What You Need To Know About VPNs – Pros & Cons

A VPN or a Virtual Private Network is one of the best online security tools. Users who frequently share their personal information online should take full advantage of this service in order to protect themselves from different types of online attacks and tracking. It's a near perfect privacy tool with additional features to enjoy.

But even with all the advantages of a VPN, it's very important to learn more about its services and limitations. There are things that a VPN can do to help protect a user's privacy but it also comes with limitations that should be noted to prevent unnecessary online privacy problems.

VPN Feature - It's All about Encryption

The best and most important feature of a VPN is its ability to encrypt online activity. Encryption is a process of scrambling a user's information online, making it virtually impossible to be read.

When a VPN is activated, every online activity is encrypted and cannot be read – even by the Internet Service Provider. This is a very important feature because it prevents snooping and unauthorized monitoring.

The beauty of VPN is the fact that it also helps in masking the user's IP (Internet Protocol) address. The main advantage of this feature is it protects the users from tracking and even identity theft. VPN masks the users IP address as it uses its own IP address for online connectivity instead of their users.

Hiding the IP Address comes with additional features and among them is the ability to access online services blocked due to the user's location. There are websites, videos and online services that are only available in certain locations and a VPN service allows users to select their preferred server location. By selecting an unblocked country, the VPN service will tell the website that it is not coming from a blocked country.

For heavy online users, a good VPN also helps in protecting users' data intensive information such as torrent downloads and streaming. Torrent downloads utilizes a peer-to-peer connection which means the user is exposed to a lot of users online. With a VPN, the user's connection to torrent connection is encrypted.

VPN Limitation - Protecting Activity Not Identity

With VPN, your online activity is always protected because of encryption. You should be able to browse safely without any fear of being tracked including your ISP. It's the perfect safety net against trackers and other forms of monitoring.

But it's important to note that because your activity is protected, your identity is not protected. You are secure to access any type of website against any type of tracking but the information you give out to different types of website is not protected. Make sure to interact only with reputable websites and provide your personal information only when necessary and to a secured website.

Your VPN will also not protect you from anything you post online. Your social media posts and other online interactions are never protected. VPN may protect your location but the posts you made especially to websites that require your personal account will not be encrypted. VPN is also not a tool for protecting your computer from malwares and spywares. Make sure to practice safe online browsing and downloading of apps and software to prevent this type of problem.

Another important data that's not covered by VPNs is cookies. Simply put, cookies are small pieces of information stored by websites on your device as a record of your activities. Cookies are not covered by VPNs because this information comes from websites and browsers. Practice regular clearing of cookies in your browser to increase your online privacy.

A VPN is a very good tool for online privacy. While it has a ton of features and advantages, it has its limitations. Make sure to learn more about these limitations to maintain privacy and security online.

Posted on

Help Me Find VPN Software for My Device

More Articles You Might Like

Show all articles