What is a VPN?

A VPN is also known as a Virtual Private Network and despite its techy sounding name it is actually a very simple idea that almost anyone can use in their day to day internet activities.

It is primarily used for 3 things:

  • To hide your IP address and location
  • To encrypt your communications
  • To watch content from anywhere in the world

When using a VPN you are hiding your computers original IP address behind a different anonymous one. This method encrypts all of your internet use and communications but still allows you to surf freely without hindrance. It’s a popular internet security method that adds a layer of safety for people on both public and private networks including both broadband and internet hotspots.

A virtual private network allows people, organizations, or businesses to send or to receive information without ever giving away what that information is, or the physical location of the internet user. It even allows people to use services like the BBC or Netflix from anywhere in the world, even when those sites may otherwise deny access to the region you are currently in.

The data that is transferred using a VPN is secure and can not be accessed from outside or intercepted by anyone. This makes it very safe for those of us who are particularly security conscious. It is the safest way to browse privately.

By using a VPN you are also preventing your internet service provider from spying on you and your internet history. Using a VPN has become a popular method to avoid censorship and to promote free speech. It prevents employers, internet companies and others from snooping on you, taking your personal information or collecting information regarding your online habits.

People using a VPN to get around services like BBC or Netflix restrictions often refer to this practice as “geo spoofing”. If you want to watch your favorite show from a place in the world that otherwise prevents access to these services you can simply change your location to appear to be anywhere in the world.

Lastly, using a VPN is a smart move if you are accessing the internet from an unsecured location such as a library or a coffee shop. There is always a chance that while at one of these locations someone with bad intentions may be watching. Hackers watch these networks waiting to intercept passwords and monetary transactions in order to steal your private information. Using a VPN can be a way to prevent this kind of crime from happening to you.

Finally, internet providers may want to limit or slow down your access to online data. They want to do this for many reasons including limiting access to websites that compete with themselves and their affiliates, or to force companies to pay extra to allow users to gain unrestricted access to their services. Some ISP’s even limit data to certain services so that they can charge extra to provide access to particular sites. By using a VPN people have reported up to 3 times faster loading time while streaming video services such as Netflix. Depending on their service provider and region you might find it to be a great solution.

If all this sounds like something you might be interested in check out ASPnix VPN Services.