VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an encrypted tunnel that establishes a secure network between your device and the server. Given the rising concern for users’ privacy and security in the digital era, VPNs have become an essential tool.
With so many cybercriminals on the loose, they can easily intercept your data using your IP address. The IP address can give them access to sensitive information such as browsing history and location. VPNs encrypt internet traffic and mask your IP address so no one can trace your area or online activities.
Other than that, VPNs let you gain access to censored content that you might not be able to have from your own country. It enables you to have many TV shows, movies and even banned social media sites. It is all of these factors that have made VPNs gain momentum in the recent decade.
So now that we are aware of all the issues that come with having a digital footprint and how important it is to protect your security and privacy, what steps can you take to protect your Windows device? We’ll go into all of that and more.
How Do VPNs Benefit You?
Privacy and Security: VPNs encrypt your traffic, making it difficult for any third party to decipher your data and personal information. It is essential when you’re out in public and using WiFi. You are more susceptible to hacking when you’re using public WiFi.
Protection Against ISP Monitoring: ISPs often monitor and collect data about user’s browsing history, such as the websites they visited and files they downloaded. VPNs prevent ISPs from tracking your online activities and hence maintain your privacy.
Bypassing Geolocation Restrictions: Using a VPN, you can connect to servers from another country and access censored content in your country. You can quickly gain access to streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max, which aren’t available in all countries.
Anonymity: VPNs mask your IP address making it difficult for any outside party to track your identity and location. Your browsing history and location is associated with the server you’re connected to. Since your IP address is hidden, it will be hard for people to find your identity, adding that extra layer of protection.
Secure Remote Work: In the wake of the pandemic, many companies have switched to a remote working model. Since companies are operating remotely, it also raises concerns about the user’s and the company’s privacy and safety since virtually everything they’re doing is online. VPNs ensure that confidential data between the remote user and the company’s network remains secure and encrypted.
You should carefully research the VPN provider’s privacy and data logging policies and make an informed decision accordingly. It would help if you chose a reliable VPN provider that aligns with your specific needs and requirements.
VPN establishes an encrypted connection between your device and the server. This tunnelling process ensures no one can interpret or decipher your private and confidential data. VPNs also ensure that your location is known only to you and the server.
VPN Encryption enables you to retain your anonymity so that cybercriminals, advertisers, or third parties aren’t able to track your IP address. VPNs have many encryption protocols that protect your data and privacy. Let’s go over the main protocols used by most VPN providers and their benefits:
OpenVPN is a widely used VPN protocol that is open-source and offers robust security. OpenVPN is configurable and operates on UDP (User Datagram Protocol) and TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) ports. Not only is it secure, but it can bypass firewalls. However, users may need help with issues such as setting it up since that can be complicated.
IPSec (Internet Protocol Security)
This is another widely used protocol that provides security and secure communication over IP Networks. It operates in two modes: transport mode and tunnel mode. IPSec is used primarily for site-to-site VPNs.
L2TP/IPsec (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol/Internet Protocol Security)
L2TP is a tunnel that establishes tunnels for sending data over IP networks. It doesn’t provide Encryption, but it is often combined with IPSec to provide data confidentiality. It is also easy to set up.
SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol)
It’s a proprietary VPN protocol developed by Microsoft. SSTP is mainly used on Windows platforms and uses SSL/TLS for Encryption. It offers excellent security but is only supported on Windows, which is a downside.
WireGuard is a lightweight contemporary VPN protocol widely known for its excellent performance and simplicity. WideGuard has gained immense popularity over the years for being easy to use and robust Encryption.
How To Secure Windows With VPN
VPNs offer many features to keep your data safe. Since we know how crucial it is to secure your data and keep it away from prying eyes, let’s talk about how you can protect your Windows device. First, you must find a reliable VPN provider and secure VPN for Windows. Here are the steps you can take to make sure your Windows device is safe via VPN.
Choose a reliable VPN provider.
Subscribe and download the VPN.
Once you’ve decided on the VPN provider you want to go for, subscribe to them and download the VPN software to your device. Most VPN providers are compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux.
Launch the VPN app.
Once you’ve downloaded it, it’s time to launch and install the app to your Windows device. You will click the VPN software’s icon, which you’ll find either in your downloads or desktop and you’ll be asked to provide your login credentials to access the software. Once logged in, you can customise the settings as you please. You click the “Connect” or “Start” button, and your VPN connection has now turned on.
Select a server.
To connect to the server of your choice, click the “Connect” button and select a server from the available list of servers. You can then choose the location of your choice. The location you select impacts the internet speed. The area you choose would depend on your goals, for example, if you want to bypass geolocation restrictions.
Verify your connection.
When you’re connected to the VPN, you must verify your connection. To confirm your IP address, you can visit whatismyip.com. Additionally, you can check that your VPN is connected, as you will get a notification indicating that you’ve connected to the VPN server.
You can now browse the internet safely and securely since your data is encrypted and confidential. No third party can keep tabs on your online activities since a VPN masks your IP address.
Disconnect when you’re done using VPN.
To disconnect from the VPN server, click the “Disconnect” button. Open the VPN application and reconnect if you need to use it again. You must keep your VPN software updated frequently. VPN providers release updates when there are any security concerns or vulnerabilities. You should install the latest security patches to ensure everything is running smoothly.
Since the digital age comes with many more privacy concerns and security threats, it’s a great option to have VPN installed on your devices to keep your private and confidential data safe. It’s time to take the necessary steps to preserve our privacy, and installing VPNs is an excellent and effective way to start.