It seems that there has been a major computer security “breach” at least once a year for the past decade or so. From department stores to credit companies and virtually everything in between, organizations of all types and sizes have been victimized.
Even the U.S. Treasury and other departments recently revealed a major compromise by bad actors.
However, those types of companies aren’t the only ones subject to targeting.
Luckily, a good portion of internet users utilize certain security best practices such as using antivirus software and at least moderately-secure passwords. Unfortunately, there are still all too many that aren’t protecting themselves with a VPN.
If you aren’t certain what a VPN is, what it does, and why you should be using one, you should definitely take a few minutes to read the rest of this article.
What is a VPN?
These days the long and short of it is, in order to protect their privacy — EVERY computer user should have the ability to utilize a VPN (virtual private network). The best way to understand the function of a VPN is to think of it as a virtual and secure tunnel between your computer and the websites you’re visiting. You connect your PC to a VPN server which may be in another state here in the U.S. or in a foreign country, and then all of your internet activity passes through that server.
Once you are “inside the tunnel” of the VPN, it’s extremely difficult for anyone to spy on your activities and as far as most of the websites you visit are concerned, you’re visiting from that VPN’s geographical location as opposed to your actual physical location. So, whenever you use a public Wi-Fi hotspot such as the one at your local coffee shop or the airport, the VPN keeps your web browsing secure and private. Furthermore, you can utilize VPNs to get around regional restrictions on music and streaming video, and in some countries they are used to help evade government censorship restrictions.
3 VPN Features to Look For
One of the best ways to find the right VPN for you is to visit http://VPNSurfers.com/. However, there are a few things you may want to consider before deciding which one to utilize.
1. Determine what kind of logging they perform, i.e. what data do they log regarding your sessions and how long is that information stored? Are the IP addresses you use being recorded? Are they going to keep track of the websites you visit, the amount of bandwidth you use in any given session, or other identifying details?
Every VPN has some sort of logging but there are those that collect vast amounts of data and those that log as little as possible. Furthermore, some providers discard logs within days or even hours, while others store them for various lengths of extended time.
2. You need to review their acceptable use policies. Different VPNs restrict certain activity, such as torrents, while others allow them freely, and still others that don’t block or restrict torrents, but disallow them officially.
3. Do they offer their own downloadable application? While options like OpenVPN can be extremely useful, installable applications that are customizable are generally the best choice for most users. Most are super easy to use and don’t require extensive tech skills or need significant adjustments to the default settings.
Again, there are tons of VPN options that reputable companies offer for free, but those products aren’t really comparable to the fantastic paid options available today. Especially when you consider the fact that many of the free options offer slower services or severely limit your monthly bandwidth usage.