What exactly is VPN? Should everyone use it?

What’s this craze about VPNs? Just another Genz whim, right?

We’ve been asked this so many times. So here goes the coveted answer. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our ways of life, especially the work culture. 

Companies started adapting the work-from-home policy, which continues after these two and a half years of lockdown.

Be it something vital like office work, online lecture classes, casual surfing like binge-watching Netflix, or idle scrolling on Facebook; our screen time has skyrocketed since 2020. With that, we’re getting more vulnerable every day.

And that’s where VPN comes into the game. Whether you already use it or not, here is our quick know-how on VPN. 

What is this thing called VPN? 

VPN, aka Virtual Private Network, is the virtual watchdog that works as a proxy between you and the internet bypassing the ISP. VPNs transmit all data after filtering through an encrypted tunnel, hiding the information exchange from your Internet service provider and other people trying to peek inside your private space.

Wait! What! 

” Do I need to stay safe from my ISP ?” 

Unfortunately, you DO. ISPs can regulate as well as monitor your every click online. 

And, do they get involved in such things?

 Yes, a lot. Unprotected home networks are often used to steal data and sell to high-paying marketing and advertising companies. 

Do you remember the signing of the Congressional review act 2017, rolling back the FCC rule 2016 on barring the ISPs from collecting user surfing data randomly for their business profits?

People realize privacy is a myth. 

Where to use VPN? 

  • Any network straightway connecting users to the internet is highly insecure. We’ve given an example about home networks connected to local servers already. 
  • External WiFi networks in public places like cafes, Railway stations, and Airports often host phishing, spammer, and DDoS attackers. So next time, think twice before getting all amped when you see free WiFi somewhere. 

Simply the answer is, Everywhere. So yes, VPN should be used every time you go online. 

It may sound like overkill for ordinary users like most of us, but if the alternative is letting some marketing agency snoop on you, using your life as a case study, then you better think twice. 

Here’s an easy guide to complete home cybersecurity. 

Where does VPN fail to work?

To win a battle, you must also know your weapon’s weakness. 

  • VPN acts smoothly to mask your internet traffic from snoopers and the ISP, but online advertisers and spammers can access your data in disguise. So, you better download a tracker blocker or use the inbuilt one in your browser.
  • Passwords etc. can be tracked by using keyloggers and similar tools, so it’s wise to use the smart password manager to autofill saved passwords instead of typing. 
  • Malware can be spread even in a VPN-protected network. Installing antivirus software is the first thing you need to do here. 

Should everyone use VPN? 

Of course. We all deserve a certain level of privacy on the internet we pay for. 

This blog isn’t to sell our products but to make you well aware of the dangers lurking in the online abyss. So we’d rather list the most common use cases here. 

  1. Secure browsing when at Starbucks:

We don’t hate Starbucks, but dear coffee table workers, these public networks greatly compromise privacy and security.

  1. Get a private network for your home and work.

We’ve talked a lot about home network security. But do you ever doubt your workplace? IT admins of your company have the right to track your online activities, but only the work-related ones which you perform inside your work folder and rather not the personal emails you send at lunch.

When using an office network, a VPN helps stop your company from monitoring your personal life.

  1. Access country-specific sites and services

A large number of sites are country-specific or banned in some countries. VPN relays your IP address through remote servers, and you can change your online location to access those sites and portals as if you were in their home country 

  1. 360° protection for all your devices

Plenty of VPN services are there in the market. Choose something that offers VPN use on multiple devices with a single subscription. Like, Avast, one of the known brands of antivirus and VPN for PC. Their SecureLine VPN comes with 256-bit AES encryption for 10 devices in one purchase. With 700 servers in 34 countries, Avast assures a max speed of 2 Gbps! 

That’s all you need to know, we guess. Gear up and protect yourself. Better late than never, right?