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What’s a VPN? The Basics and Benefits of VPN

Looking to get a VPN but don’t know where to start? Don’t sweat it because, in this article, I break down everything you could possibly need to know about VPNs. By the end of it all, you’ll be able to answer “what does a VPN do?” and enumerate benefits of VPN.

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The Insider’s Trick on Getting a Free VPN

As you search online, you’ll definitely notice a lot of companies offering money back guarantees. But the catch is, they always make it hard for you to get a refund.  Well, this doesn’t happen with ExpressVPN. In fact, they make it so easy for you to get your money back right away.

The trick is to use this link to get the software. Then, try out their 30-day money back guarantee. Once you near the end of the trial period, you can simply call up their customer service. They give you your refund with no questions asked! You can say you only wanted to use it for free, or because you changed your mind, it won’t matter to them. Believe me, I’ve tried and tested it myself.

What does VPN mean?

A VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Its primary function is being the shield to your personal identity and private information. But it’s most famous for making it appear as if you’re in another country without leaving the comforts of your own home.

What does a VPN do?

  1. Unblock censorship. Have you ever tried to look for something online only to discover that it’s censored? Say goodbye to that problem because a VPN bypasses censorship like nobody’s business.
  2. Get around geo-restrictions. If you’ve ever encountered a problem like this, then you’ll know that some sites are only accessible if you’re in a specific region. Whats a VPN got to do with this? It gets rid of geo-restrictions for you!
  3. Protect your identity. This is what VPNs specialize in. It basically hides everything from your online activity, personal information to your IP address. This shields you from your ISP, hackers and even government agencies looking in on you.
  4. Downloading torrents. One of the many benefits of VPN making downloading torrents easier and safer than before.
  5. Protect yourself whenever you’re using public WiFi. Did you know that public networks can actually access some of your private information? Not a problem when you subscribe to a VPN.

How VPN Works

Now that you know what does VPN mean, it’s time to get into how it works. Don’t worry I won’t get all too technical. I’ll make sure to explain it so you can understand it easily.

First, let’s talk about what goes behind the following benefits of VPN:

Protect Your Data

Did you know that even when you’re simply browsing the internet online, you expose yourself to threats? Indeed, it doesn’t take a genius to be able to see your IP address and get your personal information at all. Anyone can look into your chat conversations, credit card information and even the things you’re interested in.

This is because of your ISP (Internet Service Provider). Your ISP can actually see everything you’re doing. In this way, anyone from government agencies, hackers and creepy weirdos can see your online activity.

What does a VPN do about this? Essentially, a VPN creates an encrypted tunnel where your internet traffic passes through. Because everything is encrypted, nobody can know what you’re doing. So basically, to the outside world, you are virtually invisible.

Quick Tip

For those living in the USA, your ISP can actually sell your private information to companies looking to advertise their products and services. Scary right? This is why it’s really important to use a VPN so that this doesn’t happen to you.

Buh Bye to Geo-restrictions

You probably already heard about this. After all, this is one of the most famous benefits of VPN.

Geo-restrictions basically prevent people that aren’t within a certain region from accessing its site. This process is actually being used by Netflix, ESPN, HBO, and BBC.

Let’s take Netflix for example. Did you know that every other country in the world only has access to only 2%-98% of the US movie library? This explains why sometimes whenever you search for a movie title, all you get is the “titles related to” banner. The movie you’re looking for is probably on Netflix, but just not in the country you’re in.

Now as unfair as it seems, we can’t really blame them for this. In fact, they even stated that they would love to give everyone all over the world full access. But, they are held back by their copyright agreement that they had with the movie distributors.

So whats a VPN got to do with all this?

Let’s go back to geo-restrictions. It works by looking at your IP address and comparing it to see whether or not you are in the US. Once it sees that you are in another country, it automatically denies you access.

But with a VPN, it can actually hide your real IP address and make it look like you’re in the US if you simply select a server from there.

All it takes is a simple click of a mouse, and voila! Enjoy binge-watching any movie or accessing any blocked websites of your choice.

Access Free WiFi Safely

Like I said earlier, free WiFi is basically a hacker hotspot. They love looking for prey and planting malware on your devices whenever you connect.

What does a VPN do about this? Since all your data and traffic are encrypted, there is absolutely no way for them to try and steal your precious personal information!

Quick Tip

Beware of WiFi networks that ask you to sign in with your email. This is just a ploy for it to give out your email to other advertising companies.

Is it worth it?

Before we go into my recommended providers, you need to consider everything including prices and the benefits of VPN.

