Your home is undoubtedly your sanctuary - you close your windows and lock the doors to stop intruders into your life.
Unfortunately, you're not that safe surfing the internet from your living room.
Now, how much attention do you pay to your Wi-Fi security? Ideally, an unsecured internet connection offers an easy pathway into your online life for various unwanted visitors, including hackers.
Fortunately, if you're looking for security and privacy online, all you need is a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Just like your doors and windows keep unwanted visitors out of your home, a good VPN provides a barrier to protect you from online hackers and other unwanted actors.
Generally, a VPN is a crucial privacy tool for your phone, computer, or any other device that you use to connect to the internet. Perhaps, you could wonder why it's important to use a VPN and even why you need one in 2023.
Don't worry, we've got you covered - this article has all the answers you seek on why you should have a VPN at home.
What's a VPN?
A VPN is a service that offers immense protection to all your data by encrypting all your internet traffic, masking your real IP address, and then rerouting your internet traffic via secure servers across the globe.
Once you connect to your VPN, it creates an encrypted tunnel between the VPN server and your device. That way, your traffic is safe as it's in transit and no one can get access to it.
How Does a VPN Work?
There's no denying that a VPN is an essential tool that you must have if you want to stay private and secure online. However, before you sign up for a VPN, you should learn how it works and its general significance.
So, how does a VPN work?
A VPN simply encrypts all your internet traffic and then routes it via a server located in a country or region of your choosing. Therefore, it makes it appear as though you're connecting to the internet from that location rather than your real location.
Here's the thing; when you connect to your VPN, the device that you're using establishes a strong secure connection with your VPN server, and then your IP address now appears to be that of the server. Now with a secure connection in place, all the traffic is routed via the VPN server, meaning your ISP will only be able to see that you're connected to a VPN server and won't see what you're doing or the websites you visit. Therefore, all your online activity will be secure and private not only from your ISP but also from advertisers.
Moreover, the strong encryption ensures that anyone trying to intercept your connection won't be able to view the activities you undertake. Therefore, a VPN comes in handy especially when you're accessing public Wi-Fi to access sensitive data such as your banking details.
Why Need a VPN at Home?
For most people, a VPN is only important when you want to access unsecured or public Wi-Fi, censorship material, or when in geo-restricted countries. Others think that using a VPN at home is only applicable to folks that do something illegal.
Now, the truth is different!
Sometimes, you might be working remotely, and you'll need a VPN to access your files and networks. A VPN allows you to share data, send emails, and work on sensitive documents securely and safely right from the comfort of your home.
Besides, you can use your home VPN to secure a plethora of home devices, including smart TVs, gaming consoles, tablets, mobiles, and laptops.
Reasons You Should Use a VPN
A VPN offers more than just privacy and security. In fact, to make sure that you get the full extent of what a VPN can offer, here are some of the things that a VPN will offer;
Helps to have a complete online anonymity
Normally, your identity and location can easily be traced through your IP address. It's easy to say that your IP address is merely your digital address, which means that ISPs, websites, hackers, and trackers can easily determine whether you're elsewhere or at home.
Moreover, your IP address connects all your online activity and behavior back to you. Thankfully, a VPN masks your IP address, which means your real location can't be accessed by third parties. A VPN reroutes your traffic via an encrypted virtual tunnel and your online activity can only be tracked to your IP address of the VPN server.
Moreover, the most reliable and secure VPN services have no-log policies, which means that they don't keep records of user activity or even the browsing history - therefore, it's like your session never existed. Therefore, it means that a VPN makes you anonymous on the internet as your identity or real location is completely hidden.
Protection against governments and hackers
A VPN scrambles your traffic through encryption protocols, making it impossible for anyone to intercept or read your information.
One thing is for sure, there are several parties interested in your data; advertisers, cyber criminals, and governments among others. Fortunately for you, a VPN makes it difficult for them to get hold of your data.
Bandwidth throttling is a common problem among several individuals. If you've ever noticed that your connection is slowing down as you download stuff, stream movies, or even enjoy your games; that's a sign of bandwidth throttling.
Usually, throttling occurs when your ISP tries to relieve some congestion by checking your internet traffic and hence intentionally slowing down your connection.
