You’ve probably heard about Virtual Private Networks (VPN’s) but are you aware of all the advantages and facilities of using one from your home? There are probably more benefits than you realize.
What exactly is a VPN?
In short, it’s an encrypted direct connection between two computers. In the case of home users, your laptop or whatever device connects to a server at your chosen VPN, which, in turn, then connects to the internet. It effectively places an anonymous and secure barrier between your device and your destination website or server. This means that any tracking software on the destination server thinks that the connection is coming from anywhere in the world where your VPN provider allows you to log on.
For example, one major benefit is that if you wanted to watch a UK-based BBC streamed TV show, only UK-registered IP addresses are permitted to access the BBC’s iPlayer streaming platform. But if you were living in the USA, using a VPN could ‘trick’ the BBC server into thinking you were located in the UK, so you could access the desired content.
Some VPNs offer free services, others give enhanced protections for a very affordable monthly fee, but this particular free VPN download, Urban VPN, works by all its members helping each other to unblock the internet, by sharing their network resources. Urban VPN is free for non-commercial use and offers all the benefits for free that some providers will charge for.
Advantages of using a home VPN
But there’s a lot more to it than that. There’s a phrase ‘Big Brother is Watching You’, taken from the disturbing novel by George Orwell, about the state controlling citizens by constant surveillance. Nowadays we’re getting close to that. Governments can monitor your messages on social media, know what websites you’re visiting and all manner of spying on your internet activity. If you have a VPN with that encrypted gateway, snoopers are going to have a much more difficult job; they’ll go and choose a victim who doesn’t have a VPN.
Your data is monetized every day – your Amazon and eBay shopping history, your browser cookies, your likes and dislikes, all building up a picture of you – and the big tech giants are making a fortune. A VPN can also help guard against your every keystroke being recorded.
Then there are the obvious benefits of security against hackers and criminals after your bank account details, passwords and credit card numbers.
Have you ever been to a café, motorway service area or public space where there’s an unsecured wi-fi network? Hackers also exploit these facilities, by creating ‘phantom’ networks. You might think you’re logging on to McDonalds Free Public wi-fi, but it could be a server set up by the guy in the hoody in the corner, sipping a coffee while he monitors your keystrokes as you pay for some online shopping. Once again, logging onto a VPN can help to put in an extra layer of security between you and the bad guys.
Also, if you’re a parent with kids, having a home VPN can enable you to block certain adult or undesired websites from your internet connection with a few clicks. Keeping your family safe from online predators is another big plus of using such a secure, encrypted and controllable network facility.
Ad blocking is another of the advantages of using a VPN. The best news is that some VPN companies will allow you to download their software and access their servers with free online VPN services. The linked article explains in a bit more detail and lists some well-known providers.
ISP throttling is a cost-saving strategy by Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) to moderate data traffic. They do this by ‘fair usage policies’ of data consumed by individual customers, slowing down people’s internet speeds, thereby preventing users from consuming more data.
Throttling happens when you’re using data-hungry applications such as gaming or high-definition and 4K TV streaming; although it isn’t as common with fiber data connections, it’s a daily fact of life for ‘unlimited’ mobile data users – when they find out that their data isn’t actually unlimited at all. Using a VPN shields your device ID and home IP address from the ISP, so they don’t know who to ‘throttle-back’.
There are few reasons not to use a VPN
Sometimes, there might be a very slight reduction in speed when using a VPN, depending on which provider you choose, but even so, the benefits vastly outweigh this small inconvenience. In fact, VPN usage is no longer seen as something ‘dark’ and ‘underground’ as it was years ago. It is now becoming accepted as a higher level of security – even Microsoft have integrated a VPN into their latest ‘Edge’ browser – see this interesting article in Forbes, which explains things in more detail.
For example, you can also use Secure Sockets Layer VPN access (SSL VPN) providing even greater enhanced security for this digital age. Again, it’s something you might not have considered, but will provide the ultimate security for your home network that is available today.
All in all, we find that the community VPN approach is best, it’s in everyone’s interest to stay secure online, and with the advent of 4k video coming online through streaming, it won’t be long before throttling of even landline broadband is commonplace.
Security, anonymity, privacy and your peace of mind are all guaranteed when you’re connected to the internet with that extra encrypted safety net. It’s the way forward in the modern world.
So, if you want anonymous browsing, unlimited bandwidth, unblocking of any websites, no geographical location monitoring, free and reliable advert blockers, together with an unlimited number of allowed device connections, head over to Urban VPN right now.