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Does a VPN really protect my anonymity on the internet?

Secure Your Internet With Fast & Free VPN

Does a VPN really protect my anonymity on the internet?

They ensure confidentiality on the Internet, counter cyber-attacks from hackers and other phishing, and protect personal data online. Internet security is today at the center of the concerns of many Internet users. 

As a result, many people turn to the VPN, or Virtual Private Network in English, to become invisible when connected to the net. But is it that effective? Does a VPN Protect Anonymity on the Internet? 

In this article, we will come back to how a VPN works before looking at the means implemented by this software to defend their customers against the dangers of the web.

What is a VPN?

A VPN is a virtual private network (whose abbreviation comes from the English Virtual Private Network). It comes in software (or an application) to be installed on all digital media, from PC to Mac, including tablets and smartphones running Android or iOS.

Available for a few euros per month or free depending on the provider, the VPN aims to encrypt Internet traffic and hide the IP address of its user. Thanks to this service, the latter can browse the Internet in complete confidentiality and security.

Indeed, when you connect to the net in a very traditional way (that is to say, by linking to your modem, that of your company, or to a hotspot), you can very easily be observed. Each of your clicks during your travels on this shared network lets out more or less sensitive information. These are then available to everyone, including malicious people. It is where the VPN comes in! It will install a secure computer tunnel inside your network.

To put it simply, imagine the Internet as a massive piece of machinery, with multiple pipes connecting all the computers and servers in the world. Inside is flowing water. The VPN slides an airtight line inside these pipes. So you always have access to other computers and servers. Only, your water does not mix with that of different tubes, and above all, it becomes untouchable for anyone who is not connected to your pipe. This airtight pipe is called data encryption.

It may sound scary to those who don’t know much about computers. Rest assured, installing and using a VPN has been designed to be intuitive and straightforward. Everyone can therefore use it!

How does a VPN work?

It’s all well and good this piping story, but let’s dive a little deeper into the heart of the matter!

Usually, when you connect to the Internet, it is your Internet service provider (ISP for close friends) to bring you to the website you want to visit. Therefore, all your traffic is managed by your ISP, which has an unfortunate consequence: the latter can see all your every little thing and do and do on the net. Surfing habits and personal data can then be resold to advertisers (advertisers) or other third parties. We are far from the anonymity so desired!

The VPN will bypass your ISP. For this, it will redirect your Internet traffic to a VPN server. The latter is responsible for encrypting your data and hiding your IP address (the famous hermetic pipe we were talking about previously). This encrypted tunnel then transmits all your browsing information, well protected from your ISP or any third party.

From the user’s point of view, it’s straightforward:

  • Open your Internet browser (Safari, Chrome, Mozilla, or even Microsoft Edge) and surf the net normally. Your IP address is masked, and your inbound and outbound traffic is encrypted. You can rest assured that no one can spy on you or use your data.
  • Connect to a VPN server. To do this, open the software and click a button. THE APPLICATION CHOOSES the VPN server automatically; generally, it is the closest and least congested server. However, it is possible to connect to a specific server in a particular country.
  • Install a VPN on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Using a VPN is an easy to set up and reliable way to protect your privacy and internet activities. However, be careful. Your security depends entirely on your VPN: it is, therefore, essential to choose your provider carefully. We will come back to this a little later in this article.

Have you ever noticed that the advertisements offered by social networks or any web page change according to your previous searches? When you spend ten minutes or so comparing cell phones on Google, you end up with sponsored ads for different smartphone models all over your screen! No wonder that since every step you take on the net is monitored and used.

And it can be alarming: no one wants to know that Big Brother is watching and analyzing everything you do on the net. With a VPN, your IP address and all your communications are carefully protected by encryption. Your data can, therefore, no longer be used.

Why is a VPN essential to guarantee its security and anonymity on the net?

Secure Your Internet With Fast & Free VPN
Secure Your Internet With Fast & Free VPN

Confidentiality of your Internet activities

Have you ever noticed that the advertisements offered by social networks or any web page change according to your previous searches? When you spend ten minutes or so comparing cell phones on Google, you end up with sponsored ads for different smartphone models all over your screen! No wonder that since every step you take on the net is monitored and used.

And it can be alarming: no one wants to know that Big Brother is watching and analyzing everything you do on the net. With a VPN, your IP address and all your communications are carefully protected by encryption. Your data can, therefore, no longer be used.

Fight against cybercrime

Today, antiviruses may no longer be enough to thwart the traps of web hackers. Indeed, these hackers take advantage of each flaw in the system to reach you and recover:

  • Your files (photos, documents, etc.);
  • Passwords for your different accounts;
  • Your data;
  • Your bank details 

And let’s not forget other harmful actions like:

  • The spread of viruses;
  • Identity theft;
  • Contamination of several connected devices;
  • Hacking of an online service;
  • Fraudulent subscription to the internet offers 

The VPN allows you to avoid all these setbacks. Indeed, even if cybercriminals manage to access your data (which in itself is already very complex), it will be unusable because of completely unreadable, thanks to the encryption.

Safe access to all online content and services

Specific sites and applications are censored in several countries worldwide, and trying to access them can endanger the Internet user. It is the case, for example, of China, Iran, or Burma. If you like to travel, this can be a problem!

Without going to this extreme, some streaming platforms can also restrict their access depending on the location of the user’s IP address.

So, whether for professional or personal reasons, browse as you want and where you want, thanks to the VPN. Your disturbing IP address is masked, and it is impossible to identify the country where you are located.

How do I change my IP address with a VPN?