No good VPN provider comes for free. You can’t expect a quality service to give out free subscription accounts – that would bankrupt them! But never fear because all the top VPNs offer a 30-day money back guarantee along with free trials. This allows you to avail of all their premium services for free.

And if you do find the perfect VPN for you, then you can always pick out a payment plan that suits you! They have a lot of extremely affordable options. The longer you commit, the lower the price of your subscription.

Free VPNs

Now let’s talk about the free VPN services. I know it can be tempting to just use a free provider instead of one that you need to subscribe to.

The catch about these free services is that it doesn’t have the same privacy policies as the premium ones. In fact, they too, take your personal information and sell it to the highest bidding advertisement company.

Another trait that gets you turned off is that most of them actually have a really tiny data limit. Some only allow you a maximum of 500 MB per month. This is barely enough for a full YouTube video. So, if you’re looking to use a free VPN for streaming, you won’t find it here.

Whats a VPN got to offer for free? So, I recommend trying out any of the VPNs that offer money-back guarantees and free trials. This way, you get all the good stuff for free.

Best VPN Services

So here was what I promised earlier on. Now that you’re able to answer the question ‘what does VPN mean?’, these are my top 3 recommended VPN clients. I have tried and tested each of them myself for years. So, rest assured that it’s all top-notch.

Now, you can simply take my word for it or, you can check out the individual reviews of the different types of VPN.

You can definitely pick out any of the providers above. But you’re probably wondering whats a VPN like CyberGhost doing at the top of the list. It is without a doubt the best-of-the-best. It’s fast, secure and cheap! It’s also great for beginners like you because of its user-friendly interface.

How to Connect to VPN:

Now that you have picked out the VPN provider of your choice (CyberGhost?), you can begin setting it up. Here’s a short and easy guide on how to connect to a VPN.

After you go to the site and follow their instructions on downloading and installing the software, launch the app from your device/s. However, if you do run into some problems, you can always call up their trusty customer service to walk you through the whole process.

Quick tip

Some providers actually have a ‘simultaneous use’ feature. This means that you can use the same account on different devices at the same time. The top pick, CyberGhost, allows the use of up to 7 devices!

Now is time to connect to a secure VPN. Keep in mind that the VPN tunnels you connect to should be chosen according to what you’ll be doing.

If you’re simply opening your email, online shopping, or surfing on social media, then you should pick a ‘local’ server. But if you want to access censored or geo-restricted content, then choose a server that’s located in the country you’re sure it’s available in. For a BBC stream, for example, you need a server located in the UK.

Now that you have properly established a connection with the VPN server of your choice, you can safely say that your data and privacy are safe. This is because all your traffic and activity is encrypted and passes through a secure connection undetected.

That’s the VPN Explained

Now you know:

  • benefits of VPN
  • what’s VPN mean
  • what does a VPN do

Always take your safety into account first and get a good VPN provider like CyberGhost. If you want to get a free VPN, you can always try out the 30-day money back guarantee and free trials offered by the different providers.

Daniel

If you can call someone an internet lover, it's me! I’ve always been passionate about the online world. And I’ve developed a special love about the topics of security and privacy. Privacy is the ultimate asset to protect. As a seasoned security expert, I make every effort to stay up-to-date about security. And I’m happy to share my knowledge with our readers.

4 Comments
  1. Okay so there’s all the benefits and what VPNs can do for you, but how do VPNs actually work? Cause earlier all it said was that it helps keep your identity safe and you can still keep watching movies even when you’re in another country that doesn’t have it yet. But how does it do that?

    • Essentially, VPNs actually hide your real IP address to make it look like you’re somewhere else when you’re using it. This is because sometimes, websites tend to geo-block you once they check your IP address to see whether it can be opened in your region. A VPNs job is to connect you to the local network that you’re trying to access and once it does, all network traffic done on your computer is sent over to the VPN which makes it look like you are where the VPN says you are. To summarize it all, the VPN works with you to make it look like you’re there even when you could be on the other side of the world.

  2. Hi I just wanna know if getting a VPN would help me access my files when I’m in another country… Usually my documents can only be accessed at work and whenever I’m on vacation, being the workaholic that I am, I still want to be able to do them. I understand that a VPN can grant access to movie streaming subscriptions and all but does it do the same if I want to work remotely?

    • Hello there! To answer your question, yes it can do exactly that. They were actually originally used by office workers who wanted to access their files remotely. This is because VPNs are able to hide your IP address and make it look like it’s somewhere else. So even if you’re at home or on vacation, virtually, it still looks like you’re in the office with everyone else.

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