With ISPs, governments and individual websites tracking your every online move, privacy is a thing of the past. Or is it? With a VPN – a virtual private network – you can claim back your privacy and ensure your online activity remains private.
VPNs are simple to use, and they’re no longer something only businesses need: everyone should use one for both privacy and security.
A VPN service works on all your computers, from the PC to laptop to phone and tablet: it’s as easy as installing the app and entering your username and password.
When you’re connected to the VPN service, any data sent between your device and the internet is encrypted so no-one can read it. This means they can’t see which websites you’re visiting, nor the passwords and other sensitive information you’re typing.
Two reasons everyone needs a VPN
Just about every website and online service requires you to have an account these days. From social media to shopping sites to your bank, you can only use them once you’ve logged in.
Remembering all those different passwords is virtually impossible, so most people don’t bother and use the same username and password for every site.
That’s a big security risk, especially if you ever log into a site on free public Wi-Fi. A hacker can fairly easily see this data and try those login details on other websites, including banks, to see if they can gain access.
Similarly, email is almost always sent as plain text and isn’t encrypted, so anyone on the same network can use software to snoop and read what you’re sending and receiving.
But if you use a VPN on your phone, that risk goes away as the data can’t be viewed by anyone, even on public Wi-Fi.
Of course, a VPN can’t fix your poor password hygiene! So it’s well worth using a password manager as they don’t simply store passwords but can also generate a strong, unique password for each website and service you use. They’ll also automatically enter these details when you visit a site so you don’t have to remember or type them.
Of course, the other big benefit of a VPN is privacy. Even if you’re not actively trying to hide your online activity, it’s never nice to think that your ISP and other organisations are watching and tracking where you do and what you do.
You can reclaim your privacy by running a VPN. Because everything is encrypted, no-one can see which websites you’re visiting, the files you’re downloading or what you’re buying.
In fact, if you’ve ever seen adverts for products you’ve recently looked at online, this is tracking in action. The recent GDPR law goes some way to protecting you, but a VPN is considerably more effective at keeping your activity anonymous.
Some IPS throttle back your internet speed based on your activity, but that won’t happen if you’re connected using a VPN as it’s impossible to see your activity.
VPN services aren’t all equal: Why you should choose IPVanish
IPVanish is one of the best-known VPN services, and for good reason. Unlike some, IPVanish owns and operates all of its 1,100 servers which are located in over 60 different countries.
What this means is that you can choose to connect to any one of those servers and get great connection speeds for not just browsing, but streaming video too. Intelligent routing between servers means you get the best speeds, faster loading times and less buffering.
It also means there’s better physical security for those servers, which in turn means your data is better protected. Plus, it allows IPVanish to operate a true no-log policy where no logs are kept at all. There is no record of when you connected to its servers, how long you were connected, nor how you used the service. Complete privacy is what you get.
IPVanish offers apps for Windows, Android, iPhone, macOS, Amazon Fire TV and even your router so all your devices can be protected by the VPN even if it’s not possible to install an app on it.
The apps are simple to use, but if you do ever run into a problem support is available 24/7 via email and it’s also one of the few services to offer phone support so you can actually speak to someone about your issue.
Tech Advisor readers can get 60% off the normal price of an IPVanish subscription by clicking here.