laptop in article about virtual private networks
Photo by Ales Nesetril on Unsplash

Why You Should Consider Using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) in 2022

Make sure you have a few important features if you want to stay safe and truly anonymous on the web.

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laptop in article about virtual private networks
Photo by Ales Nesetril on Unsplash

Make sure you have a few important features if you want to stay safe and truly anonymous on the web.

A virtual private network (VPN) is a technology used to connect devices with the internet by establishing a tunnel between the user device and VPN servers. Users of VPNs typically aim for an excellent level of anonymity and want to add an additional layer of security. Military-grade encryptions help users keep their online identity and browsing history private. The advantages are manifold. This article explains the main benefits of using virtual private networks and lists essential features.

Anonymity and Security

Users of virtual private networks can easily browse through the entire internet without leaving footprints. However, it is advisable to do some due diligence before using a VPN service since only premium VPN services tend to reach the envisaged goal of staying anonymous and safe.

Free VPN services, for example, often use a lower grade of decryption. They might also collect and sell user data to refinance their expenses, which is entirely the opposite of what VPN users are typically are looking for. Therefore it is crucial to focus on VPN services that do not collect and store personal data.

Good virtual private networks also take cybersecurity to the next level by identifying malicious websites, detecting malware and preventing trackers and intrusive ads.

These days, users can connect their devices to the internet by using free public Wi-Fi everywhere, but often free networks do not use encryption technologies. A VPN can help to add a layer of security to a connection. This allows users to combine the comfort of free internet access with the desired level of security and anonymity.

Cryptocurrency Trading

Hackers use spyware and malware to gain access to crypto wallets and accounts. They try to pull as much information about a user from poorly secured trading computers and mobile devices. A VPN for crypto trading ensures top-level safety of cryptocurrency transactions and helps protect wallets and assets from being stolen.

In addition, VPNs for crypto trading are helpful to access crypto assets, apps and platforms from everywhere in the world, independently from the IP address the current geo-location has. The problem is that the country where a user is currently located might prevent using crypto services due to geo-blocking. Market-leading VPN providers have thousands of servers in hundreds of countries in the world to ensure that the user can log in to a service with an IP address that’s on the white-list of a crypto platform.

Shopping

One product can have different prices globally, often because of different tax rates caused by local tax laws and regulations. However, the price before tax also fluctuates across various countries. This is because companies make pricing decisions based on competitor product market share, attractivity and demand of the product in a specific region, established product dominance, and more. The same goes for services, especially for e-commerce websites like airlines, car rentals and hotels.

The price is often determined and assigned based on a user’s internet protocol (IP) address. And this is where a VPN comes into play. A virtual private network benefits from different available IP addresses per location worldwide.

A user can try various locations to reduce the price to a comfortable level while keeping personal data secure. However, companies have already reacted to this buying behavior by blocking multiple IPs. So, the success of such a money-saving strategy is not guaranteed, but it can be worth trying it.

5 Key VPN Features

Server Locations: A virtual private network establishes a tunnel between the user device and the VPN server. This way, the user data remains anonymous since the website always sees the IP of the VPN server instead of the original IP from the user device. A user, for example, can reside in Paris and connect to a VPN server in the United States. Once he visits a website, the site assumes that the user is currently in the United States, not in Paris. The more server locations, the better for the user. A spread of coverage across multiple countries with multiple dedicated servers with their own IP addresses is favorable, especially if the ping and latency are low.

Kill Switch: A kill-switch ensures that user data keep private even if the VPN gets disconnected. A disconnect can be the result of overloads or technical errors. To avoid IP leaks, it’s crucial to have an integrated kill switch within the VPN app. The kill switch monitors the connection continuously and shuts down the data transfer in case of a disconnect. This way, the original IP does not get exposed by preventing unencrypted data from being transferred.

Mobile VPN Apps: Most users install VPN software on their personal computers, but the support of mobile devices is frequently demanded and valuable. The most significant benefit of having VPN features on a mobile device is the additional layer of security when accessing a public wireless network. Such public networks are often without decryption, which opens the door for potential attacks. The VPN app makes the data connection more secure, while the highest security exists when the original Wi-Fi connection is already decrypted. Typically iOS and Android operating systems are supported. Mobile devices with Windows or BlackBerry OS are also supported in some cases.

No Log Policy: What is it worth to hide the original IP if the provider sells the private IP data and browser history with third-parties? Nothing! That’s why the VPN services should commit to a 100% no-log policy. User data only remains private and secure if no one tracks, traces or logs the internet activity. Some of the leading VPN solutions go even a step further and integrate functionalities like ad-blocking. Therefore, it makes sense to read the exact log-related terms and conditions of a provider before starting a subscription.

Price-Value Ratio: Functionalities and the monthly price should be balanced. Particularly inexpensive providers often have disadvantages in the range of functionalities, while costly providers are not necessarily the best ones. Products with a 30-day money-back guarantee can be considered for intensive testing. An annual subscription is the most popular one across all VPN providers. Subscribers should check for new offers before the next payment circle begins.

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