If you’re alive, surfing the Internet in 2020 and don’t live on a desert island. Then you have probably heard the term “VPN” more than once or twice. If you still don’t know what it is, why it is needed and how it improves life. (And the quality of work on the Internet in particular), then we, the website team, will be happy to conduct an educational program for you. Here we go? VPN Services for Beginners

 

 

Table of Contents

What is a VPN?

VPN (from the English Virtual Private Network – a virtual private network) is a special technology for creating a secure network connection on a public (the same Internet) or private network. Everyone and everything, from large companies to government bodies, uses this technology to provide remote users with a secure connection to their infrastructure.

On the Internet, you can find dozens of VPN services with which you can safely and securely connect to the network for $ 5- $ 10 per month. This will allow you to securely encrypt your data and everything that you do on the Internet. Also, most operating systems have long supported VPN connections, and there are also free VPN services (and/or free versions of paid VPNs).

What is a VPN service for?

Public networks have become too dangerous for the average user – everywhere hackers, attacks and sniffers trying to steal your data. So why eat cactus and cry (read, continue to use public networks and hope for a chance) when you can act wisely and use a VPN service?

Initially, VPN technologies were developed so that corporate employees could connect to local networks of companies while at home. Nowadays, VPN connections are used mainly in cases where people want to hide their Internet activity from the prying eyes of strangers, thereby ensuring their online privacy and bypassing blocking access to content (both local and national). Other purposes of using VPN services include protection from hackers when working in public WiFi networks and bypassing geo-blocking of sites (to access content that is available only in certain regions).

Different reasons for using VPN services are discussed in more detail in the article “Different types of VPN services and why they are needed”.

How does a VPN work?

A firewall protects data on your computer, and a VPN protects your data online. Purely technically, a VPN is a Wide Area Network (WAN) network that offers security and functionality at the same level as a private network. There are two types of VPN connections: remote access (the computer connects to the network) and network-to-network.

Working on a network without a VPN.  You connect to the server of your Internet service provider, which, in turn, connects you to the desired site. This means that all your Internet traffic passes through the provider’s servers, and the provider, accordingly, can monitor your traffic.

When you connect through a VPN server, your traffic goes there through an encrypted “tunnel”. This means that only yours and the VPN server have access to your traffic. However, it is worth noting that there is a certain difference between privacy and anonymity. Using a VPN service does not make you anonymous, as your VPN service knows who you are and can view data about your online activity. But the VPN service provides you privacy when working on the network – in other words, your provider, teachers, director or even your government will no longer be able to monitor you. To make sure that the VPN service can protect you, it is extremely important to choose a service that does not maintain user logs. And this is logical, because if the VPN-service keeps logs of user actions, then the authorities can always demand to transfer this data to them, and in this case, your data will cease to be just yours.

Mointor your action

Nevertheless, even if the service you have chosen does not maintain logs, it can still (if necessary) monitor your actions on the network in real-time – for example, to fix technical problems. Although the majority of “non-logged” VPN services promise not to monitor your actions in real-time, in most countries the law allows the relevant authorities to order the VPN service to start logging the actions of a specific user without notifying him about this. However, there is no reason for concern in this … well, only if you are not hiding from law enforcement agencies looking for you.

When choosing a VPN service, it is equally important to choose a service that provides its users with the ability to use shared IP addresses (in other words, when many users use the same IP address at the same time). In this case, it will be infinitely more difficult for any third parties to determine that it was you. Who performed this or that action on the network, and not someone else.

How to work with VPN on mobile devices?

VPN Services for Beginners

Both iOS and Android fully support VPN. Also, a VPN can protect you when working with torrents. Alas, the mobile applications that you install on your phone have access not only to your IP address, through which they can access the history of all your online activities but also to your GPS coordinates, contact list, App Store ID and not only. These applications send the collected data to the servers of their companies. Which reduces the benefit of using a VPN connection to zero.

And therefore, to take full advantage of all the benefits of connecting to a VPN from a mobile device, you need to access sites only through open-source browsers and support for private modes (for example, through Firefox), and not through special “native” applications.

If you want to learn more about using VPN on your mobile device, check out our lists of the best and worst VPN services for Android and the best and worst VPN services for iOS.

Advantages and disadvantages

To help you understand the pros and cons of using VPN, I have prepared a table in which I wrote out the main pros and cons of using this technology (* spoilers-spoilers *: according to the author, the pros outweigh the cons, but the decision is yours).

PROS

MINUSES

The download speed of torrents via the p2p protocol can increase.

 (for example, via BitTorrent), as some Internet providers deliberately slow down this type of connection. In such cases, you can use the VPN service to increase the speed of downloading files.

Your normal network connection speed may slow down by at least 10%, 

or even more, depending on the distance to the VPN server. If the VPN server to which you are connecting and the site you want to visit are located relatively close to each other, then the delay will be minimal, if not invisible. But the more kilometres separating you, the VPN server and the server on which the site you need is located, the slower everything will work. Encryption and decryption of data will also contribute to this dirty deed of slowing down the connection speed (however, everything will be almost imperceptible here anyway).

You can use public WiFi-points and not worry about your security. 

Why bother if the connection between your device and the VPN server is encrypted! This means that your data is protected, even if some miracle hacker manages to steal it.

