Virtual Private Networks
The answer to the question of whether or not you need one depends on your usage of the internet, and how you manage data and privacy. But, I basically recommend that everyone on the planet have access to one if you can afford it, or build it.
A virtual private network (VPN) is a technology that creates a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network, such as the internet. In a home use situation, VPN can protect your identity while you are using the internet, and potentially protect you from the data mining that most major companies like facebook and Google do. It can also provide some protection from hacking, but typically, home users won’t have to worry being hit by an actual hacker, a virus created by one maybe, but not a real-life person.
- Protecting your identity
- Anonymous browsing
- Using blocked sites (for example: watching Netflix in a country where it is blocked)
- Access to protected data
- Deep Web access
In most cases, people will be referring to a VPN provided by a company like Express VPN, Tunnel Bear, or Private Internet Access however, system administrators can build their own. For instance, I run a VPN on my linux server using a the protocol/program called OpenVPN. This means that my staff members have access to our private network, no matter where the are in the world. They only have to have domain credentials, the OpenVPN program, and a VPN login. I have also set up a VPN tunnel between offices, so that we share a WAN and can access each others data.
Which One Should I Use?
That really depends on what you use it for. However, I will get into that question in the next blog where I review the VPN I use for personal browsing: Private Internet Access.