A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a subway between two or more devices on the web. It allows computers to link as if they were on a local network. Some time ago, only big companies used a VPN to connect their remote branches or roaming employees to the main office network. However, individual consumers make use of these programs today to protect themselves from cyber attacks when using public wireless networks. Bearing in mind the significance of a VPN, here are the facts you may not be aware of.

Fact 1: VPN providers offer 100% client confidentiality

If you didn’t know, the providers of VPN services cannot disclose your information to anyone, not even the government. They keep your logs to themselves and may use them to identify possible issues so that they can improve their services.

Fact 2: A VPN sometimes increases the internet speed

Generally, ISPs stifle the Internet traffic, causing slower Internet connections. This is especially true when it comes to high-bandwidth activities such as HD video streaming. But when a strongly encrypted VPN is in place, the suppression of certain websites by an ISP can be prevented. VPNs prevent ISPs from separating your traffic into low and high-speed tunnels. Rather, they compel them to route all the traffic in the advertised connection speed.

Fact 3: Free versus paid VPN

Big companies normally create their own VPNs with specialized appliances, but consumers can choose from a wide array of free and commercial VPNs. Free services have limited server selection and they normally display ads. Moreover, they are overcrowded and so their connection speeds are slower. You can have a fee VPN for occasional use. The other drawback of free VPN is that their IP addresses might get blocked on certain websites because it is widely known that free VPNs are mostly used by spammers and hackers. On the other side, paid VPNs have fast connection speeds and come with better deals such as antivirus license, depending on your subscription plan.

Some providers of commercial VPNs go an extra mile of keeping safe any personally identifiable data that can put the users at risk. As far as security settings go, you don’t need to worry about configuring them by yourself because the providers do it for you.

Fact 4: VPNs are like untraceable firewalls

A firewall refines data packets passing through in and out of a network or computing device in order to protect it from threats. But VPNs function in a different way by applying tunnel encryption to keep your information safe as it passes between servers. Viruses and similar threats can hardly reach your computer if you have a VPN. As you can see, both firewalls and VPNs are protective mechanisms. The former works through a sifting process while the latter works by being untraceable. VPNs can change your IP address just like a WAN so that you can access any website including Geo-restricted websites.

Fact 5: The oldest VPN protocol is PPTP

Peer to peer tunneling was developed by a Microsoft software engineer in the 90s. This is the protocol that paved way for VPNs. It is said that PPTP is the fastest protocol but the truth is it was created specifically for dial-up access. Note that it has the lowest encryption level.

Fact 6: VPN doesn’t guarantee 100% anonymity

Some VPN providers promise complete anonymity when browsing the web but there is no way it can be entirely anonymous. While VPNs don’t ask for your personal information, you can be traced through the IP address. But there is nothing to fear because the providers never reveal your identity.

Fact 7: There is a small possibility you can get hacked

Even though VPNs help you to switch IP address, encrypt your information, and hide from third parties, cyber thieves can still hack into your system. But with a strong VPN, hacking is close to impossibility so it is always safe to use an efficient VPN.

Fact 8: VPNs are banned in some countries

30 out of 196 nations prohibit the use of Virtual Private Networks. These are countries with authoritarian rules such as China, Russia, North Korea, Vietnam, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Myanmar. These governments ban VPNs so they can have full control over the use of the Internet by citizens. Any website that promotes opposing opinions is curtailed for reasons such as imposing social values, maintaining political stability, and national security.

More people and companies are relying on VPNs to protect their information over the World Wide Web and public networks. Current statistics indicate that out of four individuals on the planet, one utilizes VPN servers. Now that you understand the truth about these services, make good use of them to stay safe when browsing. What an efficient way to browse the web without worrying about your personally identifiable data from being exposed publicly! Don’t forget that VPNs are not identical. Make VPN a must-have tool for your computing devices and only choose the top-rated providers.