Should I Get a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?

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By now, we all understand the importance of keeping our personal information out of harm’s way and using things such as strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and services like Touch ID and Face ID from Apple. But the chances are, you haven’t considered the importance of protecting yourself from being tracked across the web, nor understand how services like Virtual Private Networks could help you keep encrypting your data and add another chink to your cybersecurity armor. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the benefits of doing just that.

What is a virtual private network?

A virtual private network, also known as a VPN, is an encrypted private connection between two machines. When you use a VPN on your PC, Mac, or iPhone, your device connects to another server and uses that server’s information to browse the internet, rather than its usual network information. That means that any site that tracks user data would see your VPN server’s information rather than your device’s information, adding another layer of security. Some of the biggest players on the market include SurfShark and NordVPN – shop around and look for the right virtual private network for your needs, as every provider offers a unique set of benefits of features.

The advantages of using a VPN

There are tonnes of reasons why you should consider using a virtual private network, whether you’re browsing the internet at work or catching up on cat videos on YouTube.  Perhaps one of the most obvious and well-known is the ability to bypass locked content, such as entertainment websites like Netflix, and enjoy the content that would not usually be available in your region due to licensing issues. If you wanted to watch a show on Netflix US, for example, but you’re traveling in Europe, a VPN could help ensure you access your usual catalog of content.

Protect your device information

For most people, though, the biggest benefit of a virtual private network is that it allows you to appear as if you’re coming from somewhere other than your own location. Disguising your network allows you to keep yourself safe; if someone tried to steal your information, they’d get the virtual private network server’s information, instead – your location and device information would be inaccessible to unwanted parties, reducing the chances of attacks.

Protect businesses during remote working

In today’s COVID-19 era where professionals are being encouraged to work from home to reduce the spread of the virus, having a secure connection for remote work is also a good idea. A virtual private network gives businesses added peace of mind – rather than anyone on a public network being able to access an internal company network, the virtual private network hides information and ensures company files and customer information are kept out of harm’s way. Failing to protect this data could be catastrophic from a legal perspective.

Save money when booking accommodation

There are lots of other benefits to using virtual private networks, including the ability to access eCommerce websites from other locations and save money. Did you know that hotel chains and airlines often track customers’ network information and inflate prices if they notice they’ve been price-checking regularly? A virtual private network allows you to act like a ‘new’ customer and save money on flights and accommodation.

VPNs for gamers

Finally, gamers can also benefit from using virtual private networks. They can protect you from DDoS attacks and players who want to access your personal network, and virtual private networks also allow you to play using different game servers to chat with friends or benefit from faster connection speeds. Some games are only available in specific regions, and virtual private networks allow you to access them easily and cheaply.

Stay tuned to AppleMagazine for more tips on virtual private networks right here.

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