Your chosen VPN service will get access to the history of all your activities on the network. 

This item can hardly be called an unambiguous minus since someone will still see your data, and even better it will be a reliable VPN service (since Internet providers are not at all interested in protecting your data). Nevertheless, one must know about this. Secure VPN services do their best to learn as little as possible about their customers and what they do online.

Your Internet provider will not have access to the history of your actions on the network.

Since all data will be encrypted by the VPN service. Accordingly, the provider will not know which sites you visited and what they did there. He will just know that you are connecting to a VPN server.

Not all sites can be accessed even through a VPN. 

Some sites have learned to identify and block users using VPNs to access them. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to circumvent such locks, which is described in more detail in our article about bypassing VPN service locks.

You can access your home or work network even when you are travelling

 Actually, for the sake of this, everything was originally started. Local resources should not be necessarily accessible via the Internet (it is safer). You can always configure remote access to your computer, use local network files. And even play local games in the same way as if you continued to sit at home!

You can become a victim of IP spoofing and blacklisting,

As the VPN service will hide your real IP address and use your own. The problem is that the IP address of the VPN service 1) is used by an unknown number of service clients; 2) well known, and this greatly simplifies IP spoofing. Besides, the actions of other clients of your VPN service using the same IP address as you can lead to the addition of this address to blacklists. Because of this, you will not be able to access certain sites. Besides, several services (for example, your bank or postal service) may start to be suspicious of you. If they notice that you are using a VPN service. And if your VPN-service also has a tarnished reputation … in general, not an option.

You can fool any site and pretend that you are accessing it from a completely different country

Accordingly, you will be able to go both to sites blocked in your country, and to sites accessible only to residents of a certain region. Just connect to the right server! Anyone who tries to track your Internet activities will only find the VPN server you are using, so finding your real IP address will be almost unrealistic.

 

Legal Aspects

Using VPN services is rarely something illegal in itself. But the content that you try to access using a VPN may very well be illegal. This is true even in countries blocking access to VPN services (China, Syria, Iran). However, this does not stop some sites from blocking VPN services.

However, in July 2016, the use of a VPN service in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was considered illegal. Violators were threatened with imprisonment and a fine of between 500,000 and 2,000,000 dirhams (136,130 – 544,521 US dollars). In other words, if you are going to visit the UAE. It makes sense to be sanity and visit only sites from white lists.

As for the access blocking via VPN that is in place at your school or work, here’s what to consider: if you get caught (in private WiFi networks and when connecting to a LAN type there is always a small chance), they can be punished accordingly. How exactly? For example, subject to disciplinary measures (fines, suspension, dismissal). The case may even be referred to the police! In general, it is worthwhile to think in advance whether the game is worth the candle.

VPN Services for Beginners

The good news: there’s just a bunch of VPN services that would be happy to see you as their client.

The bad news: you can easily and simply get confused in the whole variety of options offered.

Making any decision, it is necessary to carefully study the issue.

Visit our article on the best and worst VPN services of 2019, read reviews on the Internet, read recommendations. Study your options and only then make a decision.

 

Then ask yourself these 10 questions:

How much will I pay for this?

 Different services and prices are different, but usually, everything falls into the range from $(5 to 10) per month. There are also free options, which are described in more detail in the article about the best free VPN services of 2019.

What is the privacy policy of this service?

 Earlier we touched on this point. You need to make sure that the VPN service will protect you and your data.

How good are the technical measures and security measures of the service? 

Will he be able to effectively resist hackers and third parties who decide to gain access to my data?

Is the distance between the VPN servers and the server I want to log in to? 

This is an important point because here the speed of your work in the network is decided. Other factors affecting the speed of the connection include the power of the server itself, the channel width, and the number of people accessing the server at the same time.

How many servers does the service have, where are they located? 

If you need to visit different sites located on servers from different countries. YAou need to find a VPN service with a large number of available server locations and servers.  This will greatly increase your chances of a successful connection.

How many devices can I use at one time? VPN services support almost all types of computers, including desktop PCs, laptops, laptops, smartphones and tablets. 

Some services will allow you to connect only one device at a time to your servers. While others will allow you to connect several at once.

How well does user support for this service work? 

After reading user reviews VPN services, you can make the right choice and know for sure that all your questions will be answered quickly, accurately and professionally.

Does this service have a free trial period? 

What is the quickest and best way to find out if a particular service is right for you? That’s right, work with him for a while. Read this article to find out which services and on what terms provide a money-back guarantee.

Does the service offer cross-platform support to its customers? 

To use the VPN service on any device. You need to know if it has the appropriate applications or at least installation instructions for different OS and platforms.

Does this service have additional features or features?

 Here we are talking about such chips and gadgets, as an emergency shutdown functio.  DNS leak protection, “stealth servers” and cloud storage.

Tor – the embodiment of anonymity

Remember we talked about privacy and anonymity? Yes, your VPN service knows who you are and what you view on the network . But not if you connect to it through the Tor browser. In this case, even your VPN service will not see your real IP address! If privacy is not an empty phrase for you (and it should be so). If you want to achieve complete anonymity. Then it makes sense to start using Tor and anonymous payment methods.

There is only one minus here – the connection speed, if you use VPN and Tor, will become noticeably less than usual.