Everybody Using the Internet Needs A VPN Client

WHAT IS A VPN?

Everyone needs to use a VPN when using the Internet! The term VPN is the acronym for “Virtual Private Network“. A VPN creates a secure connection between your computer and the Internet. I think of it as like being in a car driving through a magic tunnel. Bear with me here, I’m not actually delusional.

Before I enter the tunnel my car completely identifies who I am. People can see the make, model, and colour of my car and read its license plate. They can see in through the windows and get a good look at me and whatever I might me doing. It’s completely obvious who I am. Now I enter the VPN (magic tunnel) and my car gets magically turned into a car that looks like every other car. It’s the same make, model, and colour as what everybody else is driving. Then my windows get blacked out and my license plate gets taken off. Now no one can tell me apart from anyone else.

This is the power of a VPN! It’s of course not a technical description but it pretty accurately describes what the benefits are.

WHY DO I NEED A VPN

The consequences of not using a VPN may range from a loss of privacy, denial of service (think Netflix for instance), reprimand (perhaps you are a social activist or protester), or even possible financial loss from stolen credit card information and passwords or business ideas you haven’t taken to market yet. Let’s not forget the potential embarrassment of having any of these things happen.

Below I list a few of the more common reasons for needing to use a VPN

  • Using a wireless connection to the Internet
  • Your internal network traffic is being monitored
  • Concealing where you are connecting to
  • You want to conceal where you are connecting from
  • Getting pass an overly restrictive firewall
  • You need a dedicated IP address

If you are using any type of computer device wirelessly, especially a public WiFi access point like in a coffee shop, you need to use a VPN in order to be safe. This applies to any use of your phone, tablet, or computer for web browsing, instant messaging, or email. If you don’t use a VPN then you are leaving yourself open to be spied on.

I ONLY USE THE INTERNET FROM HOME

This is even a concern if you are connecting to the Internet wirelessly from your home. The security provided by a good VPN is much more dependable than the security of the HTTPS protocol, which has been shown to be broken many times. A good VPN is extremely difficult for an attacker to overcome.

I think the following video from NordVPN is very revealing. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through these links.]

I JUST WRITE A SOCIAL ACTIVISM BLOG

There are times when we may have a legitimate need to protect our identities. This is because innocent activities may look suspicious if taken out of context. One step I would take to protect my identity is to conceal where I am connecting from and where I am connecting to. One of the best ways I know of doing this is by using a VPN.

For example, suppose I am a social activist writing a blog about fertilizers used in commercial farming and I need to do some research. One type of fertilizer used is ammonium nitrate. I might do some research on this that could include possible misuses of this substance along with how to obtain and store this product. If you run searches for this information and visit websites that contain this kind of information without taking steps to protect your identity you are setting yourself up for a visit from the police.

This is especially true in this time of increased paranoia of terrorism and the increased world-wide surveillance by government agencies.

DO I NEED A VPN IF I DON’T VISIT ANY DANGEROUS SITES?

Some people would say that they don’t visit any sites that could cause them problems. All they do is stream a little television. Well if you are not using a VPN you need to be prepared to accept that most providers limit what you can view based on what country you are connecting from. To be clear, I am talking about the case of a legitimate subscriber service being told they can’t view something they have paid for. So, are you a Netflix subscriber? Do you use any of their documentaries for your research? You had better have a VPN or you could find yourself out of luck due to copyright policies that restrict the content you want to use from being accessed in your country!

There are many other possible scenarios but the main point is that the Internet,
like the “Wild West”, is a dangerous place. Don’t take chances with your safety,
privacy, and security – use a VPN!

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