VPNs aren’t new in the online market anymore. Almost everyone who’s been on the internet for some time knows about them. They can provide you security and privacy. Whether you use a VPN or know someone else who does, I’m sure you’ve at least heard about VPNs.
A VPN is useful in many areas. It keeps your data protected and lets you watch Netflix libraries of other countries. It keeps your data protected. But from whom?
When you use the internet, your data travels over a network of servers. If a hacker is listening to this network in between, he can see whatever you’re sending. And a hacker isn’t the only one spying on you. Your ISP (internet provider) also sees whatever you’re doing.
What happens when you use a VPN?
A VPN will encrypt your data and send it to the intended server through a private device, instead of sending it directly. This will give you two benefits:
Since the data is sent through another computer, the server will not get to know YOUR IP address. Instead, it will get to know the other computer’s IP address. So your IP address will be hidden.
Secondly, since your data is encrypted, any hacker trying to spy on your connection will not be able to read it. Similarly, your ISP will not be able to read what you’re sending either. Of course, they’ll get to see you’re using a VPN. But not what you’re doing under the cloak of the VPN.
What can your internet provider see?
Your ISP will be able to see which private computer you’re connecting to. They can see the port you use to connect to that computer. But they cannot see the websites you open. So whatever you do on the internet is hidden from the ISP.
What does the ISP do with your data?
In most cases, your ISP tracks your data to comply with government regulations. Most governments want to know what their citizens are doing. This isn’t ethically correct but this is what they do. To keep an eye on their people, governments can easily get their data from internet service providers.
Will the ISP object if you use a VPN?
If a VPN is illegal in your country, the government will probably give directions to ISPs to report to them if someone uses a VPN. Since an ISP can see when you use a VPN, they might object to the use of a VPN. An ISP wouldn’t really care if you’re using a VPN or not. But they don’t want to land on the wrong side of the government, which is why they would object to you using a VPN. However, if a VPN isn’t illegal in your country, your ISP wouldn’t care if you used one.
Is a VPN illegal where you live?
There are many countries where VPNs are banned or are generally frowned upon by the government. Some of these countries are China, Belarus, Iran, Iraq, Oman, Russia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. If you don’t live in any of these countries, you can use a VPN. There might be some restrictions on the kind of VPN you’re using and you need to check that before you subscribe to VPN services.
Is your data really hidden when you use a VPN?
That’s the tricky part. Of course, your data will be hidden from hackers and the ISP. And probably even from the government. But there’s still one entity that can see your data. And that’s the VPN provider. So you need to choose a VPN very carefully.
A fraudulent VPN provider might actually sell your data to advertisers or even the government. Or worse still, it might be run by hackers who want to collect your persona data to create financial or personal havoc.
When selecting a VPN, it’s very important to get the right one. There are several free VPNs in the market. But should you get them? Running a VPN needs resources – you need to have servers in different countries. Why would anyone do all that so that people can use it for free?
Free VPNs get something in return. And that’s your data. So whenever you use free VPNs, you actually put your privacy at risk instead of protecting it.
Which VPN should you use?
What is the significance of logs?
When you browse the internet using a VPN, they can keep a log of whatever you’ve done online. So they can keep files on which page you’ve visited and at what time. These are called logs. Why are they significant?
Consider this scenario: You used a VPN to download a torrent. You’ve watched a movie and forgot about it. But the VPN kept logs. Now when the government wants to know about your details, they can send court orders to the VPN company to reveal your details to see whether you downloaded copyrighted material.
The VPN company would have to hand over the details to comply with the law. However, if a VPN company doesn’t maintain any logs, they will have nothing to hand over, and thus your data will be safe. As you can see, it’s important to get a VPN that doesn’t keep logs.
Does a VPN provide complete anonymity?
A VPN provides privacy and anonymity to your moving data. However, the data that’s on your computer can still give you away. So if you downloaded a torrent and the VPN doesn’t keep logs, the government can’t have any details on you. However, if they check your browser history and find torrent pages there along with browser download history, they’ll get to know that you downloaded the movie.
So you’ll need an extra step for protection. A secure browser.
Kingpin is a private browser that doesn’t store your browsing activity. So there are no cookies, temporary files, or browsing history. It’s like using the internet in incognito mode. Plus there are other benefits like ad-blocking and hiding all tabs.
The best way to stay protected is to hide your moving data as well as the data stored on your device. Use a good VPN with a private browser and you can rest assured of better privacy.
To sum it up, yes, a VPN hides your data from your ISP but it needs to be a good VPN. And to get complete protection, you need to use a VPN with a private browser – something like Kingpin. Keep all your data safe so your financial or personal information doesn’t land in the wrong hands.