Promoting Security, Privacy, and Safety

Personal VPN service – Do I need one?

The average person thinking of a VPN envisions several private computers linked together and doesn’t see how having this type of service on their personal computer relates to them. That is because although their vision of a VPN is technically correct it is not the only answer. Nowadays renting a VPN service for your personal computer can be a very smart move. And when we say personal computer we mean desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device.

Reasons Why Using a VPN Connection Might Be a Great Idea.

1. Protection from private Wi-Fi-hacking

Most people think that because they are on a home or work Wi-Fi that uses security keys and passwords like WEP, WPA, WPA2, etc. that their data is safe. Think again. Wi-Fi is easily hacked and if your data over that Wi-Fi connection is not encrypted then it is a free for all for anyone who wants it. Go ahead, type into Google Wi-Fi hacking or cracking and you will become an expert with the free tools and tutorials very quickly. A typical home wireless network has a range of anywhere from 100 to over 300 feet. In most cases someone can be sitting out of sight from your house snooping away. The best defense against this is to encrypt your data using an inexpensive VPN provider. When someone does get into your Wi-Fi all they get is encrypted gobbledygook that is useless to them.

2. Stop ISP spying and throttling

A VPN service can protect you from your Internet service provider as well. ISPs are well known for “monitoring” what customers are doing over their networks. Besides spying on what customers do, ISPs can even block access to certain websites or limit (throttle) your bandwidth to websites that they do not approve. But you can blind them all using a VPN service. Wi-Fi, cable modem, satellite, or DSL, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, At&T, or Charter it does not matter how you connect or through whom. A VPN stops spying dead.

3. Public Wi-Fi sniffing protection

Using a public Wi-Fi is even more problematic than a home Internet connection. Anyone in range of the signal can utilize free and easy to use packet sniffing software and just download all the traffic over the entire Wi-Fi. This is extremely prevalent and you can easily do it yourself. Do a little research, download some free software and head on down to the local coffee shop, library, or any place there is a public Wi-fi and start sniffing out passwords and most other data that is not protected through VPN encryption.

ETHEREAL, FIRESHEEP, KISMET, and WIRESHARK are just a few of the several readily available free applications that allow data snoopers to gain unauthorized access to your accounts, pictures, messages, and more.

There are other great reasons for renting a personal VPN connection besides the security it provides. But before we get into that, having discussed how VPN server access protects your data over both a private, home or work Internet connection and a public Wi-Fi connection, it is important to understand the definition of a VPN connection.

So what exactly is a VPN connection?

A virtual private network or VPN is an extension of a private network across a public network through the use of virtual tunneling protocols and traffic encryptions. Clears that right up right??? OK let’s explain it so everyone can get an idea of what a VPN connection is.

Take a look at the top part of the graphic below. Normally your data travels from your computer over a Wi-Fi connection and or an Ethernet connection out to an Internet service provider and then out to the Internet. Your data is sent for the most part unencrypted using an IP address that is tractable right back to your computer. This gives anyone who wants to know a good idea of what you are doing and where you are located.

Now look at the bottom part of the graphic below. When you use a VPN server the data on your computer is encrypted before it even leaves your computer. It travels the same route as before except it goes directly to a VPN server before heading out onto the Internet. Anyone trying to steal, spy, or download your data between you and the VPN server will see nothing because it is all encrypted. Anyone on the other side of the VPN server will only see the VPN server. A VPN connection provides some really great protection, hides your IP address and your location, and makes you an anonymous web surfer.

VPN tunnel explained graphic

4. Other great reasons for renting a personal VPN

Another benefit is you can choose and change the location of the VPN server you connect to. So very quickly you can appear to be connecting to the Internet from different locations in a country or different countries all together. People who travel a lot or live overseas can use a VPN service to access websites that restrict access to specific geographical locations.

VPNs also enable file sharing, video streaming, and access to websites that are blocked by schools, work, Internet service providers and even governments.

  • Are you a college student who would like to be able to update their blocked Facebook page during some of those really boring lectures? Rent a cheap VPN connection.
  • Are you away from home and would like to access your Netflix or other video streaming account but can’t because of where you are? Find a VPN service provider.
  • Do you like to share files using torrent software? You better get an anonymous VPN service!

VPN technology is inexpensive and easily implemented by Internet users to securely connect to highly anonymous proxy servers. The best VPN providers protect personal identity and location, and keep spying eyes away from your data. If you are interested in securing your connections take a look at our list of VPN provider reviews and get started today!