What Is a VPN & Why Might I Need It?

Posted by Aazean on 31-Jul-2016 16:27:27

Have you ever felt unsafe of the amount of sensitive information you were disclosing on the internet without your knowledge? Or how much of your data has been vulnerably exposed enough to create your digital profile on the internet? Have you ever wished to gain more control of your activities on the internet but just never knew where to start due to the vastness of it all? Or perhaps you are just tired of the oppressive censorship in your country, and region-blocked services when you feel it is your right to a free and equal internet without discrimination of which country you are from?

Here is where a VPN service might be useful to you.

 

What is a VPN?

VPN is an acronym that most people have probably heard of at least once in their lives, probably from your work or through a privacy-conscious friend of yours.

However, while many have heard of the term VPN, it is still a common occurrence for many to question what exactly is a VPN or what purpose does it serve.

A Virtual Private Network, or VPN for short, provides a secure virtual network connection which allows you to connect your device (which can be a computer, smartphone, tablet or others) over the public internet to private networks at a remote location.

A VPN is technically made up of a group of computers (or discrete networks). With a VPN, all traffic data on the internet such as the data, voice or videos will be channelled through an encrypted and secure virtual tunnel between your device and a VPN provider’s servers around the world.

Here at BolehVPN, although we are headquartered in Malaysia within Asia, our VPN service offers server locations from 13 different locations to choose from; Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and USA.

vpn-graphic-by_PC_World.png

The difference between using an unencrypted connection & a VPN-secured Internet connection at an average coffee shop. (Source: PC World)

When you are browsing using a VPN, the VPN acts somewhat as a filter for your connections and traffic from the host device will be directed to websites using encrypted VPN connections. This is important as a method of securing and encrypting communications when they're using an untrusted public network.

In the beginning, VPNs were frequently set up by businesses in order to allow its individual employeees to connect to remote datacenters of the company’s network. This is to allow employees access to the company’s network resources, applications, printers and services without needing a hard-wired connection when they were not on the same LAN (local area network). Hence the name “virtual private network”.

From then on, VPNs have now grown among everyday internet users as a means of secure communication for their devices. From VPN advancements which feature ever-evolving technology in encryption, tunneling protocols, data encapsulation, and certified connections; VPNs have gained popularity among consumers who wish to protect their online privacy and regular browsing sessions, or perhaps overcome restricted content which has been blocked/censored on the internet.

 

What do you use a VPN for?

According to The Survey Bay, the majority of participants surveyed stated that while they are not using a VPN, they would however prefer to be anonymous online. This may be perhaps most are still unaware what exactly a VPN can be used for. While BolehVPN is ready to offer security, anonymity, privacy & P2P at fast speeds, let us take a look briefly at how a VPN could be used to further enhance your experience on the internet.

 

Freedom to use the internet

One of the most common reasons for using a VPN is in order to be able to surf freely without monitoring. A VPN will secure your computer's internet connection to guarantee that all of the data you are sending and receiving is encrypted and secured as well as prevent outsiders from monitoring your activities by hiding your real internet IP address.

There are still many people in the world who unfortunately live in countries with high censorship and monitoring. A VPN is one of the best ways to get unfiltered access to the internet, circumventing oppressive government censorship and bandwidth shaping. By using the VPN’s secure tunnel to bypass internet censorship, you will appear as if you are from somewhere else altogether and would be able to access websites that would otherwise be geo-blocked by a state or policy of a country. This is how BolehVPN could come in handy during travels to other countries such as China where Facebook and Google are banned from access in the moments you need to search for a tourist landmark, post a vacation snapshot or simply access your work.

 

Access geo-restricted content

If you have ever been left frustrated after visiting a popular YouTube video only to be greeted with an irksome “This video is not available in your country”, then one of the best reasons you could have to sign up for a VPN service would be to navigate around the geo-blocking many services impose. Be it accessing overseas content from your home region, or vice versa, regional restrictions can be a hassle when you want to connect to streaming services. You might be attempting to connect to Netflix in a country which does not support it, or maybe watch a specific show but it is unavailable in your country due to the incongruences in library content over different countries. By using BolehVPN, our service would help you to catch all your favourite shows from any country you are currently in. Once you are logged on to one of our BolehVPN servers, you would appear as if you are coming from its same location or country.

 

Secure your internet privacy

Security and privacy in regards to the usage of VPNs is something mentioned time and time again. There are always the dangers of connecting to public wifi hotspots when searching for internet such as in a café of airport, as it is hard to tell when hackers and thieves could intercept and hijack your sensitive data and online transactions.

When talking about VPNs, we have to consider on what type of VPN technology to select. This means looking at the VPN protocols to use while securing the connection to and from a network or a computer. The VPN protocols available at BolehVPN are OpenVPN and L2TP connection options, whereby the former option provides extremely secure advanced open source VPN solution, and the latter provides data confidentiality and data integrity.

By using a VPN, you can hide your browsing activity to protect any data you input by connecting to a VPN which encrypts all your internet traffic while you are on an untrusted network. And because you are browsing through a VPN, you are able to hide your internet traffic from not only hackers looking to sniff out your passwords, sensitive information or websites you have visited, but also any snooping Internet Service Providers (ISP) or the government because all your data is already encrypted and indecipherable. On top of avoiding surveillance of your online activity, a VPN can aid for the times your ISP throttles your internet connection according to your content as your ISP is unaware of your type of traffic when it travels to a single point through the encrypted tunned.

 

So there you have it! Now that you know how a VPN could work for you, the choice is up to you to control your fair rights to the internet.

 

 Related:

6 Types of VPN Users

Why You Should Use a VPN on Public Wi-Fi

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Sources

[1] PC World

[2] Life Hacker

[3] How to Geek

[4] How Stuff Works