What is a VPN? Do you need a VPN? In this article, we’ll answer these questions.
Put simply, a VPN – or Virtual Private Network – allows you to form a secure connection to another network via the internet. Typical uses include increased privacy, access to region-restricted websites, and more.
Let’s take a look in more detail.
What is a VPN and how can it benefit me?
A VPN connects your internet-connected device (including any laptop, desktop, smartphone, or tablet) to a server somewhere else in the world. If you’re in Melbourne, for example, you can connect to a server in California. Then, when you visit a website, it will appear that you are in California, not Melbourne.
Not only does this conceal your location, but also may give you access to content you’d otherwise be prohibited from accessing.
Top benefits of using a VPN
How does this benefit you? Here are just some of the benefits:
- Bypass geographical restrictions on various websites, including audio and video streaming sites.
- Subscribe to streaming services only available in other countries/regions.
- Protect your private data when connected to unsecured or public Wi-Fi hotspots.
- Improve privacy and gain some anonymity when browsing the web by hiding your location.
How to get a VPN
Although it is possible to set up your own VPN, the easiest way to get a one is to download it from the web. You can get both free and paid-for VPNs, with the paid versions offering faster connections, more secure networks, and a greater range of locations to choose from.
Here are some of the top VPNs for Australians:
Most offer a free trial, so you can give them a go before you commit.
Additional uses for a VPN
VPNs can be used for a wide variety of tasks in addition to the benefits listed above. Here are a few:
VPNs to access a business network when travelling
Business travellers often use a VPN to access their business network – including all local data – back home. In addition, using a VPN to access sensitive business data will improve security.
VPNs to access a home network when travelling
Similar to the above, some users may wish to access a home network while travelling. In other words, a VPN will allow you to use your computer as if you were still at home.
Hide browsing activity from the local network
Did you know that if you are using a public Wi-Fi connection (like a café’s free Wi-Fi), your browsing activity on non-HTTPS sites is visible to everybody nearby – that is, if they know where to look. If that makes you uncomfortable or you’d like a little more privacy, a VPN will do the trick.
Due to Internet censorship, the use of VPNs is widespread in China. In fact, the ‘unauthorised’ use of VPNs was made illegal on March 31, 2018! If you live in or are travelling to a destination with internet censorship, a VPN can give you access to the entire world wide web.
Want helping setting up your VPN?
If you’re after privacy, security, and the ability to watch, listen, and read region-blocked content, a VPN sounds like the ideal solution. Get in contact today on 1300 553 166 and our computer experts can install the perfect VPN for your needs.