However, when you connect to a VPN, your ISP won't be able to inspect your online traffic and hence won't throttle the connection. In fact, a VPN will help to speed up your gaming and streaming activities.
Helps overcome online censorship
Governments censor the internet in several countries across the globe. Whether for religious, political, or economic reasons, governments block their citizens from accessing certain websites and apps.
For instance, some countries have blocked access to WhatsApp, Twitter, Google, Skype, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify among others. Furthermore, journalist platforms and news websites are always blocked as they're seen as a threat - freedom of speech in such countries is heavily impacted.
Fortunately, a VPN will help you unblock those blocked apps and websites in those countries. A VPN changes your real IP address and allows you to surf the internet as if you're in a region where the internet is open and free.
Download torrents anonymously
In some countries, downloading torrents is illegal with those caught sometimes tracked down and prosecuted.
We're not saying that we advocate illegal actions, but it's clear that most folks want online anonymity and privacy even when uploading as well as downloading files. Therefore, you can use a VPN like ExtremeVPN to ensure that nobody knows whatever you're uploading or downloading.
Helps avoid price discrimination online
Here's the thing, a VPN can help you get better online shopping deals. The truth is; that some retailers online change prices based on your location. Therefore, if you use a VPN, it will change your IP address and you can seek cheaper prices than those offered in your country.
Get an exceptional gaming experience
One of the major problems when it comes to gaming is latency and ping. Ideally, shorter connection routes between gaming servers and your device lower ping, and that's where a VPN comes in handy.
A VPN helps to shorten the connection route by connecting to the VPN server that's closer to your gaming server and hence you get a seamless gaming experience. Besides, you can use a VPN to prevent DDoS attacks which is also a common issue for most gamers.
Browse privately on public networks
There's no denying that using a public Wi-Fi network can be risky given that cyber criminals and hackers have made them a source of collecting data - in fact, it's a gateway for them to tap into your personal information.
Therefore, it's recommended that you always use a VPN whenever you connect to a public network. A VPN encrypts your data as you use a public Wi-Fi network. With a VPN a hacker will see encrypted data and will not see or even get hold of your personal data.
There are several reasons that you should use a VPN. The interesting part is that you can use a VPN for businesses, gaming, traveling, shopping, and streaming among others.
Now, the question is; do you know how to choose the best VPN?
How to Choose the Best VPN
Each passing day a new VPN service is introduced into the market. Some of them don't deliver on what a good VPN should offer. Therefore, you should always stay ahead of the game when selecting your VPN.
To ensure that you choose the most secure VPN, here are some of the things that you should look for;
- **Encryption Standard - **ensure that you choose a VPN that uses the strongest encryption standard; preferably AES-256 encryption
- **Number of Server Locations - **if you want to unblock geo-restrictions, then you must make sure that you go for a VPN that has several servers in various regions or countries across the world to fit all your needs. For instance, ExtremeVPN has a plethora of servers in several countries.
- **No-logs Policy - **when using a VPN, privacy should be top of the table. Therefore, ensure that you choose a VPN that keeps no logs of what you do online.
- **Device Compatibility - **don't choose a VPN that won't be compatible with your device. Moreover, ensure that you check the apps that the provider offers.
- **Ease-of-Use - **nobody wants a VPN that's difficult to maneuver and use - you need a VPN that's straightforward to use. Ensure that you choose a VPN with an easy-to-use user interface.
- **Customer Support - **you should ensure that you go for a VPN that offers 24/7 customer support or even a live chat option. You should choose a VPN that you can get support anytime you need it.
- **Speed and Performance - **you definitely don't want a sluggish internet connection. Sometimes a VPN can slightly bring your connection down as a result of data encryption. However, with a high-quality VPN, speed shouldn't be an issue. Therefore, ensure that you choose a high-quality VPN like ExtremeVPN.
Your home is a private place, and it's clear that you'll feel uncomfortable if strangers keep peering in your doors and windows. It's a similar case to your activities online - they should stay private and secure. Therefore, the only sure way to ensure your online activities stay private is to use a VPN. A VPN at home offers extra protection against ISP snooping, data theft, and surveillance.
Furthermore, a VPN offers other benefits at home like watching sports securely, gaming without limits, bypassing bandwidth throttling, avoiding price discrimination, and unblocking geo-restricted material across the globe.