When you’re on the internet, you are constantly being tracked. And the vast majority of people do nothing to protect themselves — not because they don’t want to, but because they don’t know-how.
With governments and service providers monitoring our every move on the internet, often infringing on our privacy and liberties, there is an increasing need for encryption.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are now popular solutions to the problem of keeping your data safe from spying by your ISP or others.
A VPN or Virtual Private Network masks your IP address (it is replaced by an anonymous IP address). It also encrypts your web traffic – even if you are connecting to websites using HTTP – so it is harder for hackers and malicious governments to see what websites you are visiting, or almost anything else that might be flowing over the connection.
The golden rule for staying anonymous online is: Leave No Trace. With this in mind, we will look at different types of VPNs and how much protection they provide.
- Remote Access VPN: A remote access virtual private network grants the end-user the possibility to connect to a company’s private network from a remote location. The connection between the end-user and the company’s server is done via the Internet and it is fully encrypted. For instance, when away from the office or home, a company’s employees can use a secure virtual private network (VPN) connection to access resources on their company’s intranet.
- Site-to-site VPN: A site-to-site virtual private network is a private network that connects multiple locations, and it is normally used in huge organizations. It is also known as router-to-router VPN. For instance, businesses with branches in different areas use a site-to-site VPN to link office networks together. Further, it is segregated into Intranet-based and Extranet Based.
Other types of VPN are:
- Hardware VPN: Hardware VPNs have enhanced security and load balancing options and they’re usually only affordable by large companies.
- Mobile VPN: Mobile VPN servers permit more streamlined and finely-tuned security and privacy settings, allowing organizations to create VPN tunnels that aren’t limited to the same network or geographic locations. The VPN can be easily installed on your Android devices.
- DMVPN (Dynamic Multipoint Virtual Private Network): DMVPN establishes a connection that doesn’t go through the company’s VPN server or router. Instead, it goes through each site’s router that is configured to the company’s VPN.
VPN runs on multiple security protocols such as:
- IPSec(IP Security), L2TP (Layer 2 Tunnelling Protocol),
- PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunnelling Protocol),
- TLS (Transport Layer Security),
- SSH (Secure Shell).
Secure VPN connection helps you to:
- Browse in a secure network: If you don’t use a VPN, your connection may be interrupted by an unwanted and annoying window asking you to click on a link. With a VPN, you can stop pesky pop-up ads, and keep your browsing experience much more pleasant.
- Secure your data: If you’re worried about hackers getting access to your bank accounts, credit cards, and other personal information, you should get a VPN. You can make your information that is sent and received online illegible to anyone who intends to gain unauthorized access to it.
- Network Robustness: When you’re building your business, you may not have the resources to invest in a private network or its scalability. However, a VPN can help you overcome this problem by allowing multiple employees to access your resources securely.
- Restrain data throttling and bandwidth throttling activities: When you connect to a Virtual Private Network, your ISP does not know how much data you are using. This means that your service provider cannot throttle your connection, because they cannot monitor how much data you are downloading or uploading.
- Browse through geo-blocked services: A VPN can be used to appear as if you’re from a different location, which can work to unblock content (like the US version of Netflix) and avoid geographic restrictions.
- Save Costs on support services: VPN systems that combine cloud technology with a social architecture can save on support. This is especially true if you can check usage figures and server response times from the cloud. It also motivates employees to fully utilize the resources and contribute to maintaining the security of the network.
- Other privileges of VPN are:
- You can save on long-distance charges by connecting directly to the access point of your local ISP.
- Through VPNs, businesses may be able to bypass leasing expensive lines used for communication, instead of connecting through a local ISP using cheaper leased lines or broadband.
It is not surprising that VPNs have gained in popularity as the Internet has become an increasingly dangerous place. Computers and smartphones are routinely being compromised by attackers, whether they be corporate advertisers or cybercriminals.