VPNs are door-openers to the geo-restricted content on the internet. You can surf the internet while being under the radar.
VPN or Virtual Private Network hides your internet identity by assigning a bogus IP address while shielding your real IP address.
IP addresses are unique addresses assigned to devices, from which they can be identified on the internet. In short, it is your digital address. And you can be a target for malware, ransomware, or other malicious practices if you’re not protected.
Now to tell you how VPNs work, it simply creates a secure tunnel between the user and the VPN server. Every activity which the user performs on the internet is carried out with security and privacy through that tunnel.
When you are connected to the VPN server, the server’s IP address is assigned to you, which eventually does the work of changing your location.
The best option for a VPN connection is to get a third-party VPN service.
The process hardly takes minutes. You just have to sign up, download the VPN app on your device, log in with your VPN account, and connect to a server. That’s all.
But let us tell you more about how to get a VPN and change your location in no time.
How to Get a VPN?
To get a VPN, you will have to decide on a VPN provider first. There are a variety of VPN providers with good customer reviews on the web.
One of the VPN providers, ExpressVPN is the best in the VPN market. It offers a high percentage of reliability, has a strict no-logs policy, and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You need to sign up for a VPN plan first by entering your details and paying the amount. No personal info is required, you just have to provide your email address and bank account information.
Then simply, download and install the VPN on your device. (Download the app from Google Play Store or App Store for your iOS or Android device).
After installing it, launch your VPN and login into your VPN account.
Choose a VPN server and connect.
You can now browse the internet securely and access your favorite content without any hassles.
1. Sign Up for a VPN
Go to your VPN provider’s website and sign up by providing your email address and paying the required amount.
You can choose from various payment options. There are many plans including the Monthly Plan, Annual Plan, or Two Year Plan. And they even have discounted prices for longer subscription periods.
2. Download and Install the VPN
Download your VPN software from the VPN service’s website and install it on your device. After successfully installing it, launch the app. You have to download the version compatible with your device’s operating system.
3. Login with your Credentials
Log in to your VPN account.
Type in your username and password, select a VPN protocol you prefer before connecting to a server (OpenVPN protocol is widely used), or you can just tap quick-connect to establish a VPN connection with default settings.
4. Set a Location and Start Using
If you want, you can connect to a specific location server of your choice. Tap on Locations, choose a server and select connect.
Why is it Necessary to Get a VPN?
The internet was specifically designed to connect people in a global and inclusive environment where content is not restricted.
Unfortunately, there are many threats endemic in the digital landscape which may compromise your identity and endanger your security.
VPNs help individuals protect themselves from these various hazards by connecting them with an extensive network that shields and encrypts their traffic.
A VPN connection is necessary for the following reasons.
Encrypts User Data
Hackers can intercept the data you send and receive over Wi-Fi, so an encrypted connection is a must.
When you use a VPN connection, it encrypts all internet traffic as it enters and leaves your device, so even if you’re connected to a public Wi-Fi network (of a supermarket or a coffee shop), your traffic is still protected and no one can see what you’re up to.
Masks User IP Address
A VPN connection might—or might not make a difference to you. But, your IP address can be used by companies to determine where you are when connected to the internet.
This is where VPNs play their part by masking your IP Address. Because if your location is outside of the US, they may block content or limit some features available in their service.
That’s how websites like Netflix give limited content designed according to the user’s geographical location.
Blocks of Unwanted Content
VPNs work as a buffer against cyberattacks from malicious players in cyberspace who want to steal your data. Some VPNs also provide ad blocking and popup protection – which you can take advantage of when using streaming platforms.
How Does a VPN Actually Work?
When using a VPN connection, the data you send out must cross several barriers before reaching its destination.
Your original location is changed once your data reaches the VPN’s servers and then it is sent to its ultimate destination.
The secure connection bridge between the user and a VPN server is effective enough to make it impossible for an eavesdropper to track the user’s online activity. Even your internet service provider or law enforcement will be unable to track your traffic.
How VPNs Trick Streaming Services?
Streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video have licensing agreements with content producers. So the movies and TV shows are only available in the regions where the producers want them to be.
This technique is used to make the most out of their content and cover production investment.
But with a VPN connection, you can easily unlock the international catalog of Netflix by changing your Netflix region and have easy access to the geo-blocked movies and TV shows in no time.
How to Get a VPN On Any Device?
You can set up a VPN on Windows, Mac, Android, or any other operating system by following the steps discussed above.
Other than that, you can set up a VPN profile manually on your PC or mobile device for which you have to get a VPN subscription first.
