How to Install a VPN Connection

Saturday, May 16, 2020
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Do you know what a VPN is? Or how to improve both your safety and computer performance when using the internet?

No matter the device you’re using, a desktop, mobile, or laptop, it’s highly recommended to use a virtual private network (VPN). For those just starting out researching VPNs, this might seem slightly over the top. But there is a lot that a VPN can offer beyond internet security. However, there are genuine threats online so it is important to take precautions where possible.

If using wifi, malicious attackers can try to steal your information. Alongside this, everytime you connect to the internet the internet service provider (ISP) is capable of viewing all the information you send. In the US, your information can be anonymised and then sold to advertisers as well. These are just a couple examples of ways your information can be mined and used by others for profit. This is as well as advertisers being able to follow your online movements across websites and even determine your physical location by viewing your IP address.

When the internet was first created, its aim was for information to be easily exchanged. The internet has changed so much the thought of privacy, anonymity and secure communication, was not on the list of primary goals at the initial conception. There have been many improvements in security over the years, HTTPs being one of the biggest. However, it doesn’t guard against some of the major issues such as local attack networks and ISP snooping.

This article will explain how to install a VPN for safe internet browsing. So read on below to find out how you can improve your internet safety.

What a VPN can and can’t do

Some people believe that simply installing a VPN will solve all security issues and they don’t need to be vigilant any more. While a VPN can significantly improve online security and performance, just like all tools, there are certain limitations which must be considered.

Some VPN services will claim that they have the capability to prevent malware. Despite this, it is still recommended to have a separate antivirus software, which is specifically designed to combat threats.

VPNs are also unable to protect you from one of the biggest weaknesses to your system, weak and recycled passwords. Phishing attacks can give a hacker login credentials which can cause significant damage if not properly contained. Password managers and two-factor authentication can be effective in combating these problems.

A VPN will also not fully anonymise your data. For this, you would need to use a service like Tor. This would allow your data to be moved through multiple locations making it harder to track. Comparatively, with a VPN it’s funnelled through a single location, the VPN server.

What a VPN is great for is providing a level of anonymity by routing your traffic through an encrypted tunnel to the VPN company’s server. This has the effect that your ISP, and anyone else linked to your router, can’t see what you are doing online. Because your traffic has gone through a server in a different location, it appears that you are based there instead of where you actually are.

How to install a VPN

The first thing to do is find a provider you will be happy to use. There are several key factors to consider when deciding on what VPN to install. The first is the number of devices the service lets you connect to. The second of these is cost, how much are you willing to pay? The third, do they have server locations that you need? However, the most important consideration is: do you trust them? Answering all these questions will help you find a provider that matches your needs.

Once you have found a provider you are happy to use, the first action to take is to download the company’s app, which most of the time you can find on the business’s website. Download this on as many devices as you need to protect and that the provider allows for.

You will then have to login to the app with a username and password. Once logged in, you’ll usually be connected to a VPN server. From here, you should explore the interface and update to a different server if needed.

For anyone using the internet, security and privacy should be at the top of the list of things to be considering. While a VPN is not a one stop shop to fix all threats online, using one can significantly improve your safety when browsing.