The advent of the internet may have persuaded many to believe in the dawn of a free world. However, as years roll on, things are turning out differently. Tough internet laws and geographical restrictions are making it impossible to access some websites. A good VPN that lets your access blocked websites from anywhere in the globe is the solution to such restrictions. Note that not every VPN out there meets expectations. You must, therefore, weigh your options from existing VPN providers before settling on the best. This post provides internet users with tips on using VPN to access blocked websites.
What is a VPN?
Definitively, a VPN is an abbreviation for a virtual private network. But because the internet is fundamentally a space for accessing information, there is no 100% guarantee for security and privacy. Internet users must, therefore, explore extra security measures that help them secure their identity, web traffic, location, digital footprints and security. A VPN fills such gaps as the inability to access some websites and also guards your privacy.
Because VPNs are widely used all over the world with few restrictions, save for a few countries, they are very popular. At a time when a global pandemic has put many internet users at risk of hacking and fraud, VPNs have become even more popular. For some, a VPN helps internet users overcome barriers that prevent them from accessing websites such as Netflix. Others regard a VPN as a tool for anonymity and online privacy. The possibility that some governments unlawfully spy on the internet activities of their citizens means a VPN is even more necessary. Moreover, a VPN helps secure your browsing date from access by internet service providers and marketers.
How Does A VPN Work?
There is always a first time in everything. Thus, understanding how a VPN works should help you figure out why you need one in the first place. Also, note that there are limitations that come with using Virtual private networks.
The moment you switch on a VPN, it redirects your internet traffic to a server company in some part of the world. Some VPNs such as TunnelBear lets you choose from several server locations before getting rerouted. The connection is notwithstanding encrypted. It means that anyone or your internet service provider (ISP) cannot see your web traffic. Note that encryption only happens when accessing websites using HTTPS and not HTTP. The latter leaves you exposed to threats such as hacking and information theft.
Moreover, the connection makes it appear as if your IP address is originating from the VPN server location to which you have rerouted. For example, in TunnelBear VPN, tunnelling your connection to a server in the United Kingdom makes it appear as if you are based in that country even if your real location is Australia. However, there are a few notable downsides to using VPNs. For example, they do not completely hide your location or hide your traffic. Thus, using the Tor browser helps you realize more anonymity.
How to Use A VPN
With a clear understanding of how a VPN works, the next step is getting started with one that meets your browsing needs. First off, decide whether you need a paid VPN or a free standard version. The truth is that while you can enjoy a free one-month trial with a good VPN, cheap can be expensive. Incurring a cost of $5 on the best options in the market, therefore, worth the investment. Investing in a paid VPN also gives you unlimited access to extra features you will not get with free versions.
Note that after paying a subscription fee for a VPN service, you can protect yourself on the web across different devices such as smartphones, tablets and personal computers.
Downloading and Installing A VPN App
Before connecting to a virtual private network, steer clear of downloading just any VPN app from the web or app stores. Always dig deeper into features such as server locations that the VPN can access. Moreover, go for one that can be rerouted to different servers around the world. Examples of good VPNs include TunnelBear, ProtonVPN, NordVPN, ExpressVPN and StrongVPN. Moreover, depending on the country of origin some VPNs retain sets of personal information in compliance with a country’s data laws.
- After signing up and making the necessary payments, proceed to download the VPN from the hosting website.
- Next, login into the VPN. In some cases, such as when using TunnelBear, you will receive a login code in your email. It is to confirm your ownership of the account.
- Usually, VPN login entails a username and a password. You can sometimes use your email as the username depending on the type of VPN you use.
- After login, every browsing activity, especially web traffic is redirected to a nearby VPN server. Note that the further you reroute the connection, the weaker it becomes.
Setting Up VPN Manually On Your Device
You cannot assume that all VPNs secure your browsing data and privacy. It always depends on the data laws of a country. Having such fears leaves one with the option of a manual VPN set up, which only takes a few steps. The second option guards against possible surveillance that may take place in a VPN app. Most devices have a self-explanatory procedure for setting up the connection. Thus, it takes only a few steps to get started.