Now go to your VPN settings, set up your VPN profile on your device by filling in some information like server address, remote ID, local ID, and VPN type. Now select a security protocol and create your profile.
Go to the list of profiles, choose your VPN and select connect. That’s all.
A good VPN will have compatibility for all devices and operating systems. And providers like Surfshark even offer no limits on simultaneous devices connected.
6 Qualities a VPN Should Have
A VPN that has a maximum number of qualities is an ideal VPN service that is preferred by everyone.
You can play your favorite GPS-based games, have access to your company’s network, or stream your favorite geo-blocked movie by connecting to your home network.
So choose a VPN service according to your business intent. Whatever the reasons you have to get a VPN, always do your research first.
A complete VPN should have the following traits,
AES 256-bit Encryption
One of the most important factors in choosing a VPN is encryption.
Encryption ensures your connection with the VPN is unbreakable, providing an extra layer of protection for your data. One such VPN standard is AES 256-bit encryption.
Top-tier providers like NordVPN offers military-grade encryption which is also used on large scales by top organizations for prime security reasons.
It is not a surprise that most VPNs reduce internet speeds while browsing on the internet.
To make sure that your internet connection doesn’t shapeshift into a snail, you should go for a reliable VPN. ExpressVPN is the best VPN to go for as it doesn’t throttle and offers quick data speed.
No Track of Log Activity
Ever wondered how free VPNs earn? They get their share by selling the log activity of their users to companies for marketing strategies.
It is a must that your VPN provider should have a transparent policy of no tracking of the log activity of the user.
While a VPN service may be costly, it remains worthwhile if you take personal value for your time.
Look for an affordable provider to ensure that the cost is proportional to utility. The average monthly plan can cost you between $11 – $12 if you go for a trusted VPN company like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or Surfshark.
And you may get a good deal if you sign up for a longer-term plan.
Many VPNs don’t come with this feature and you end up exposing your real identity on the internet if the VPN drops somehow.
A kill switch terminates all internet activities if your VPN connection drops to make sure your IP address is not leaked.
So don’t forget to search for a built-in kill-switch feature when signing up for a VPN service.
Safeguarding IPv6 and DNS
Your personal data may be leaked when you are using a VPN connection, by a DNS leak, or IPv6.
To make sure that the risk is eliminated, choose a top-notch VPN service with a strong encryption method that could protect both of them to decrease every risk.
Choosing a Right VPN Server
It is important that you choose the right VPN according to the intent for which you are going to use a VPN connection.
For Better Privacy
The server you chose largely depends on the activity that you plan to undertake. For instance, if secrecy is your primary concern, then it is recommended to set a server near your physical location. This will increase the speed of streams and it provides the same level of protection.
For Streaming Platforms
If you want a VPN just for the purpose of unlocking different catalogs of streaming platforms then go for a VPN company that is well known for streaming platforms and offers maximum VPN servers.
You can access Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, or any other popular streaming platform.
VPNs also offer dedicated servers which may come in handy if you don’t want an effective server to get banned by the streaming platform just because of someone else.
Other than that, you can always enquire from customer services if you don’t find your ideal server for streaming platforms.
Make sure you select a private peer-to-peer server when downloading torrents. You can ask your VPN service provider which servers are recommended for different purposes, and go with the one they recommend in general.
ExpressVPN offers P2P sharing on all of its servers, so you can even share files with other users without exposing your real IP.
While VPNs are an excellent means of encrypting your data and hiding your actual location, they come with certain drawbacks:
When you connect to a VPN, your connection is secured with an encrypted tunnel through which your traffic travels.
So just because your data has to additionally travel through a VPN server first and then to its destination, this process can take some time and may lower your Internet speed slightly. But this can be reduced if you choose a reliable VPN provider.
Most VPN companies earn by selling user data. They sell your log activity to companies for marketing analysis. A VPN that is offering a free service might do this.
If you want a clear policy, make sure your provider is committed to not tracking the logged activities of their users. Go for the top-ranked VPN with clear policies of not tracking user activities.
When using a VPN, sometimes the connection can drop without a warning to the user. The user will likely have no knowledge of him accessing the internet without a VPN and be exposed.
This can be prevented by checking if your VPN is working or not.
Secondly, subscribe to a VPN service that has a Kill Switch feature. It pauses the internet connection until the VPN finds an encrypted route again so that the user’s IP is not exposed.
Frequently Asked Question – FAQs
How do you get a free VPN?
Should I use a free VPN?
Which is the best VPN offering free services
How can I create a VPN profile on Windows?
How can I create a VPN profile on Mac?
What is Split-Tunneling?
What is a pre-shared key in VPN?