What is VPN? How does it work? Is VPN safe? What features should a safe VPN have? MiniTool would discuss these questions and make replies to them. If you are wondering are VPNs safe like others, this post is what you need to read.
What Is VPN
VPN (Virtual Private Networks) can protect a user’s public Internet connection by encrypting their data. In most cases, VPN connections improve your privacy and security online.
VPNs are beneficial to both personal and business. Individual consumers can get a personal VPN to protect their data from prying eyes, especially when they access the Internet via the public Wi-Fi. They can also use it to cheat physical location so that they can view region-locked content like websites and streaming video.
A business VPN allows teams to access and use programs & files on a dedicated office server, regardless of their physical location. Hence, VPNs are used to enable server access for remote employees or across multiple offices in the field of business.
However, many questions about VPNs are also raised. Are free VPNs safe? Are VPNs legal? In addition, you can also see some other similar questions while searching words related to VPN connection.
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How Does a VPN Work
The VPN creates an encrypted connection between your device and a distant server operated by a VPN service. Through this tunnel, all your Internet traffic is routed to the server, masking the true IP address.
Then the identity, location, data, and browsing history of individuals are hidden from cybercriminals, network operators, and even their own Internet Service Provider (ISP). Without a VPN, all your Internet traffic is likely to be exposed on your network.
Are VPNs Safe to Use
Some free VPNs are safe to use, while others lack the necessary tools to protect your data. Worse more, some VPNs even harm your online safety. Plenty of premium VPNs have measures to relieve these potential security issues.
Some common security risks of a VPN are summarized as follows.
- Tracks online activity: Most free VPNs have third-party trackers to gather data on a user’s online activity.
- Limits data: Free VPNs often limit data by setting up data caps per month or per browsing session, or by granting access to certain websites.
- Compromises users’ security: Some VPNs contain bugs or advertising-related malware.
- Prompts users with ads: Some targeted ads based on the usage data may appear.
- Slows down Internet speeds: Free or low-quality VPNs may have difficulty in managing Internet bandwidth if there are many users online at the same time, which lead to slow Internet speeds.
A VPN from a reliable provider is safe, but you need to do some researches to find a secure or trustworthy VPN service. What features should a safe VPN include? The following section explains that in detail.
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What Is a Safe VPN Look Like
A safe and reliable VPN should have the following features.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA): It asks users to prove their identity in multiple ways before accessing the VPN. They include combinations of passwords or PINs, answers to previous entered security questions, or authentication codes sent to a mobile device or email. These ways can boost security.
With a kill switch: Safe VPNs usually come with a kill switch that will automatically quit preselected programs if the connection gets unstable. If the VPN connection drops, the Internet access would downgrade to a regular and less-secure connection. This could cause your IP address and browsing data being exposed, which makes you are vulnerable to attack.
Disguises IP address: Disguising or hiding your IP address so that others can’t see your web activity. As security flaws sometimes can reveal your IP location, most secure VPN providers work to avoid leaks. You can check if the provider has a history of leaks from online reviews.
Doesn’t collect or log any information passed over the network: Most secure VPNs are no-log that means the network won’t collect information sent through the network. The information includes personal details, downloads, accessed sites, and the search history. Hence, a no-log VPN can ensure your online privacy and anonymity.
Are VPNs safe? Are you still bothered by this question? This post explains that in detail and teaches you how to choose a safe VPN.