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VPN – what is it and do you need it?

Lately, internet security and data protection from hackers and other outside threats have become much discussed topics. Now, most of the people are aware that they need some antivirus on their devices for their devices to be secure, but VPNs are relatively new tools available to everyone and many people are not familiar with them. If you are interested in finding more information about what VPN is, then this text is for you.

A Virtual Private Network (VPA) was first created to allow for a secure connection between the business servers and its workers. As it become more common for people to work remotely on their computers at home or in other countries, the companies were in danger of having their information accessed or stolen. Today however, most of the people use it for accessing websites, content or streaming platforms which are blocked in their countries. But how does exactly a VPN work?

VPN creates a secure connection between computer and server. Normally, when a user access a website, he sends his information to a server. After processing it, the server sends back the requested site. However, this process may be endangered by the attacks of the hackers, who can obtain the IP and location of the user or even gain access to his important accounts. In order to prevent this from happening, a VPN encrypt the data, and then send it to its own server, from which it is then send to the proper server. That way the connection is more secure, and even if someone would steal the data, because they are encrypted, it is very hard to use them. Additionally, because of the fact that the information come to the intended server from the VPN server, and not from the user’s device, the VPN provides enhanced privacy. While the chances of being attacked while working on the secure Internet line (at home or at work) are low, they become higher when using a public Wi-Fi. In that case it is easy for someone to hack into any device. So if you don’t have a VPN installed, think twice before logging to your bank or sales enablement app account through a public connection.

Although VPN is very useful to protect data from being stolen and allows people to work and access their accounts anywhere, it is mostly used to access sites and content that is blocked in some countries. Because the VPN uses an external server, the intended server do not see the original location of the user’s device. Some streaming services (such as Netflix or Hulu) can have different movies and shows available depending on the location of the user. If the show which you are interested in watching is not in your location, you could watch it using VPN, as the provider will see only the location of the VPN server. The same apply if other sites are blocked by the government in a given country.

Do you need a VPN? Probably not. Today, most of people have a secure Internet connection in their houses, so there is no need to use public Wi-Fi spots. Additionally, not many countries actually block Internet sites and content. For now, the VPNs seem to be just another gadget.

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