Here’s why you need a VPN
Gone are the days when VPNs were used only by sketchy individuals snooping around on the dark web. These days, even an average person should use one. Why?
You may not think that you are being tracked online, but you are. From the moment you connect to the internet, several entities are already watching you, collecting and trading your data without consent.
This includes your very own ISP, social networks like Facebook, tech companies like Google, advertisers, app developers, online retailers like Amazon, member countries of the Five, Nine, Fourteen Eyes alliances and more. See? It’s no longer just the hackers you have to worry about.
If you’re in and out of coffee shops or hotel lobbies, your device can seamlessly connect to public WiFi if you have the automatic connectivity feature turned on. This exposes personal information on your Windows PC such as your passwords, bank accounts, email addresses, and more. So yeah, even the average Joe can benefit from using a VPN.
How to hide your IP address
So now, you must be asking: how do I hide my IP address? There are 3 simple ways to do this:
You can use a TOR browser - a software program that can keep your web traffic anonymous. It’s free but is notoriously slow, so you won't be able to enjoy torrenting or video streaming.
A proxy server can also mask your IP address but it’s not without any drawbacks. Besides slowing your internet connection down, it still goes through a third-party DNS server that can see your real IP address.
The best and recommended option is to use an encrypted VPN service. It’s significantly faster than the two aforementioned methods, plus it offers additional security measures other than just keeping your online data under the radar.
What features to look for in a VPN
Choosing the best VPN for PC protection can be a tad confusing. We analyzed hundreds of VPN software options and narrowed our selection criteria to 5: encryption protocol, speed, privacy, streaming options, and server network.
Avoid older and less secure protocols as these can be easily compromised. We recommend choosing a VPN service that utilizes L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, OpenVPN TCP, SSTP, WireGuard, or OpenVPN UDP. There are also multi-protocol VPNs which is great for PC security.
VPNs normally decrease internet speed, that’s just how it works! So choose wisely and pick one that would be fast enough not just for browsing but also for gaming, streaming, or downloading.
When it comes to servers, more is always better. The general rule of thumb is that the closer you are to a server, the faster your connection would be. Choose one with a large network server so there are always several options near you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are Windows-based devices prone to cyber attacks?
Not necessarily. However, Windows is the most popular operating system in the world and that also makes it the most targeted among nefarious cybercriminals. Windows 10 users might think they are safer than those running their PCs on Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, or XP. The truth is that even this latest version is not without security issues. Following the supply and demand logic, there’s just more to hack with Microsoft users.
Should I leave my VPN on all the time?
It really depends on what you're using the VPN for. Keep your VPN on at all times if you're concerned about your online privacy and security, data leaks and cyber-attacks, or using public WiFi. On the other hand, you don't have to leave it on if you're only using it for streaming, shopping online, unblocking websites, or working remotely.
Besides ensuring internet privacy, what else can I do with a VPN?
A VPN can do more than just keeping your online identity and activities private. It's a fast and simple way to stream and share P2P files, boost your internet connection, get discounts when shopping online, torrent safely, access websites and apps, and so much more.
Is Windows built-in VPN good enough?
Windows 10 does have its own VPN client, but it doesn't quite work like your typical VPN. It's just a desktop client for connecting to a third-party VPN solution. You don't have to download yet another software or app, so it's great if your device is running out of space.
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