When you hear the term Virtual Private Network, also commonly referred to as a VPN, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? You’re probably thinking of large corporations using this technology to enable their employees to securely access the office network and use its resources from remote locations.
Well, news flash: VPNs aren’t only for corporate use – at least not anymore! They’re also frequently used by individuals for increasing the security of their Internet connection, accessing content, and a variety of other purposes. Read on to find out everything there’s to know about personal VPNs.
What is a Personal VPN?
A personal VPN, as the name implies, is a VPN developed for the average Internet user. It allows you to browse the web with an undetectable cloak of anonymity and shields your traffic from Internet Service Providers (ISPs), governments, advertisers, and cybercriminals. It also helps to circumvent digital restrictions so that you can instantly access websites and content otherwise not available in your country or region.
How a Personal VPN Works?
When you connect to a VPN server of your choice, a virtual tunnel is created between your device and the Internet for your entire traffic to pass through. Since the data you send and receive will be secured using high-grade encryption, it can’t be monitored, intercepted, or altered.
Your real IP address is also replaced with that of the VPN server to protect your online identity from being exposed to prying eyes. After all, it’s the geographical location of the VPN server, and not your device, that search engines, ISPs, websites, etc. will be able to see.
What Can You Do With a Personal VPN?
Now that you know what a personal VPN is and how it works, let’s discuss the reasons why you should be using one – that is, if you aren’t already. By connecting to a personal VPN server every time you hop on the Internet, you’ll be able to:
1. Browse the Internet Anonymously
One of the most notable benefits of using a personal VPN is anonymous browsing which prevents your online activities from being tracked. It’ll mask your real location with a virtual one, allowing you to browse without leaving any tracks behind.
Hence, neither your ISP nor the government will be able to see what websites and services you’re accessing. If you’re worried about your browsing history being collected and sold to the highest bidder, then a personal VPN is your best bet!
2. Stay Protected on Public Wi-Fi
You’ll find public Wi-Fi almost anywhere today, from hotels and coffee shops to restaurants and airports. While its convenience can’t be denied, you should know that public Wi-Fi isn’t secure and puts your personal data at risk.
Not only is your browsing unencrypted, but also you could be tricked into connecting to a rogue hotspot set up by hackers who want to steal your information. Using a personal VPN will encrypt the traffic to and from your device for the best public Wi-Fi security.
3. Find Cheap Deals Online
If you’re looking to, let’s suppose, save money on car rentals or flight tickets, a personal VPN is just what you need. In case you don’t know already, these sites charge customers different amounts based on their IP address and location.
You can get around this price discrimination by using a VPN to compare the prices from different countries and purchasing from the cheapest possible location. However, don’t forget to use your browser’s incognito mode and clear your cookies.
4. Enjoy a Faster Gaming Experience
Do you experience high latency and occasional delays while play games online? If so, it’s very likely that your ISP is throttling your bandwidth. Though an unfair practice, it is done to combat over-utilization of network resources by a small percentage of users.
By equipping yourself with a personal VPN, you can overcome this by hiding the fact that you’re gaming online. But there’s a catch: you need to make sure the VPN server is as close as possible to the gaming server for a faster and smoother gaming experience!
5. Make Your VoIP Communications Secure
Obviously, you wouldn’t want your voice calls to be eavesdropped by hackers. While some chat apps like WhatsApp come with built-in end-to-end encryption, voice-over-IP (VoIP) apps typically don’t offer this feature.
Here, a personal VPN can save the day as it will secure your VoIP communications with AES 256-bit encryption – the industry standard. This ensures that your online conversations remain between you and your intended recipient.
6. Bypass Streaming Restrictions
Take, for instance, you’re living in Australia and want to watch a TV show available on the U.S. version of Netflix. You try to access US Netflix, only to find out that you can’t due to geographical-based restrictions.
You can bypass these restrictions with a personal VPN, preferably one with hundreds of VPN servers around the world. Simply connect your device to a server in the U.S and you’ll be able to catch that latest episode of Riverdale on Netflix.
7. Research the Competition without Detection
If you run a business and want to assess your competitors to get an idea of how you measure up against them, then you’d probably want to prevent them from catching on. But how? By keeping your online activity private, of course!
With a personal VPN enabled on your device, you can keep this research to yourself. Similarly, if you’re a journalist or lawyer and want to look up sensitive materials without attracting attention, using a VPN will make your searches untraceable.
8. Access Your Home Country’s Network
If you frequently travel abroad, you’d already know that the websites you access in your home country may be blocked when you access them from there. This makes it difficult to enjoy the local content you’re so used to.
Fortunately, you can instantly get around this issue by using a personal VPN. All you have to do is connect to a VPN server in your home country, and you’ll be able to access the content as if you were still there.
Setting Up a Personal VPN Server vs. Buying a Personal VPN Service
Now that you know the many different ways a personal VPN can benefit you online, the next step is to decide whether you want to set up your own VPN server, or purchase a VPN service from the provider of your choice. To make things easier, we’ve compared both options so that you can decide which one is right for you.
