VPN – Ensuring That You Stay Connected Securely
There are billions of internet users around the globe and out of those numbers, only a few people truly understands what a safe and secure internet browsing is. An average person spends 27 to 30 hours a week online and during that 27 hours that person is able to relay thousands of information over the internet. It could be photos, files or credit card information and little do we know that these data are vulnerable to hackers. These hackers could use and exploit our information anytime they feel like doing. Just imagine the countless scandals that famous people have gone through because of hackers, their personal photos and emails were shared publicly. The scandal with Sony Pictures is one good example of it and we definitely do not want to be a victim of such exploitation whether we are an average individual or a CEO of a company.
So, how do we stay securely connected on the internet?
The solution is using a VPN or Virtual Private Network and I’m pretty sure that many of you haven’t heard or have heard about VPN but does not quite understand how it works. To put it simply, a VPN is a linkage of computers that are webbed together to share and exchange files and other resources, a VPN allows us to stay connected to the outside world via the internet securely.
The importance of using a VPN is that it gives us freedom, security and privacy.
Now, how does a VPN works?
When we connect to the internet, our queries pass through different routers which are interconnected and mind you there are probably hundreds of thousands of routers out there where information passes through. Now, these routers are vulnerable as I have mentioned and hackers can penetrate it any time. What a VPN does is it uses a security tool which is called “tunneling protocols”. Tunneling protocols set up a tunnel so you can connect securely. It is like creating a barrier that protects us from outsiders and even if hackers penetrate the tunnel, they still won’t be able to use the information inside the tunnel because our data inside the tunnel are encrypted. Another great thing about tunneling protocols is that it can detect hackers and once it detects a hacker, it shuts down and will recreate itself through another set of routers.
How do we connect to a VPN?
A VPN connects through a client and a server using user credentials, we simply login to the VPN client and the VPN client connects to the server and the server then authenticates the credentials. Once you pass user credentials, you will be connected to the VPN. There are also three kinds of VPN; PPTP, L2TP and OPENVPN.
A PPTP VPN or Point to Point Tunneling Protocol is the most widely used VPN connection as it provides a fast and easy to setup solutions and this is perfect for individuals who simply wants to stay connected securely. PPTP however is not recommended for users who want a more complex and secure connection and encryption.
L2TP on the other hand, is also a popular VPN connection mostly provided by ISPs, however this is a much slower type of VPN and is better recommended for mobile users.
While OPENVPN is the more complex and more secure type of VPN as this has much stronger encryption model and are much harder to break. This is considered as the fastest VPN protocol, however this is a bit more complex to setup compared to PPTP and L2TP.
Next time you use browse the internet or pass on information over the world-wide-web think of how vulnerable all our data is, as the saying goes better late than never. When it comes to our identity and communication, we should always take extra careful.