously.
VPN intrinsically hides your IP address, which makes your location and activities on the internet untraceable. Even your internet service provider cannot monitor or track your activities. They would only know that you are connected to the service but cannot trace your website visits.
Exploring further than the intrinsic role of a VPN service in masking your IP address, the various servers of a VPN service provider worldwide help unlock local channels and content of the location you select from the list of IP addresses.
Protecting Your Online Privacy via VPN
Now that you know how a VPN service operates and helps protect your privacy online, let us move on to how you can use a VPN for this purpose. The foremost step is to choose a reliable and good VPN service. Here are some essential pointers for selecting the right one for your use.
- Ensure that the VPN service has servers in significant parts of the world, especially in the USA, the UK, and Canada.
- Check to see if the service works for unlocking geo-restricted streaming apps in the regions where it is not available.
- Consider reviewing the policies to check if the VPN service allows Torrent downloads.
- It is always best to consider special privacy issues, such as VPN providers offering military-grade encryption.
- A VPN should not compromise your internet speed or security, such as the new WireGuard protocol for connection and data safety.
- Ensure that the service allows multiple logins without charging extra.
- Check if it has apps for devices other than your laptop or PC.
- A good and reliable VPN service offers a no-logs policy and split tunneling.
Once you go for a VPN service, visit the provider’s website and install the software and the installation guide. Here is a brief guide to protecting your privacy using a VPN. Some of the steps differ depending on your device.
- Sign up for a VPN service and log in with your details.
- Install the app on your device and sign in.
- Now you can search for the location you want to select, and the software will give you a list of various IP addresses corresponding to different locations.
- Select one of your choices and safely browse the internet without worrying about privacy or data breach loopholes.
Using a VPN App or Browser Extension
Setting up a VPN is no big deal, as you can note from the abovementioned steps. However, you must decide between using the app or a browser extension. Let us present both sides to you so you can choose.
Sticking with the dedicated VPN app provides a more holistic private experience on the internet. It protects all the data sent or received through your device to the internet providers. On the other hand, relying on the browser extension only will protect the data contained in the browser and not outside of it.
Ideally, you must include all the programs under the VPN security blanket to ensure an overall data privacy experience. VPN service providers offering split tunneling allow you to check the apps you want to work under the VPN security and uncheck others.
Another critical step in using a VPN to protect your online privacy is a kill switch. Although it is already turned on in most VPN apps, you can also turn it on manually. A kill switch terminates your connection immediately if the VPN security drops suddenly.
Is it Legal to Use a VPN to Protect Online Privacy?
VPNs are legal to use in almost every country except a few notable ones, such as North Korea, UAE, Iraq, China, and some parts of Russia. Moreover, even in countries where it is legal to use VPN services, there are specific rules and regulations. For instance, it is not illegal to use VPN services in the USA and UK per se, but you are liable to particular rules against torrenting copyright content or doxxing.
Using a VPN such as Ivacy VPN for securing your activities and data online is the best possible thing you can do in this era of excessively digitized crimes. Personal data might be a broad term for everything you enter or visit online. Therefore, choosing a reliable VPN service is best and start using it immediately.