In 2020, web security is incredibly important. We work, chat, shop and research online, which is why making use of a VPN — Virtual Private Network — should be one of your top priorities. A VPN encrypts your internet connection, granting users the ability to send and receive data privately across shared or public networks.
VPNs offer many advantages. They can be used to access area-restricted websites. They safeguard your browsing activity from hackers and cybercriminals lurking on public Wi-Fi networks. They provide peace of mind to you and your family when browsing online. Continue reading to discover more VPN solutions to your online security concerns, as well as step-by-step instructions for setting up your own VPN connection.
VPN — an Online Safety Vault
So, what is a VPN? A VPN or Virtual Private Network conceals your original IP address, masking your online identity and allowing you to bypass Geo-blocks. Geo blocking is the system used to control your access to the internet based on your geographic location. Bypassing these restrictions not only allows you to access a wider variety of content but protects your physical location from prying eyes.
Why Switch to a VPN Connection?
There are many benefits to making use of a virtual private network. Some of these include:
- Safety and Security
The primary reason people use a VPN is due to its obvious safety features. It serves as an encrypted channel for transferring data to and from your device and the host site, eradicating any possibility of cybercriminals spying on your activities. A VPN will even deny access to your internet service provider (ISP) — no one will be privy to your private information online.
A VPN also offers the advantage of anonymity. It enables users to surf the internet from remote servers, helping protect you from malicious cyber-attacks as no-one can trace your activity to your location.
- Breaking Geo-Restrictions
The internet is an endless source of entertainment and information. Unfortunately, not all content is available to all people — oftentimes websites are restricted by geography. A VPN permits its users to break geo-restrictions and surf, shop and watch online content from anywhere in the world, by providing online access through its remote servers.
- Subsidized Shopping and Traveling
Many people don’t realize the advantages of checking flight rates using a VPN server. Websites can track when and where you are thinking of traveling based on your search history and correspondingly increase flight prices. Using a VPN will hide your search history and prevent this from happening, helping you get the best deal possible for your upcoming holiday.
How to install a VPN
Now that you understand all the benefits of a VPN, you’re probably wondering how to get one installed on your device. Luckily, it’s a reasonably easy process however it does differ depending on whether you are using an iOS, Android, Windows, Mac OS or other device.
Below we have included the instructions for how to install a VPN connection on your router. Doing so will protect all devices that are connected to this network, regardless of their platform. Make sure you have the router’s operating manual handy throughout this process.
Keep in mind however, this won’t protect your phone, laptop or tablet if you are out in public and using a data connection or public WI-fi.
- Figure out your router’s IP address, so that you can log into your router’s administration page. How you do this will depend on the device you are using to access the router (eg. Windows laptop, Apple iPhone). A quick Google should provide the answer.
- Open your internet browser and type in your router’s IP address into the search bar.
- A login page will appear. Login using the username and password that should be provided with your router’s operating manual.
- Using the settings listed to configure your router. Some routers will have integrated VPN functionality. For others, you may need to reconfigure settings to redirect the connection to a remote VPN server. If in doubt, call the customer help-line for your router and a technician should be able to assist.
You are also able to purchase routers with pre-installed VPN functionality, which require less setup. Perhaps also consider purchasing VPN software from a reputable internet security company. Both of these are great options if you are less comfortable playing around with your router’s settings.
Virtual private networks are essential for a smooth and hassle-free web experience. Many internet security companies, such as Norton, offer top quality VPN software to secure your online browsing and it is highly recommended that you make use of these technologies.
Bridget is a writer and editor, currently living in Melbourne. She is a copywriter for Newpath Web and loves working with words of all shapes and sizes. When not playing around with punctuation and grammar, she enjoys travelling and curating her Spotify playlists.