You’ve decided to get a VPN, great move. A VPN, or virtual private network, is an essential security tool that should be used every time you access the internet, whether via your phone, laptop, or tablet.
The next question is what sort of VPN you should be using. VPNs can be broadly broken up into three categories; usage log, connection log, and no log. But what do these mean, and how does a VPN even work?
Read on to find out!
What is a VPN? It’s a type of security software that can hide your IP address and browsing activity from anyone who is trying to monitor your online behaviour. This can be both cybercriminals and government agencies.
A VPN hides your IP address by redirecting your network through a specially configured remote server, controlled by the VPN host. It also funnels all of your traffic through an encrypted tunnel, scrambling your personal information and data.
Types of VPN providers:
When looking to use a VPN, you should know that there are three basic types of VPN providers. The type of log files and information that these providers track can vary from anonymous metadata to browsing history, usage data, and online activity.
1. Usage Logs:
Usage logs include all your online activity, including browsing history, connection time, IP addresses, and metadata. From a privacy standpoint, you should avoid these VPN services. These services are generally free VPNs, which may seem attractive but in reality, can be very damaging to your privacy and security.
2. Connection Logs:
Connection logs keep track of connection times, dates, and data. This type of information is used to optimise your VPN connection and in dealing with issues and terms related to user policy. Basic connection logs should not be a source of any privacy breach. They protect your IP address and offer a relatively good level of user security.
3. No Logs:
No logs simply mean that there is absolutely no record of information kept on your browsing history. This includes what websites you visit, what you search for, and what you download. A no-log VPN offers the ultimate in online privacy.
How to tell a good VPN from a not so good VPN?
There’s no point using a VPN if it doesn’t do a good job of protecting your privacy. With that in mind, here are a few things that you should remember when it comes time to pick your VPN provider:
- Figure out what you need a VPN for: Are you looking to protect just one device? Or your whole household? Do you value speed or privacy? Work out what you need your VPN for so you can make a list of attributes that are important to you.
- A free VPN is not always a good thing: Free VPNs are notorious for offering lax user protection and selling data to third parties. Steer clear of them, even with the attractive price tag.
- Consider installation: If you aren’t a tech-savvy person, a complex user interface is likely to pose difficulties. A good VPN often provides minimal connection requirements and simple start-up procedures.
- Check the security policy: When you’re handing your private information over to a third party, it pays to read the fine print. Make sure you know what kind of information your VPN is tracking and where it is being stored.
Choosing a VPN may take time, but it’s certainly worth the effort. Protect your privacy and information by partnering with a secure, trustworthy VPN provider so that you can browse online in peace.