What is a VPN, and what can you do with a VPN?
Let me start with what the word VPN stands for. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is a secure internet connection between two computers, usually a client and a server.
The VPN client connects to a dedicated VPN server, both of which establish a secure connection to other servers on the internet.
A VPN connection, therefore, makes it possible to use the internet via a different Internet connection. This offers several advantages over a standard Internet connection without a VPN in terms of privacy and online protection.
What are the advantages of a VPN?
More and more users are becoming aware of their privacy on the internet. We see or read it all in the news, online privacy is a hot topic, a VPN subscription is a simple solution to a few common issues when using the world wide web.
In a lot of countries, social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube but also Netflix, for example, are being blocked. These websites are blocked to restrict users’ freedom of speech.
That is why VPN services are often used in countries where censorship is an issue, not surprisingly that VPN services have therefore risen enormously in popularity.
A significant advantage of a VPN is that it allows you to reach websites and other servers on the internet that are usually not accessible to a part of the world’s population.
Even if internet censorship is not applied, a VPN service is recommended. Users can also use a VPN to share files over the internet, such as torrent files and protect their privacy.
With a VPN connection, it becomes more difficult for government services to verify who shares which files with each other.
VPN protects against malware
Another major advantage of a VPN connection is the protection against viruses and other malware on the internet. I think many people don’t know this, but a VPN offers excellent protection against malware.
Malware can be found everywhere on the internet. You download a file, and suddenly you have a new toolbar in your browser! You might also notice annoying pop-up advertisements that are displayed by malware.
There are VPN services like NordVPN that offer built-in online protection against malware and unwanted ads.
NordVPN has protection against unwanted sites, this is known as CyberSec. NordVPN CyberSec mainly protects against unwanted websites that spread malware.
Nonetheless, did you know that a VPN connection also protects against ransomware and adware? Without becoming too technical, I will describe how this works.
When malware is installed on a computer, the malware performs a number of security checks to verify whether the malware is opened on a normal computer or on a sandbox machine.
If the malware is opened on a standard computer, the malware will install itself and spread across the network/internet as programmed. However, if it is a sandbox (a machine to test malware), the malware will shut down and does not install or drop any other malware.
In this way, malware developers try to avoid detection of their malware. One of these checks performed by malicious software is to check whether the internet connection is a VPN connection or a regular internet connection. We have seen this on malware but also on rogue advertising services.
Rogue advertising services do not serve a phishing page as it supposed to but redirect to BestBuy or aliexpress after these services detect the user is connecting using an IP-address from a VPN service.
It is, therefore, advisable to use a VPN if privacy is important to you.
The fact that a VPN also protects against malware and many rogue websites is a welcome side-effect!
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