smart home vpn
PUREVPNPrivacy & SecurityHow to Protect Your Smart Home Devices with a vpn

Every year, it seems like our homes – and the electronics within — get smarter and smarter. We can automate our thermostats, program our security systems, and even “talk” to our smart ovens from the car or office. But there is one serious downside to these modern conveniences: they can be compromised.

As wonderful as it is to start the coffeemaker from a warm bed or peek at our front porch cameras while on vacation, internet-connected devices pose a serious safety threat. These smart electronics can be hacked and weaponized for malicious attacks, as we saw happen in 2016. Or, perhaps even more terrifying, hackers can infiltrate your devices to monitor and/or control your entire home.

The idea of someone hacking into your living room camera and monitoring your family is awful, as is the possibility of someone infiltrating and overriding your security system. Plus, any personal information you transmit across these devices – like your SSN, credit card, or bank account numbers – can easily be stolen. So, what can you do to protect yourself and your family in this smart-tech age?

It’s easier than you think: you just need a VPN.

What Is a VPN?

A virtual private network, or VPN, is a service that you can utilize to protect your smart devices and personal information. It’s available as software that you download onto your individual devices, or network as a whole, giving you peace of mind and an added layer of protection against infiltration.

This software, called the VPN client, can be used on specific devices — like your smartphone — or installed directly to your router.

The latter will work to safeguard your entire home and the smart gadgets that you utilize there. As long as they are running off of the internet provided through that router, their activity will be protected. Additionally, downloading VPN software or apps onto your computer and smart device works to encrypt your data, no matter which network you’re utilizing or where you are.

How Does a VPN Work?

A VPN aims to protect you in a few different ways.

With a VPN, you are rerouting your internet-based connection through a third-party server. This allows you to essentially hide your devices’ online actions, whether it’s a WiFi-enabled security camera or you logging in to check your bank account.

When you browse the internet the “typical” way, you are connecting directly to the web from your device. The destination website will receive (and often log) identifying information such as your IP address, location, and even information about your browsing history. If that data is mined and sold, you encounter a malicious website, or if hackers choose to access the connection of any of your smart devices, you could be in trouble.

Not only could this allow someone else to find out exactly where your connection comes from and what devices you have connected to the network, but they could also hack into said devices. These devices could then be loaded with malware, used to monitor your online activity, or even be controlled without your knowledge.

A VPN works to hide your connection, and all of the devices that utilize it, by rerouting your activity through a third-party server.

For example, rather than a smart device connecting directly from your home’s wireless network to its online platform, a VPN will add a stepping stone of sorts. If you have a VPN client loaded onto your router, electronics such as a WiFi programmable thermostat will instead send encrypted data first to the VPN server. This information will then continue on to its intended target, but rather than it being tagged with your personal information, it will appear to have come from the VPN server directly.

This in essence “hides” you from the websites and platforms that you, and your smart devices, need to access. The right VPN can ensure that your personal IP address, location, and even the data that’s transmitted is not only encrypted, but locked away entirely.

How VPNs Can Protect Your Smart Devices

Since the data that is transmitted between your smart devices and the VPN server is encrypted, it’s rendered unreadable to anyone outside of that network. This means that no one (such as an ill-intended hacker) can compromise them… even if those devices are constantly connected.

In order for a hacker to infiltrate your smart devices, a few things need to happen.

First, those devices need to be connected online, sending and receiving data. This part is a given, since most smart devices are constantly communicating with our phones, their own platforms, and even one another, just by design. Even tankless water heaters have smart technology these days, constantly opening the door to malicious attacks.

Second, that online connection needs to be readable. This is easy if you aren’t utilizing a VPN. Your online activity, and that of all of your smart devices, is unprotected. It offers up a slew of identifying tidbits to anyone with the ability to peek in — your location, IP address, and even the data you’re transmitting (like a live camera feed or your credit card number).

With a VPN, you eliminate one of those requirements. Sure, your computer, smartphone, and electronics will still be communicating online as needed, but now, that information will be encrypted. And if that identifying data is encrypted, it can’t be hacked and/or weaponized.

Protect Your Smart Devices With PureVPN

You Need a VPN

If you browse the web, pay bills online, or own smart devices, a VPN is a must and you should also know how to use a VPN to protect your smart home devices. It will not only safeguard your personal information — sparing you from identity theft and fraud — but can even protect your family.

Today’s homes are increasingly filled with devices that can be compromised. Whether it’s as serious as your security systems and indoor cameras being hacked, or just your DVR being used to host internet-crashing malware, you can easily protect yourself with the right VPN client.

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