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What is a VPN Service?
A VPN service allows individuals and businesses to maintain their anonymity online by masking internet protocols (IP).
With the expansion of the internet into every corner of the globe, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have become essential – both for businesses and individual users who want to ensure that their online activity is private and secure.For businesses, VPNs can protect vital company data and let employees work remotely without any risk. For individuals, they provide total online anonymity while providing access to content that is blocked in certain regions.
In essence, VPNs allow users to establish secure connections to internet servers all over the world, while also ensuring that their IP addresses cannot be traced.
With a VPN, users can link their computers (or any mobile device, such as smartphones and tablets) to servers in different foreign countries. This allows them to freely browse the internet with the use of another computer’s connection.
VPNs provide total online security by encrypting all of the user’s data before funneling it through a secure tunnel. This gives the user access to geo-blocked content, while also shielding their browsing activity from the prying eyes of third parties.
Recent years have seen the emergence of scores of new VPN providers. With so many options to choose from in the market, deciding which provider to go with can be a daunting task.
There is a relatively small handful of factors to consider when deciding which provider is best suited for your particular needs.
Firstly, one should consider what kind of connection speeds a provider can deliver. This can vary widely and generally depends on where a provider’s servers are located across its global server network.
Servers based in Europe and North America generally provide the fastest connection speeds, but this isn’t always the case.
Secondly, it’s essential that providers employ the best encryption and security protocols to ensure that connections are totally private and that data transfers are completely secure.
Most reputable providers employ a range of security protocols and encryption methods, some of which are more effective than others.
The number of servers a VPN has in its global network is also important. The more servers a provider has at its disposal (and how spread out they are geographical), the easier it is to bypass region-specific restrictions and access geo-blocked content.
A higher number of available servers will also serve to reduce internet traffic and enhance overall browsing speed.
When choosing a provider, other factors that should be taken into account include whether the VPN features a kill switch (to protect your IP address from potential exposure), whether it imposes bandwidth limits, and how many devices it can support simultaneously.
Like most other services, customer care and per-month prices should also be taken into consideration when selecting the best VPN provider for you.
Today, VPNs are used by millions of individuals across the globe who rely on them to ensure online privacy and security. However, VPNs were initially designed to meet the needs of companies and small businesses.
When they were first developed in the late 1990s, VPNs were seen as a means to securely link business networks through the internet. At the time, their primary purpose was to allow employees to safely access company networks remotely.
VPNs continue to offer businesses several significant advantages today, including stepped-up protection from specific threats, not least of which are surveillance and hacking.
Many VPN providers cater specifically to businesses, offering solutions and services tailor-made to meet the needs of company networks rather than individual users.
Perhaps most importantly, VPNs allow businesses to transfer sensitive corporate data without fear of potentially damaging breaches.
Almost all corporate networks already have basic security measures in place, such as firewalls and encryption. But VPNs can give businesses additional layers of protection by providing enhanced encryption and thoroughly private connections.
As mentioned above, VPNs also allow employees to securely access company networks from out-of-office locations, thus vastly enhancing productivity. This can be especially helpful given the prevalence of corporate BYOD (‘Bring Your Own Device’) policies.
With a VPN, employees can remotely access company infrastructure without fear of breaches – a feature particularly useful for business trips. Without a VPN, an employee’s reliance on a public (i.e., non-secure) network could end up costing a company dearly.
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