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Meaning, Types and Uses of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
|Meaning, Types and Uses of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) by Flex: 12:00 am On September 21, 2017
With hackers rampaging the Internet hijacking computers and stealing personal data, online security is being talked about more and more. But in all these chatter, many people ignore using Virtual Private Networks, VPNs, as one of the means of securing their computers.
So what are VPNs and why do people use them
Initially, VPNs became widely used after it became apparent that network providers sell user information to Internet marketers. So people used them as a means of hiding details about themselves from ISPs. That is one of the main reasons ISPs hate VPN services.
But VPN is very important for people who live in countries where accessing the Internet is against the rules. Journalists, human rights activists, and democracy campaigners use VPNs extensively in these countries to cover their tracks from security agencies.
Using VPNs to evade security forces, to prevent ISPs from sharing your data and hide your IP address from hackers fall under the heading of extreme reasons to use a VPN.
For ordinary people in most countries where accessing the Internet is taken for granted, the softwares are used for any of the following
To access them from your location in let’s say, South Africa, a good VPN would help you out.
Paid VPN vs. Free VPN
Whether you opt for free or paid software should be determined by the factors listed below. All these factors are what are used to determine if a VPN is good or not.
So these are the factors to consider before choosing either a paid or Free VPN.
Good paid VPNs on the other hand, are able to make provisions for many servers to accommodate as many customers as possible. With the money from subscriptions, they can afford to add more servers to meet rising demand.
2. Connection protocols
If you just want to hide your IP address from your ISP, a free VPN might do just fine. The point-to-point tunneling (P2P) protocol on offer is good enough.
You would be able to make use of protocols like IKEv2, IPSec, and L2TP to mention some of the popular ones.
3. How you details are handled
Paid VPNs on the other hand, would never sell your details to a third party. At least, you would never get ads while using the service.
But it is plausible the unethical ones would still use your details in one way or the other though.
4. Customer care
Any good paid VPN comes with round the clock customer care. At least, you should get that for the money you are paying. So with paid VPNs, you can complain and even demand your money back if the service is below expectation.
Though this had turned out to be like an pitch for paid VPN services, it is noteworthy that there are several good free services and you should also bear in mind you might waste money on a paid VPN. If you decide on the paid option, make sure to do a free trial first. Most VPNs have that option so their customers would know exactly what they are getting before paying.
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