All around the world, surveillance is on the rise. Whether it is government agencies or private companies, it seems that everyone wants to know everything about everyone else. This has almost certainly helped create a greater sense of paranoia amongst members of society, which is contributing to the decline in social harmony and trust. But as technology has given people more ways to be nosier, so has it given us more ways of combatting this nosiness. This certainly explains the rise of VPNs. Previously confined to the corporate realm, it is increasingly gaining favor amongst ordinary household who just want their privacy protected.
What is a VPN?
This is usually the first question the uninitiated will ask. Well, VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It mainly functions as a provider of an umbrella network that runs as if it were an independent network. The power of a VPN can vary greatly from including just a single device protected from the outside virtual world to a whole network of servers used by a corporation.
Once this has been set up, any and all content that is accessed by devices under the protective umbrella as well as all content coming in will be protected from being traced outside parties. This is what gives VPN users the shield of anonymity that they were looking for.
Another function of VPNs that adds another layer of protection is the provision of IP addresses. VPNs offer their users an array of IP addresses that might even be from different countries so that they cannot be traced to their actual location. If someone is able to break the first layer of protection, it will still look as if you are surfing the web in a place far away.
So overall, when it is all said and done VPNs basically allow users to browse the internet and stream with the security that they will not be traced to their actual location by any unscrupulous third party that might wish to do them harm.
Do I Need to Pay?
For the most part, VPNs do carry a subscription fee that is levied either every month or annually depending on what the user chooses, and there is usually a discount for buying in bulk. There are however VPNs that come free of charge, something that shoppers usually swoon over due to regional discounts.
There are some drawbacks, however, namely the limited data caps that are almost universal for free VPNs as well as the time limits placed, but there might be some of you out there that might still be able to benefit from using a free VPN.
For those who are just hearing about the existence of free VPN for windows and the benefits that can be availed, they could first test the waters out by either taking advantage of a paid VPNs trial period and risk forgetting to cancel their subscription, or they could simply try a free VPN to see if it is indeed the right way to go.
There are also those who have onetime tasks that they need to perform where they could actually meaningfully benefit from using a time sensitive VPN. For example, if you need to download something relatively sensitive as a one-off thing and you would prefer the transaction to be untraceable, a free VPN might just be what you need.
Who Needs A VPN?
So many people would benefit from the services of a VPN in so many ways depending on their needs and circumstances. Companies are the largest beneficiaries simply because they stand to lose far more than anyone else if they experience a security breach of any sort, which can also tarnish their reputation in the long run on top of monetary losses in the short run.
In the case of companies, their VPN would encompass a whole bunch of devices interacting not just with the outside realm, but also amongst each other, so any breach anywhere in the system would very quickly infect the entire company and its devices and information. So, not only are business VPNs stronger and therefore more expensive, but they are also immense.
Private individuals can also benefit from having a VPN service. The simple issue of protecting personal privacy is reason enough to get a VPN service in order to shield yourself not just from unscrupulous third parties, but perhaps just nosy people who want to know things about you out of curiosity that you do not want them to know.
On top of that, a lot of private individuals get VPNs in order to access content that is exclusive to a certain country. Many streaming services provide different content to users depending on their country of residence. VPNs circumvent this restriction by offering you IP addresses from countries that are afforded the most desirable content.
The benefits of VPNs, free or charged, are quite remarkable. Not only does it protect you from outside harm, but it also avails you to more of what the internet has to offer. In this day and age, it is becoming increasingly important for people to protect themselves when they venture online.
As technology enables hackers to become ever bolder and more intrusive, it is the responsibility of security providers such as VPNs to keep pace and upgrade their services in order to better serve the needs of our society.