"What Is A VPN & Why You Should Use One"

We’ve all done it, used a public WiFi spot to do some work, browse the internet, post a picture or check emails. Most cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels have wifi that is free to use, so naturally we sign in and use it. However, what if I told you that anyone can log on and steel your data if they wanted to. Almost all public Wifi isn’t a safe or secure network, which is a gold mine for the likes for hackers.

Thanks to the amazing capabilities of technology today, we no longer need to remember our passwords. Staying online and being connected has never been easier. But like everything in the digital world, comes risks we tend not to think about. Enter, VPN, or to be more specific, Surfshark, the VPN I’ve been using and loving for the past three months now.

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for ‘Virtual Private Network’ and the simple breakdown of it, is this. A VPN is used to securely connect to the internet and protect data by sending it via an encrypted tunnel by hiding your real IP address. Instead, it displays the IP address of the server that you choose to connect to.

How does it work?

Like I mentioned above, most of us connect to the internet through our Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Doing this, means our data travels through a network of routers to reach its destination. Usually, it’s completely unencrypted (i.e. plain text), even if it has some encryption, some information remains visible (your IP for example). It’s needed to communicate with the internet with no issues. On top of that, your ISP can easily see what you’re up to online… and worse, so can anyone who monitors your connection. This includes the websites you browse and the files you download, scary stuff right?

Enter your VPN…

Essentially a secure “tunnel” is created between the provider and the end-user (that’s you!). VPNs operate the same way as the internet, there is however an important distinction: the data is scrambled to create a private connection. Causing your information to travel back and forth privately via this encrypted “tunnel”. If somebody tried to decrypt it, they would need to have an access key. Without it, that’s essentially impossible, keeping your data safe and sound in the right hands.

Who would benefit from using a VPN?

Primarily everyone! If you use an unsecure network, which is virtually all Wifi connections open to the public, then you my friend qualify.

The age we live in is one of connectivity and while it has many advantages, it unfortunately also has a lot of risks. With a number of growing cyber-threats and generally a lot of unsolicited attention in our lives. Don’t get me wrong, not all of it is malicious. For example, my site collects some private information for marketing purposes, (for more info, see my privacy policy). But some sites do compromise your privacy, and that’s something many people value – and a lot more should.

If you want to be more private online, or don’t want anyone to spy on you, using a VPN is the way to go.

Why choose Surfshark?

Surfshark makes browsing the internet and staying protected, quick and simple. Unlike other VPN providers, Surfshark offers all of the below for one monthly fixed price AND if you opt to pay in one lump sum, it’s as cheap as £1.59 a month. With their super easy to use mobile app and website, choosing Surfshark, among other VPN’s is a no brainer and here’s why:

  • Unlimited number of devices (Allowing you and your family to connect all your devices simultaneously.)
  • Kill switch (A great feature to protect you, in case you VPN connection is lost)
  • Ad-blocker
  • Camouflage mode (So even your internet provider can’t tell that you’re using a VPN.)
  • Allows torrenting (Super speed, fast enough for downloading large files.)
  • Whitelister (Great for accessing local & foreign websites at the same time.)
  • AND independent audit

DISCLAIMER: Using a VPN in countries like the US, Canada, and the UK is perfectly safe and accepted. On the other hand countries such as North Korea, China, Russia, and Iraq restrict or outright ban the use of VPNs. So be sure to check the VPN laws before using it when abroad.

I hope that’s helped clear thing up for anyone thinking about trying and using a VPN. I know I was a little hesitant before I signed up, questioning whether or not I actually needed one. Since I’ve been using mine, I haven’t switched it off. Happy surfing!

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