You need a cunning disguise if you don’t want to be identified!

You’ve heard the term VPN, so what’s the deal? Before we start, here is a little about VPNs

Network VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are a way of hiding your presence online or making it appear that you are somewhere else, in another country, for instance. It’s common to see online ads for VPNs, so you may have wondered if that’s something that could enhance your internet experience. The typical computer network VPN is not expensive, costing only a few pounds per month and most offer quite attractive set-up discounts, which can include several free months or a protracted discount period. But when times are tough, with the cost of living being a struggle for many, is it worth it? I don’t think so, at least not for most home computer users. But for some, it is a recommended addition to your internet protection, especially in business. For others, it’s not so much about protection but what it allows them to exploit.

What’s needed?

To use a VPN service, you need a subscription from a VPN provider. VPN service providers primarily have two things: a bunch of computer servers dotted all around the world and software that you need to install on your PC desktop computer, laptop, iMac, or MacBook. VPNs can also be used on smartphones and tablets. Once the software is installed, you can connect to the VPN service providers’ many computer servers, and they will relay your internet traffic back and forth. So you’re not exposing your IP address or location to the world.

An Elephant disguised as a Flamingo. A depiction of VPN network security.

Network VPN, a sort of disguise

Computer Network VPN

Whether or not a VPN is beneficial to you is generally as follows:

  • You have sensitive information on your computer or deal with sensitive information as part of your vocation and require that extra layer of internet protection.
  • You want to access or stream data from a location that is inaccessible to you. Due to legal restrictions, government censorship, and copyright violations.
  • You prefer a much higher level of anonymity for good and/or bad reasons. For example, an investigative journalist or someone with criminal intent.

An aid to liberty?

One universally accepted benefit of using a VPN is the ability to change your location. Many authoritarian governments or dictators worldwide block certain apps and websites from being accessible by their respective citizens. North Korea, China and Russia, as well as some Middle Eastern countries, are well known for their use of internet censorship. But with a VPN, your humble computer user in one of these countries can use that VPN tunnel to have themselves appear on the network of a country like the USA or the UK, where censorship is not as prevalent.

An aid to criminality? The Ying and Yang of the VPN

The counterfeit streamer’s friend is the VPN. If you want to watch that new movie that has only just been released or live premiership matches by jumping onto a foreign TV channel, VPN is one tool that facilitates this. UK internet providers are responsible for ensuring their customers are not using their broadband line to commit acts of copyright fraud and have been known to sanction customers. You can also pass your info on to potential prosecutors.

Appear to be located wherever you desire.

To summarise: The average home computer user doesn’t need a VPN. Provided they have at least some basic anti-virus or internet security software, there is little need for a VPN. Especially at a time when every penny counts.

Here is AI’s opinion on the computer network VPN. Don’t get too excited readers…

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a service that creates a secure tunnel between your device and the internet. Imagine a secret passageway for your online traffic. This tunnel encrypts your data, scrambling it into a code that can’t be deciphered by anyone snooping around. With a VPN, your internet activity becomes much more private. Websites and even your internet service provider (ISP) won’t be able to see what you’re browsing or track your location.

This privacy offers several benefits. First, it protects your sensitive information, especially when using vulnerable public Wi-Fi networks. With a VPN, hackers can’t eavesdrop on your data, making it safer to log in to accounts or enter credit card details. Second, VPNs can bypass geo-restrictions. By masking your location, you can access websites or streaming services that might be blocked in your region.

A computer network VPN according to AI

Computer Network VPNs, according to AI

Well, it is a pretty nuts-and-bolts description, and it sounds a little like everyone should have one, right? The short answer is no. The longer answer really depends on what you use your computer for.

Maidstone Technology

Maidstone Technology does not resell VPN services; where I have needed the use of a VPN, I used Nord VPN and would recommend that to customers. If you have any questions regarding VPNs, anti-virus or internet security, please contact us.

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