Virtual Private Networks (VPN)—How and Why?

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Before getting into the how and why, let’s decode the VPN alphabet soup. A virtual private network is a service that routes all internet traffic through a third party’s server. This rerouting of traffic allows you to mask your identity, location, and encrypt the transmitted data. These features prevent hackers and even your internet service provider from being able to monitor your connection.

Why?

The primary reason to use a VPN is privacy and EVAN recommends their use on all public Wi-Fi networks. Think about the last time you were in a coffee shop on the provided Wi-Fi network—did you log in to a bank account, a social network, or make an online purchase? These types of networks are prime targets for hackers to intercept a lot of personal and/or financial information from anyone who is connected.

How?

There are many VPN options—some paid and some free. However, the best services will simply require you to keep one app running while doing everything else automatically. They will also offer the following features:

  • One account for mobile and computer use
  • One-click and/or automatic connection
  • Many nationwide server options, which will provide higher speed and reliability
  • No user logging or an anonymous login

EVAN prefers options with these features: Private Internet Access and TunnelBear.* For additional reading, Consumer Reports has also provided a good feature on VPNs and their benefits.

*EVAN Your IT Guy is not affiliated with or compensated by any recommended product.

 


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