Have you seen a website that is not available to your location? Or maybe a YouTube video that has restricted contents? You probably wondered how these website finds out where you are located.
Well, it is easy.
Websites or other programs find our location through our IP addresses. These IPs reveal the city or country that we are currently in. This feature may has some good advantages why they added it in the first place, but also has some disadvantages – like privacy concerns.
VPN or virtual private networks and Proxies gives you the freedom to stay anonymous online but they have 2 different ways of doing it. Find out below.
A proxy or a proxy server is a different way of connecting a user to the internet. It is different in a way that, it takes the user’s IP address and mask it with something else. By doing this, there will be no trace where the real data is coming from. The websites, data snoopers, hackers, or even the government wouldn’t know that this is coming from you. What they will find out, is that this data is coming from a server.
Your IP address may be hidden but your data is not. So you are not totally secured with proxy servers. The data that travels is readable in clear text and can be intercepted by other people.
Virtual Private Network or VPN
VPN is no different in terms of hiding your IP address. It goes through a server and that server also hides the user’s address and replace it with something else that is fully untraceable.
But what VPN does differently is the data encryption. The data that goes through the VPN server is encrypted by various protocols to make it hard to read. For a user, the data will look like nothing but garbage.
The VPN connection is slightly slower than Proxy though, because of the things that it has to do to keep you safe. But this ‘slowdown’ is not noticeable and won’t affect the user experience.
VPN is often more costly than a proxy. There are tons of proxy servers that offer free service – like CyberGhost. But the cost of getting a VPN is not really that expensive. You can get something that is around $3 to $10 a month depending on what fits your needs. And you can also download free versions.
Having a VPN server is really something that you have to consider whether you are a frequent Internet user or not. This will give you the peace of mind by adding another layer of security on top of your existing ones – like Antivirus.
A simple login to Facebook or Twitter can cause you your personal information being compromised – which can lead to other bad things like banking information being stolen.
Having a VPN will make you even more secured online but it doesn’t mean that you are 100% secured. A persistent hacker or government will get what they want if they try. There is nothing really we can do to stop that, but at least make an effort to protect yourself and make it hard for them to get what they want.