There’s no doubt about it. VPNs act as an extra precaution that protects our right to online privacy. As the Internet and related technologies keep evolving with time, the debate on free access to the web and need for censorship refuse to abate. The net neutrality is under threat owing to the Congressional Review Act. There are both proponents and opponents of the act. However, the average web users have every reason to feel cautious about their online privacy and they should adopt measures to ensure it is not compromised. The terrific aspect is you still have some means to safeguard your online privacy and thwart the multi-level efforts of online snooping by the ISP and many other agencies. It is time you start using a VPN.
Switching to VPN to safeguard online privacy
In the last few years, the popularity of VPNs has shot up. A Virtual Private Network is a special kind of controlled network that acts as an additional layer of both privacy and security between your computer and the ISP while you access and browse the Internet.
The benefit is that all traffic between your PC and the websites you access remain secured by encryption. So, it becomes harder for any agency or even the ISP to snoop on your online activities and browsing habits. If the ISP tries to sneak in, all it will get are logs of your PC connecting to the web.
VPNs for Enhanced Privacy – Things to Consider
While using VPN will surely protect your online privacy, you should be aware that not all VPNs prefer the same level of protection! There are a number of factors that should be analyzed when you choose a VPN service for safeguarding your online privacy.
- Encryption technology: Different VPNS use different types of encryption technologies to keep user data out of reach for others. The widely used encryption technologies used in most VPNs include L2TP, IPsec, TLS, and SSL. The technologies basically create a virtual and encrypted tunnel between the VPN server and your PC.
- Logging issues: You adopt a VPN service primarily for keeping your online privacy intact. However, some VPNs are there that do not exactly leave your web browsing and access records free of tracking! Before signing up for any VPN service, read its service policy to know if user logging is tracked by the company or not. There are tools like IPLeak to check if the zero logging claims made by a VPN are true or not.
- Platform and device support: Not all VPNs run on all operating systems and mobile platforms as it is. If you use more than one PC and device to access the web ensure the VPN you pick runs on all of them. Some VPN services enable you to use one user profile to log in from multiple devices.
- Cost: VPN services can be either free or commercial. Naturally, free VPN services come with several limitations, including bandwidth capping and advertisements. There are various commercial VPN packages too. Some VPN services will also let you try their fully fledged packages for free for a limited time and then you can decide.
- Kill switch: It is vital that the VPN you use has a kill switch. This feature ensures when the VPN connection drops, the Internet connection is also terminated. Without this, your computer will still be connected to the web- leaving tracking loopholes intact. This defeats the whole purpose of using a VPN.
Doing a Reality Check
Despite the online privacy offered by VPN services, you will have to put up with a few downsides too. No matter what VPN service you choose, a decline in Internet browsing speed is something you will experience. This is inevitable as the traffic will pass through the VPN service provider – leading to speed reduction. However, this is controlled by several factors, including VPN server location, protocol used, etc.
Some VPN apps and services have to be installed on your PC for use. However, you may also flip the switch for browser based VPN services to evade installing third party software in your system.
Summing It Up
Just as important it is to use a VPN to stay anonymous online- it is equally important that you choose the right VPN service. A thorough comparison of top VPN services can make the task easier for you.