Today, internet accessibility has become a necessity and nearly everything we do requires the ability to get online in some fashion or another. Yet, this basic service has made surprisingly little headway in terms of protecting privacy and freedoms. An unsecured internet connection means exposing your activities to hackers, while governments in some areas attempt to censor what you can view on the internet. Currently, the only real way to deal with these compromises to your personal security is to go around them with a virtual private network, or VPN.
A Deeper Look at Why You Need a VPN
While some take the stance that you don’t need additional protection, if you’re not doing anything illegal or immoral, there’s much more to this issue. From logging in on your financial service provider’s website to working a remote job, millions of people are exposing their sensitive information to public eyes. This is why corporations, as well as individual users are turning toward VPNs as means of protecting their data.
While a VPN allows you to operate on a WAN (Wide Area Network), the terminal or device from which you’re accessing the internet appears and functions as a private network.
A VPN uses dedicated virtual P2P connections to encrypt data, which helps to protect the user in two ways. First, it makes it more difficult to pinpoint the actual source of the transmission, making it appear as though you’re sending and receiving data from an entirely different physical location. This means a user in China can appear to be in the United States, enabling him to access data and sites that would otherwise be blocked. Secondly, that data is being encrypted, so, if a hacker or government agency does access the data, they won’t be able to see what they have stolen.
You Don’t Have to Be a Tech Whiz to Use a VPN
Accessing the VPN is as easy as getting online. Once you sign up for a service, the VPN provider does the technical work. You simply access the internet from your device through your ISP, as you would normally do. Next, you connect to your VPN, which usually requires little more than one mouse click. From there, the VPN service provider does the rest, launching your secure connection and disguising your actual location.
Some security protocols have been adapted as VPNs, such as those listed here:
IP security (IPSec)
The IPSec operates in Transport Mode or Tunneling mode and each type uses a different method for encrypting data. Transport simply encrypts the data message, while Tunneling encrypts the entire data packet.
Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)/IPsec
Here, two protocols function in tandem to provide the highest possible level of privacy and security. L2TP generates the tunnel through which data is sent, while IPsec encrypts the data.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS)
This is the secure connection users benefit from with online retailers and financial, where they see the “HTTPS” connection, instead of the “HTTP” connection. It provides an SSL connection that checks digital certificates for authenticity and uses encryption keys to maintain a secure connection.
Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)
This type of connection has been in use since 1995 and is still an effective means of tunneling the flow of data. However, because it doesn’t encrypt that data, a secondary encryption protocol should be added.
Secure Shell (SSH)
This protocol provides both tunneling and encryption, routing the data through an encrypted channel. The ports, one local and one remote, are connected via that channel, so all data must flow through that encrypted tunnel. This means the data itself doesn’t have to be encrypted.
What does all of this mean for the user? Primarily, it means you cannot establish a secure VPN connection without going through a service provider. Sites like vpntaiwan.com can give you greater insight into the services available and the pricing for each service. From individuals to corporations, millions of people are recognizing the importance of using a premium VPN service to secure their data.