A Virtual Private Network (VPN) protects you online by encrypting all data transferring from your device to the Internet and back.
This means that no-one can snoop on your online activities, not even your Internet Service Provider.
Of course, if you login on social media, retail websites etc. they can track you on their sites.
This is especially important if you’re using public Wi-Fi as they can be used by criminals to collect data on you. Using a VPN protects against this.
A VPN will also hide your IP address. Many websites and streaming services use your IP address to control what you can access. Through a VPN you can choose to connect from a different country if you wish.
The Way a VPN Works
Essentially you connect to the VPN, to whichever of their hubs in whichever country you wish and all of your Internet traffic is directed through their servers where the data is encrypted. Likewise any traffic from the Internet returning to your is also encrypted.
You will appear to be connecting to the Internet at one of the VPN provider’s IP addresses.
Most VPN providers also have a ‘no logs’ policy whereby they don’t keep any records of the data through their system and hence even if hacked – nothing except your profile could be found.
Using a VPN may slow down your Internet access marginally but is unlikely to be an issue as VPN providers need to have fast systems to stay in business.
In practice the only noticeable difference for users of VPNs is that when starting up a PC the VPN will connect automatically so you can it.
If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.