Written by Hannah Golding
What Is A VPN?
A VPN, or ‘Virtual Private Network’, is a service that not only encrypts your data, but also hides your IP address online by bouncing your network activity through a secure chain to another server miles away. This creates a protected network connection when you use the internet, making it harder for threat actors to steal your data.
Why You Should Use It
If you’re working from home or on the go, you’ll still be able to use VPN to protect your data. This is because a VPN is a network, so you can access it remotely. Employees can connect to their office network and look at sensitive materials on their own devices whilst being away from the workplace.
Identity Remains Anonymous
Only you and your VPN provider can access the details of what websites you’ve visited. This means your identity can remain anonymous, unlike if you were using a web browser’s incognito mode, as they don’t fully protect your data as you might think.
A VPN provides an encrypted tunnel for transferring your data to and from your device and the host site. This minimizes the risk of your data being stolen. Everything is end-to-end encrypted with VPN.
Security On Public Wi-Fi
Although public Wi-Fi may be convenient, your data may be at a higher risk of being stolen. Using a VPN can help protect your data whilst you are on other networks, hiding information like your browsing history, banking information, account passwords and more.
Hide Your Location
VPNs spoof your location. This is helpful in keeping your real identity safe from any malicious third parties that might want to steal your personal information.
A VPN can help secure data privacy from your internet service provider. Although being connected to Wi-Fi at home is less risky than being on a public connection, your data is still vulnerable.
Your internet service provider (ISP), such as BT, Sky, etc., can access all your internet data (when, where, and how you browse). A VPN can help by obscuring your ISP address from your own ISP. A VPN will also help prevent apps and websites from tracking your online behaviour with your computer’s ISP address.
How much or how little your VPN affects your device will depend on the kind of software you choose to use. However, many VPNs work directly with the operating system such as Windows, Mac OS, iOS or Android.
Here, we’ve listed some of the different types of VPN on the market and what they’re most suitable for:
Standalone VPN Services
This uses an application that creates an encrypted connection to the private network which you can then use to access the internet. This VPN is most commonly used by small businesses and in homes.
This type of VPN works as a browser add-on. There is a variety available to install to browsers, like Google Chrome and Firefox. However, a disadvantage of browser VPN is that your data will only be protected when you’re using that browser specifically, meaning your other apps won’t be protected. It is also common for IP-address leaks to occur.
If you have multiple devices you want to protect, a VPN-enabled router is the best way to protect several devices at the same time, saving you from having to install the VPN individually for each device. This also means you’ll only have to sign in once as your router will always be connected to your VPN.
Remote-access VPNs are commonly used for employees who work from home. Through this type of VPN, employees can securely access the company’s private intranet often by using a password and an app.
We would always recommend using a VPN for your business. Whether small or large cooperation, VPN adds an extra layer to your cybersecurity posture helping to reduce the chance of attack by threat actors. With this in mind, it is imperative that you or your IT provider make sure that your VPN software is updated regularly.
If you would like any help or advice regarding installing VPN on your device or corporate network, please fill out the contact form below and a member of our team will be in touch to help.