What is a VPN?
If you have ever been to the web searching for secure browsing options, you must have come across VPN or Virtual Private Network technology. Traditionally, VPN technology was created to encrypt internet traffic and protect online privacy. However, today, VPNs have become an essential technology used to hide browsing trails providing a much secure and private browsing experience. But still, there are a lot of myths surrounding the use of VPN which must be busted.
Why Use a VPN?
According to research by Globenewswire, there was an unprecedented surge of 27.1% in the use of VPN in 2020. Much of this growth was the result of businesses transitioning into remote working model looking to secure operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even before the pandemic, many organizations have mandated the use of VPNs due to the rising number of cyber-attacks. But the use of VPNs is not just limited to corporates trying to protect confidential data online. VPN is a necessity for businesses that need a first layer of security against hackers. For instance, a VPN creates a secure virtual tunnel for the data that encrypts internet traffic. Thus, hackers cannot see confidential data such as passwords travel through the network and the data remains protected. Moreover, VPNs also have built-in features to block malicious websites, ads, and pop-ups. Sometimes, these ads have the potential to infect devices with malware.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common VPN myths that internet users must be aware of.
Myth 1: VPNs offers complete anonymity
This is one of the most common VPN myths that users have in mind. Today, millions of people use VPN on work devices to access shopping and entertainment sites, thinking they’re completely anonymous online. However, that’s not completely true. Users must realize that the encryption provided by VPN is difficult, but not impossible to decrypt. Moreover, users are not 100% anonymous. When users connect to a VPN, they have to go through an authentication process, which is most likely via username and password, certificates, and keys. Thus, the VPN provider can easily identify the devices connecting to it and doesn’t offer complete anonymity to users. Similarly, a VPN doesn’t completely protect the devices from potential malware.
Myth 2: VPNs collect no data
The goal of VPN is to protect data that travels through its tunnels. It masks IP addresses of users and prevents others from locating users’ real IP address. Thus many users use VPN to stream entertainment content on work devices such as Netflix, YouTube, Torrent and many more.
However, many users might assume VPNs don’t collect their data. Most free VPN providers have access to their user’s IP addresses, date, and time when the devices connect. While paid VPN services collect its device-related data such as operating system, apps, and patch updates.
Myth 3: All VPN services are the same
When choosing a VPN service provider, there are lots of free and paid VPN service providers available in the market. However, users must remember nothing in this world is free. Free VPN service providers can often sell users’ logs for monetizing purposes. In the worst cases, they may start showing ads to their users on the sites they visit.
Paid VPNs have to follow more strict regulations. Unlike its free counterparts, paid VPNs doesn’t track its users and are safer options.
Myth 4: You don’t need a VPN if you don’t do anything illegal
The benefits of VPN go beyond privacy. It helps users to stay secure on public Wi-Fi when using online banking services, sending confidential emails, or even storing important files on devices. It prevents hackers from stealing data and tracking their prey online.
Moreover, it is naive to think that VPNs are used for illegal purposes. Some examples of people who may benefit from the frequent use of VPNs include travelers, foreign students, journalists, and many more.
Myth 5: VPN slows down the internet speed
The last popular VPN myth is that VPN significantly slows down the internet speed. The speed of the internet while using a VPN service may vary but depends upon various factors such as the quality of encryption, the settings of VPN and the load on the server. The data travels through a VPN server in an encrypted form to a server located in another country. If the servers are located at a longer distance, the connection tends to be slower. As such, users can always select servers from nearby cities or neighboring countries to experience improved internet speed.
Organizations looking to secure corporate data for remote employees can easily configure VPN settings on Android and iOS devices using SureMDM. Admins can configure the VPN network to be “always-on” on corporate-owned devices by checking the Always-on option.