Here’s how the Internet works: Imagine you sitting at home, writing a message to a friend in another city. You write that message on a postcard and deliver it by post, shortly after it arrives at the recipient and everything is okay.
But underway, how many people do you think might have read your message? And do you care if anybody did read your message?
Well, most likely nobody did – but they could if they would.
The carrier (post office and mail man) can easily read your message, it’s not encrypted or locked away in any way, it’s there in plain text, wide open. They can easily see what you wrote – and to where you are sending it.
Anybody else can see it too, but only if they have the right means to do so, ie. they must know how to “sneak a peak” somewhere along the route of your postcard.
That’s pretty much how it works when you send an e-mail. Your Internet Service Provider can easily read it, along with most other traffic that goes through your Internet connection. And everybody else who has the means (usually hardcore computer geeks) can read it too.
Now, that doesn’t mean you need to get paranoid, because let’s face it, you’re probably not that interesting to spy on, compared to so many else, right?
But still, wouldn’t it be nice knowing that whatever traffic goes from your computer through your Internet connection, and out on the Internet, cannot be traced easily back to you or seen by everybody who has the means to do so?
With IPVanish, you get access to 39+ servers in 15 countries worldwide. That means, if you’re surfing from Europe but you want to listen to Pandora Internet Radio, you will simply use your VPN subscription and tell the software that you want to make it seem as if you’re based in the United States right now – and Pandora will let you in and happily play music for you. If you visit Pandora from your Internet connection in Europe, without VPN or any other kind of voodoo magic, they will tell you “sorry, we don’t support your country”.
That’s just one great thing about VPN. Another great thing is encryption. The connection between you and the VPN server is encrypted with minimum 128bit (256bit in most cases), giving you complete privacy.
Want to hide your ass on your smartphone? Easy, just enable VPN on that too.
Don’t have anything to hide, don’t care if everybody knows what you’re doing? That’s good, most of us probably feel that way, but that doesn’t mean VPN can’t be of use, like in the case of Pandora Internet Radio, or Netflix, or Hulu, or many other services that only works in certain countries, even if you’re legally paying for those services, they will only serve you if they can see your computer is located in certain countries, and that’s where a VPN service will help you out – it simply makes it seem as if you’re somewhere else.
This article was merely an introduction to VPN and my favorite VPN provider, IPVanish. In upcoming articles we will focus on how to get it working, the security and much more, so stay tuned and be sure to subscribe to RSS feed and/or follow on Facebook / Twitter.
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