The IP address is your passport, your identity card, your papers on the net. Because of this unique set of numbers, anyone can know everything about you: your location, the brand of your device, your screen resolution, and much more information that you would like to keep to yourself.

So, whether it’s to download from Torrent in peace, bypass the censorship of certain countries, or access foreign streaming platforms, changing your IP address is essential.

Indeed, the latter will use the IP address of its server to hide yours and protect your identity. No one will be able to know where you are and what you are doing. Anonymity guaranteed!

Does a VPN secure all the personal data on my smartphone?

Installing a VPN on your computer is preferred by more and more Internet users. And all the more so when the latter is used in a professional setting where data exchange can be compassionate. But few people instinctively install it on their other digital devices such as tablets and phones running Android or iOS.

However, the use of a VPN is highly recommended. Yes, smartphones contain a lot of ultra-sensitive information. Because who does not check their bank accounts via an application from their mobile? Who has never entered their credit card number to order on a large platform such as Amazon? And what about geolocation, so often used in everyday life? Or the many photos and videos that fill the memory card?

In addition, the networks that your smartphone uses, whether it is a public wifi network or the 4G included in your package, are much less secure than they appear. Indeed, a phone automatically changes the network to give you the best possible speed without you even realizing it. The catch? You can land on a much less secure network without knowing it and thus find yourself at the mercy of hackers.

THEREFORE, the VPN is the ideal tool to ensure your security and protect your anonymity on all your devices. The providers have understood this well since most of them offer you the possibility of covering up to 7 devices with a single subscription. Therefore, you can install it on all your digital media. You will then no longer need to remember which ones are secure.

As a reminder: using a VPN does not affect your mobile data plan or the price of your telephone subscription.

Does a VPN protect me when using public wifi (at airports or hotels)?

For a short answer: Yes, but bet on the KillSwitch!

As a reminder, hotspots are free Internet access points allowing connection via public wifi. They are found mainly in airports, hotels, train stations, or even certain restaurants and large shopping centers. Praised by more and more users, they are nonetheless very insecure.

Cybercriminals have effortless access to your identity and your data (e-mail passwords, private banking data, personal files, etc.). Especially since it is often from a smartphone that Internet users use this public wifi the most. A hacker can thus very simply steal this information to exploit it or to break into your device.

In addition, when certain companies or institutions offer these access points, be aware that it is common for them to collect data. Some evil even breaks the law by reselling your precious information.

Therefore, it is essential, even urgent, to get a VPN if you are used to using this type of public network. However, to make your online activity as secure as possible and protect your anonymity on the Internet, it is essential to opt for a provider offering the Kill Switch function.

The latter is responsible for constantly monitoring your connection to the VPN server (server which, let us remember, is responsible for encrypting your data and masking your IP). The Kill Switch immediately disconnects your device if the connection is accidentally interrupted (as happens very regularly with hotspots). Without it, you might be browsing online with total exposure (and without realizing it!).

Does a VPN make me completely anonymous?

It is the fantasy of many Internet users, and to realize it, you will have no choice: opting for a paid VPN is essential!

If you’ve ever made a comparison of the best VPNs, you’ve probably noticed that there are free VPN providers, and there are paid ones. So why pays for a service you can have without spending a dime?

Free VPNs have multiple flaws like:

  • A frankly slower flow rate.
  • Limited bandwidth (usually voluntarily);
  • A low number of VPN servers available;

And the consequences are dire for your privacy and security on the Internet. With such providers, expect a regularly interrupted connection, revealing your IP address in the process. Because if all good paid VPNs offer the Kill Switch function, this is not the case with free VPNs!

It goes even further since this service, offered free of charge to Internet users, does not provide any source of income for suppliers. However, it is nevertheless essential to earn money to maintain the server park and their software. Free VPNs do not regularly update their apps and therefore expose you to new security holes that might emerge.

In addition, unlike paid VPNs, most free VPNs do not offer additional security tools, such as DNS leak protection, the famous Kill Switch, or even double VPN. The latter is exciting if you want to ensure your anonymity on the Internet. Instead of going through a VPN server to encrypt your data, the double VPN will use a second server: AZS 256-bit double encryption, the best way to secure your online browsing today.

Finally, last but not least, know that, as the saying goes, if it’s free, you are the product! Yes, free VPNs are always very vague regarding their general conditions of sale, their guarantees and commitments to customers, the location of their head office, and above all. The use of your data!

As providers cannot earn revenue from their users’ subscriptions, they market what they have: your information, such as your browsing habits, your history, and of course, your data. If you thought you would become invisible on the net, it is not with a free VPN that this will be possible! only a paid VPN will give you anonymity on the Internet

So go ahead and opt for a paid VPN! Their prices are meager, especially if you commit to 1 year or three years.

Does a VPN save some personal data?

We saw previously that free VPNs already use their customers’ data. But did you know that the paid versions also record certain information about you?

In reality, a VPN provider necessarily keeps some data without which it would be unable to offer packages according to the number of GB consumed or limit connections to a specific number of devices.

Here is the data usually saved by the VPN provider:

  • The information completed in the registration form;
  • The user’s IP address;
  • The connection time to the service;
  • The volume of data sent and received per day.

This list is not exhaustive. You can know the privacy policy of your future VPN; there is only one solution: read the general conditions of sale. However, rest assured most providers only keep this information for a limited time, and most importantly, confidentially and securely.

In conclusion, a VPN protects your anonymity on the internet. But to benefit from this security and this total confidentiality on all your screens, it is essential to choose a severe supplier and paying! Thus, you will be able to browse the web, safe from hackers, without any fear for your privacy, your online activity, and your data. Peace of mind guaranteed!