Accessing personal or work-related content at home or on public Wi-Fi, and concerned about keeping your data and network secure? If the answer is yes, then you should seriously consider using a virtual private network, or VPN, to improve your online privacy and personal network security.
What is a VPN?
A virtual private network (VPN) is a service that protects your privacy and internet connection while you’re online. It does this by creating a secure and encrypted “tunnel” between your device and the internet for your data to pass through, hiding your location. This prevents other internet users and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from being able to see your data, snoop, hack or interfere with it.
Why is using a VPN important?
If you’re using public Wi-Fi at a café, airport or via a hotspot, cybercriminals like hackers can easily intercept data that you send and receive, including personal data such as social media accounts, banking information, or login credentials for sites.
Some ISPs will also throttle your connection speed if you stream or download a lot of content, and a virtual private network can circumvent this restriction by hiding your actual IP address. VPNs are also often used at home to access sites that are geolocation restricted – for example, streaming sites that are only accessible if you live in the US. A VPN will allow you to connect to a server based in another country, so you can access the site or sites.
What is the best VPN?
The best VPN is one that won’t slow down your internet speed, which can happen with some VPN services, because of the additional encryption and connection steps needed.
There are many free VPNs available to download online and use, but the downside of using a free VPN is the restrictions that come with a free account. Free VPNs are often slower, don’t offer as robust privacy protections, and have features that are only available if you upgrade to a paid service.
If you’re considering a premium VPN that provides you greater privacy, speed, usability and features, we recommend considering are ExpressVPN and NordVPN. Both provide high-grade encryption, promise no-log privacy features (meaning they don’t keep a log of your usage) and faster connection times than most free VPNs.
ExpressVPN vs NordVPN
ExpressVPN is a great choice if you want to access streaming libraries (like Netflix and Prime) from other countries and has over 3,000 servers in over 90 countries. By comparison, NordVPN offers over 5,000 servers in 60 countries, and doesn’t always work well with Netflix due to Netflix’s updated detection system.
ExpressVPN offers a very simple user interface which can be accessed via desktop PC and mobile app, but not as many features as NordVPN – NordVPN has many additional advanced functions that you can use, including an interactive map so you can select the server location to connect to. ExpressVPN is generally reported as having faster connection times, provided you don’t connect to a slow server.
In terms of cost, ExpressVPN’s pricing is higher than NordVPN’s pricing and NordVPN often offer discount deals which can make it attractive for users. However, the overall cost of both is minimal given the significant benefits of privacy and security that both VPN services offer.
If you’d like more information on ExpressVPN or NordVPN, we recommend checking out their websites, and reviewing the features and benefits of each so that you can make a fully informed decision on which virtual private network service is best to fit your needs.
Want to know more about network security?
Network security is incredibly important, given how much time we spend on the internet every day and how much data and personal information we share online.
Understanding and managing the potential risks of internet use at home, in public and at work is vital, which is where we can help. Here at Computer Cures, we can help you ensure your devices are protected with the right encryption support software, such as a VPN, and secure your online safety (and that of your family) from internet security risk and cybercriminals.
Need help with network security and VPN setup?
Using a VPN and securing your network is important to protect you and your family from cybercriminals and malicious users that want to access your personal information. For fast and friendly advice on choosing the right VPN and setting it up, give us a call on 1300 553 166 or fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you promptly.