Reasons to Set Up a VPN Server
If you fall under any of the two categories, setting up a VPN server may be the solution for you:
Control over your data
When you use a personal VPN service, you’re paying the company for your Internet traffic to be routed through their secure network, keeping your data safe and private in the process.
However, some don’t like the idea of relying on someone else to safeguard their privacy, even if they have maintain a strict no-logging policy or are situated in a country with lack of data-retention laws.
If you consider yourself as one of those people, setting up a VPN server will give you complete control over your data.
Secure Remote Access
There are many businesses – both big and small – that have internal networks which are used by employees to access and store important files as well as communicate with one another.
As a security measure, this network is often only made accessible to computers and devices on the company’s premises.
If you want an employee to access the network from a remote location, setting up a VPN server is one way of doing so securely and without breaking the bank.
Reasons NOT to Set Up a VPN Server
That said, there are drawbacks of setting up a VPN server as well:
The best VPN services come with apps and software for all major platforms, including Android, Windows, iOS, and Mac. This not only makes setting up a VPN easier but also allows you to make quick connections on any device.
Going the DIY route means that you may have to tailor the setup process for different platforms, requiring a bit of extra effort every time you want to use the VPN on a new device.
Lack of Server Locations
One of the biggest advantages of using personal VPN services is that they give you hundreds of server locations to choose from.
As such, users can easily access content unavailable in their country by connecting to a server location in another country where that content is available.
When you set up a VPN server, your Internet traffic is usually routed through a local IP address and consequently you won’t be able to access content from around the world.
Most personal VPN services use shared IP addresses for anonymity. When you connect to a server, you’ll be assigned an IP shared with other users, making it impossible for your online activities to be traced back to you.
Setting up a VPN server though, limits you to one IP address. If someone were able to tie that IP to your identity, your anonymity would be compromised.
While you can frequently change the IP of your VPN server to get around this, that’s still going to take extra effort.
How to Get the Best Personal VPN Service?
If you’ve made it this far in the article, you definitely may be wondering, “How to get a personal VPN that’s worth my time?” First of all, it’s important to realize that not all personal VPN services are created equal.
The following are some features to consider when choosing the best personal VPN for your needs:
1. Plenty of Server Locations
The best personal VPN will offer a great selection of VPN servers spread across different continents and countries. The more VPN servers available, the better as you’ll get great connection speeds as well as reliable and consistent performance from anywhere in the world.
PureVPN has an extensive network of 750+ servers in 141+ countries and offers unlimited server switching. There are also no caps on bandwidth, meaning you can go about your online activities with complete peace of mind!
2. Good Connection Speeds
Since a VPN encrypts your traffic and re-routes it through an intermediary server, it may have an impact on the speed of your Internet connection. The best personal VPNs, however, deliver good connection speeds despite this.
PureVPN’s self-engineered and self-optimized network is designed to provide you with super-fast speeds around the clock. Moreover, with 99.99% guaranteed up-time, your VPN is ready to go at all times – whether it’s day or night.
3. Apps for All Your Devices
In these modern times, everyone connects to the Internet using a plethora of devices. The best personal VPN will come with proprietary VPN apps and software for all major devices – whether it’s your iPhone, router, Windows-powered laptop, or Android mobile device.
PureVPN has apps for all your devices so that you can browse the Internet securely, anonymously, and freely from anywhere at any time. Plus, with multi-login support, you can install the PureVPN app on multiple devices and use them on up to five simultaneously.
4. Supported Protocols
The best personal VPNs use a variety of VPN protocols to encrypt your connection, with each having their own upsides and downsides. In most cases, the best protocol is automatically chosen for you, but it’s always worth having options to choose from.
PureVPN offers support for 5 protocols: OpenVPN (Open Source Virtual Private Network), PPTP (Point-To-Point Tunneling Protocol), IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange Version 2), L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol), and SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol).
How to Setup a Personal VPN?
Given the availability of easy-to-use VPN software and apps, the process of setting up a personal VPN on any device of your choosing has become greatly simplified. Follow the steps mentioned below to get started:
1. Subscribe to PureVPN
With PureVPN, you get access to 88,000+ IPs to make you anonymous as you browse the Internet securely and free from any restrictions. Just head over to the order page and sign up for a plan that best suits your needs.
2. Download the VPN Client on Your Device
Once you’ve received your PureVPN credentials in your email inbox, you can go ahead and download the VPN client on your device. There are VPN software and apps offered for all major operating systems and devices.
3. Choose a Server Location and Hit Connect
Lastly, open PureVPN on your device and enter your username and password. Then, select the VPN server you want to connect to and hit the “Connect” button. Your entire Internet connection will now be encrypted!
As you can see, there are many reasons why getting a VPN for personal use makes sense. So, arm yourself with the best personal VPN now and watch as your online experience improves by leaps and bounds!
If you have anything you’d like to add, feel free to use the comments section below and we’d be more than happy to get back to you.