Lanhawk59
YouTube Vlogger living in the Philippines

Do you need a virtual private network? Does somebody traveling to a different country need a VPN?  Do you need one when using a public network at your local coffee shop? In short, the answer to all of these questions is yes.  Today let’s cover the following. What is a VPN? What are the benefits? What are the drawbacks? Which one is the best one?
A virtual private network or VPN for short offers a higher degree of protection and privacy as you’re surfing the web, whether on your home network or a public network, like your local coffee shop.
But how does it achieve this?
Simply put, a virtual private network creates a secure connection over public networks (such as the wi-fi in public transport, hotels, or your favorite café) as well as home networks (like the one provided by your internet service). By routing your traffic through specialized servers and encrypting your data, VPNs hide your online activity and protect you from the many dangers on the web – from hacker attacks to data selling, identity theft, and much more
In simple terms, just think of it like this, there are other examples but I like to use the water pipe example the top and bottom of the pipe is the encryption and the water is your unsecured data.

“In a foreign country, you best believe your data on the internet is at risk ”
Lanhawk59
Based on your IP address, Netflix, Spotify, and other services give you the service based on the rules and regulations of the country you are in. They get that information from your IP address. A VPN can give you an IP address based on what server you select from a specific country. For me, my home country is the US so I would want my IP address to reflect that location. If I try to access my online banking site, if I am from outside the country, the bank website will not give me access even though I know the login id and password. By using a vpn from a server in the U.S. I can access my account and check my balance from a foreign country and be secure in knowing I am not open to hackers. If you are in a foreign country then online video streaming companies know you are in a foreign country so regardless of having a U.S. account companies such as Netflix is going to limit your viewing available based on that country. In fact, a lot of Netflix’s original content is not available outside the United States.

 What are the drawbacks?

So by now, you are thinking, you are right for traveling outside the country or accessing confidential or financial data on public networks, I need a VPN. But there are a few drawbacks?

Speed: By routing my data through secure servers, my internet speed takes a hit, in general, the top VPN companies claim their VPN service only reduces your internet speed by around 20 percent. Ironically a VPN company called fastest VPN, ended up being the slowest (almost a 50 % speed reduction) when compared to others.

Options:

Look for a VPN that has a “kill switch” by that I mean what if my VPN connection drops, (my data no longer is encrypted ) is there an option that warns me or better yet, drops my connection? I wouldn’t want to have my connection drop and I don’t know it while trying to put passwords and move money around on a bank site. Look for a VPN service that has a great reputation on
reliability and server uptime.
Can I have multiple connections? Not only will you need to use a virtual private network on your laptop or computer but you will need one for your cell phone so does it have support for both android & IOS?

“Not having a VPN is like someone looking over your shoulder as you type in your password.”

Lanhawk59

Best VPN Services

So what are the best VPN services? The top three are:

NordVPN

ExpressVPN;

IVPN:

It is funny but getting USA Netflix seems to be the bar all VPNs aspire to and the best one for that is NordVPN.

The average cost per month is around 10 USD but it gets cheaper by purchasing year-long contracts.

So it really pays to shop around and do your homework, by reading a few of these VPN websites, at the very least you will get an introduction to internet security, something we all need to have in this day of age where obtaining someone’s personal information is becoming more and more commonplace.

NordVPN is hands down the most popular and recommended virtual private network service.  

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