VPN (Virtual Private Network) might look very complicated for you who are not familiar with it, but actually VPN is very easy to use. In this article, we will find out what VPN is and how it works.
You can also learn about what VPN actually does for you, when you should use it, and the advantages and disadvantages of using VPN. So, keep on reading.
What is VPN?
What is VPN? VPN or Virtual Private Network is a method used to add security and privacy to private and public networks, such as WiFi Hotspots and the Internet.
VPNs are most often used by companies to protect sensitive data. However, now the use of private VPNs is increasingly popular because more interactions require users to come face to face with the Internet.
VPNs can increase privacy because the user’s initial Internet Protocol (IP) address is replaced with another IP provided by the VPN provider.
Customers can get an IP address from any gateway area that is provided by the VPN provider.
For example, you live in Jakarta. However, with VPN, you can as if living in Malang, Surabaya, or a number of other gateway cities
How does a VPN work?
This is how VPN works for you as a user: When you start the VPN client software from the VPN provider, the software will encrypt your data, even before your ISP (Internet Service Provider) or WiFi detects it.
Data is then forwarded to the VPN, and from the VPN server it is then forwarded to your online destination. Online destinations assume that your data comes from the VPN server and its location, and not from your actual device and location.
VPN servers are third parties connected to the web on your behalf, which can solve the following privacy and security issues:
The destination site sees the VPN server as the traffic origin, and not you.
No one can easily identify you or your computer as a source of data, or what you do like what websites you visit, what data you transfer, and so on.
Your data is encrypted, so even if someone can see what you are sending, they can only see the encrypted information and not the raw data.
Advantages of Using VPN
In today’s digital era, security is very important and is the most requested request by companies. The need to send encrypted data over the network is also increasing.
Of course, there are many advantages that can be obtained when using a VPN as written below.
Helps Hide Online Identity
Because VPN hides your IP address and encrypts your online traffic, your digital footprints cannot be traced on the internet. Hackers will not be able to use your real IP address to find out your personal information.
Besides helping you avoid surveillance from other users, VPN can also help protect your privacy from advertisers.
Secure Your Online Connection
WiFi is a public service that is very convenient to use, especially if you have a limited cellular data plan.
The only problem with free WiFi is the lack of security, which means you can put your personal data in danger.
If you use VPN, you don’t need to worry about the danger. Why? Because VPNs use encryption to secure your online communication and effectively ensure that no one can monitor it.
Basically, if there are hackers who try to see your traffic, they will only see something that doesn’t make sense.
Can Prevent Bandwidth Throttling (Bandwidth Slowing)
Bandwidth throttling is an event where your ISP limits your bandwidth and effectively decreases your online speed.
Usually, ISPs do that to improve their services by removing network congestion and ensuring there is sufficient bandwidth for all users.
VPNs can encrypt all of your internet traffic so your ISP won’t be able to see your online activities.
They won’t know if you are using too much bandwidth to play online games, download files, or stream TV shows.
Disadvantages of Using VPN
Actually, there aren’t many shortcomings you will get from VPN services. However, for those of you who still want to consider it, see the disadvantages of using a VPN below.
Not All Devices Support VPN
VPN services generally work on popular platforms such as Windows, iOS, macOS, Android.
However, there are devices such as Linux, Chromebook, Boxee Box that don’t really support VPN applications.
So you have to set the VPN connection manually on the device or operating system that you want to use.
Quality VPN is Too Expensive
Because free VPN is not a reliable option, you need to choose a paid VPN provider.
It could be a problem if you have a minimal budget, especially because some ordinary providers charge hundreds of thousands of rupiah per month.
Abal-Abal VPN Harm Your Privacy
VPN is intended to protect your online data, but if you don’t do research, you can choose services that do the opposite.
Usually, that’s what happens with a fake provider or a free VPN provider. Plus, free VPNs usually don’t offer encryption that is configured correctly or they might even expose you to malware.
Not to mention if you choose a VPN provider that keeps logs of your online activities. That will greatly jeopardize your privacy.
When to Use VPN
Maybe you need to consider further to start using VPN, especially if you:
If You Access the Internet Using Public WiFi
When you use a public WiFi network, VPN can be your savior because VPN will add an extra layer of security to your data. VPN will also make sure you bypass the coffee shop ISP and encrypt all your communications.
If you are a critic of political conditions
Some countries do not have the same protection for freedom of the press, speech and expression as many Western countries.
Some regimes even take cruel actions to monitor and take action against those who are considered a threat to the regime.
For those of you who often criticize political conditions, using a VPN can be very important, especially if you live in an oppressive regime.
If You Are A Remote Worker (Remote Worker)
Many employees require the use of VPN to access company services remotely and for security reasons.
VPNs that are connected to company servers can give you access to internal company networks and resources when you are away from the office.