Why you still need a personal VPN in 2022
VPNs have been protecting our Internet privacy since 1996. Keeping your data safe by improving the security of your connection, a virtual private network enables you to browse anonymously and unblock geo-restricted content.
Easy-to-use and affordable, a personal VPN has become an essential tool for remote workers and small businesses.
Internet security has improved massively in recent years, with SSL certificates authenticating a site’s identity and enabling an encrypted connection. You’ll see a padlock symbol in the top left of your browser right now, which certifies that this site is secure.
So are VPNs going to become obsolete given these improvements? Or do they still have a role to play?
Here we’ll examine the differences between VPNs and why, despite enhanced web security, you still need one to protect your Internet freedom.
Personal VPN vs Business VPN
A VPN is a “tunnel” that makes your device’s traffic unrecognizable to Internet service providers (ISP), advertisers, and criminals. It does this by adding a layer of encryption or coded language that only your VPN and server understand.
A VPN gives you greater anonymity and freedom online, but they are not all the same.
- People use a personal VPN for everyday reasons such as online banking, streaming Netflix on vacation, or watching the Superbowl safely on public Wi-Fi.
- Business VPNs are for security reasons primarily, with large organizations using them to enable trusted users to access servers from multiple locations.
While corporate-style VPNs will protect a company’s security network, they are not designed for anonymous browsing or unblocking geo-restricted content. You’ll need a regular VPN to get these perks.
- Every time you use a personal VPN, you will get a dynamic IP address shared among multiple users.
- Personal VPNs are easy to download, install and set up.
- You can keep your data secure on public Wi-Fi, browse anonymously, and access geo-restricted content easily.
- Corporate VPN subscribers usually have static IP addresses, which provide users with security and convenience.
- IT managers are responsible for managing business VPNs and can add or remove users at their discretion.
- Setting up a business VPN is costly and time-consuming and not as easy as downloading a personal one.
Business VPN or Zero Trust?
VPN technology is over twenty-five years old, and there’s now a rival security system called the Zero Trust model, created in 2010 by John Kindervag.
Zero Trust is a security system requiring all users to be authenticated, authorized, and continuously checked whether they’re in or outside an organization’s network.
Unlike business VPNs, which assume users are legitimate once authorized, Zero Trust automatically believes cyber breaches will happen and, therefore, looks to verify every connection request before granting permission to users.
While Zero Trust is a viable security model for a large-scale business, regular users will need greater flexibility to protect their data.
Is a personal VPN worth it?
With most of our personal information stored in our devices, you must protect them as they’re your private dresser.
So despite SSL certificates securing most websites, having a personal VPN is helpful as it creates an encrypted tunnel between your traffic and anyone who wants to hack you.
A VPN provides a crucial layer of security when you’re logging onto Wi-Fi networks in coffee shops or airport lounges, as they are vulnerable to criminal activities.
VPNs protect you against “evil twins”
Sometimes hackers create fake Wi-Fi public hotspots to deceive people, so shopping and transferring money is risky if you log into an “evil twin” network.
Let’s say you want to use “Starbucks Wi-Fi”, but you accidentally log into a fraudulent “Starbucks FREE Wi-Fi” network.
By doing so, your device’s connection is being re-routed to the hacker’s “rogue access point”. Sometimes criminals combine this threat with a “denial of service” attack, which disables the official network, making their fake one the only one available.
Once you’ve logged into their illegal network, the hacker can access all your pre-stored login and password details, photos, and so forth.
One of the best ways to combat this is to download a personal VPN. By shielding your traffic in an encrypted tunnel and hiding your IP address, it makes it extremely hard for criminals to hack into your device.
Avoid browser fingerprinting with a VPN
A VPN can help prevent “browser fingerprinting,” as your IP cannot track you with one turned on.
When you go online, your device will communicate with the websites you visit, submitting your passive footprint (IP address and device location) details through your browser.
Browser fingerprinting is a way of collecting your data and identifying your whereabouts. It allows websites to recognize your computer, even if you’re taking measures to anonymize your connection.
You may think going incognito will erase your browsing habits. However, it still retains your passive footprint, so you will need a dedicated browser like DuckDuckGo or Brave when using your VPN for personal activities.
VPNs work by directing your traffic through a server in another region. By hiding your IP address, which determines your location, and replacing it with a virtual IP, you can also watch films, shows, and sports games from anywhere in the world.
A VPN will protect you like family
Your online freedom is integral to Namecheap’s values, and as a business, we launched FastVPN (formerly Namecheap VPN) this year, enabling you to have a more free and open Internet.
FastVPN is easy-to-use and hides your real location, so you can shop and pay people securely on public Wi-Fi and access content in different countries. What’s more, it provides a “no-log” guarantee to all our users as it’s none of our business what you search for online.
Cyber threats are evolving, and if you want to browse securely in a fast-changing world, FastVPN is a safe bet for individuals and businesses worldwide.
If you want to protect your Internet freedom in 2022, try FastVPN for free for one month. We accept PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Bitcoin, and American Express.