In the technology world, VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are a hot topic. No matter where you seem to turn, there are advertisements promoting VPNs when using your computer or other mobile devices.
But what exactly is a VPN, and how can it help you keep sensitive data, such as your financial information, secured?
We’re going to take a deep dive into VPNs — what they are and how they work. Then, we’ll talk about whether VPNs are something you truly need for your online security.
What Is a VPN (Virtual Private Network)?
Let’s start with the basics: What on Earth is a VPN, and do I need to be a computer engineer to understand the concept? Actually, VPNs aren’t too complicated. Let’s use the analogy of driving.
Let’s pretend that connecting to the internet is like driving a car. Normally if you want to visit a website, you’ll need to travel from your home to that specific website. When you’re driving, anyone can see where you’re going , but you might not always want that, especially when visiting sites such as your bank.
When using a VPN, your computer creates a secure ‘tunnel’ that allows you to get to your destination without anyone else knowing where you’re headed. Your car burrows underground using the tunnel, to get to where it needs to go and no one is able to see your route.
This is the basic idea of a VPN. When you use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you are encrypting your traffic (tunneling) and creating a more secure connection, where your internet traffic isn’t on display to anyone watching.
But, do you need a VPN?
Do I Need a VPN?
Answering whether or not you need a VPN is a bit complicated. While VPNs do indeed provide a security boost to your internet browsing sessions, the web already offers some forms of secure encryption, such as HTTPS.
Is Your Connection Already Secure Enough?
If you’ve ever looked at the full address of a website in your address bar, it will likely look something like this:…