Have you been wondering why a growing number of people are using VPNs? The truth is, almost everyone online should be using a VPN – at least in certain places – in our current world. But to decide that, you need to know what a VPN is, and why exactly it’s necessary. Let’s dive in.

VPN Encryption, and Why It Matters

A VPN is a software offered by a service that owns or uses servers around the world. The VPN that you download onto your device is there for encryption: It creates a “tunnel” for all your online data that encrypts whatever you are sending across the internet, hiding what that data is and where it’s coming from with a layer of extra security that follows every data packet around. That data is then unencrypted by the VPN’s server as needed to complete whatever you are doing on the internet.

VPNs can use a variety of security protocols to create this security. Still, the result is protected data that helps hide your personal information online and prevents breaches of privacy and individual hacking attempts.

That’s important, and it’s getting more important every day as security threats grow, working from home becomes more common, and people rely even more on their mobile devices to manage their lives. Let’s go over specific benefits that VPNs provide and why everyone needs them in today’s busy world.

Protection Again Hacked Data

First, a VPN’s security features are vital to protect your data on public networks – and that includes the networks you use in everyday life at the mall, hotel, airport, café, or gym. While these networks often have guest access and passwords, that doesn’t do much to protect data from hackers that have already joined the system and are trying to snoop on Wi-Fi connections, copying and spying on the data you send.

If you send any personal information – or important business data – when out on these public networks, you need a trustworthy VPN to encrypt that data so any potential hackers cannot understand it. VPNs are often mobile-friendly and specifically designed to be switched on and off based on your network’s security, so this doesn’t take a lot of extra time while remaining a very effective solution. Oh, and a good VPN will also help you root out malicious websites or trackers and get rid of them, too. Which brings us to our next vital benefit…

Masking IP Addresses

Another core VPN feature is hiding your external IP address – this is an address assigned to your device when you go online. It’s visible to your ISP (internet service provider) and most sites that you visit – and that’s where privacy concerns come in.

Any site or online service you use can see where you are located with your IP address, which acts as a sort of stand-in for personal info like your name or phone number. Sites can also track where you are going and what you are doing online based on this IP address. They love to sell this data to ad companies or use it for their marketing purposes with targeted ads. Sometimes governments will also use IP addresses to track activity they have deemed illegal or services they have banned. IP addresses can even make it easier for hackers to take over devices.

This raises some privacy concerns. A VPN addresses those concerns by giving your connection a shifting series of dummy IP addresses from around the world so that nobody looking is sure where you are or what you’re doing.

Hiding from Nosy ISPs

Your ISP also tends to track your IP address, and that becomes a problem when ISPs take a more active role and start banning torrents or throttling your data speeds based on your activity. A VPN’s IP masking services will also help prevent ISPs from getting too involved in your internet activities.

Necessary for Dealing with Geo-Restrictions

Sometimes data is also limited based on your location. This could be anything from certain streaming shows being blocked in your country (looking at you, Netflix) to prices on hotel rooms changing based on the currency at your location – to bans on popular apps. VPNs allow you to pick specific servers to use for your connection, which will enable you to choose countries of origin and select where your connection is coming from.

This means you can bypass geo-restrictions for the content you watch, look for deals that may be available to locals only, and hide your actual location from governments – all increasingly essential activities!

Safe to Use

Not all VPNs are trustworthy (and some may be outright scams), but the best VPNs work hard to make sure they are safe. That includes features like:

  • No-log promises that guarantee the VPN does not log your online activity in any permanent record
  • Offshore ownership so that large governments cannot force the VPN to divulge information about users or internet activity (this does not stop governments from banning specific VPNs, like China does, but it does help prevent problems with interference)
  • Customization options so that experienced users can choose their favored security protocols based on their own needs
  • Kill switches that automatically shut down internet connections if the VPN encryption ever goes down, which keeps user information safe from ISPs and governments

Again, VPNs address everyday needs for our online activities, no matter which benefit is most important to you. Bottom line: You should get a VPN. They are available across all platforms and offer a range of security features for what matters most to you.

Founder, editor, and contributor at Technosoups. He is a veteran tech blogger with a passion for Smartwatches and Smartphones. He is very much keen on the future technology and the future gadgets! He spends most of his money on getting the latest and greatest gadgets. Follow him on Social Channels: