Do you feel the term VPN (Virtual Private Network) is beyond the understanding and comprehension of common people? The reality is that it is not so. Simply put, VPN refers to the method of establishing a secure network connection to public networks. This is achieved by VPNs through real-time encrypting of your internet activities and protecting your online identity from public view. This mechanism makes it difficult for others to track your online activities and compromise with your data.
VPN offers many benefits to individual and business users who adopt VPN for multiple purposes that include exchanging sensitive information through transmission, accessing the internet using public Wi-Fi, or watching your favorite programs on Netflix. In this blog, we will discuss what a VPN means, what it does, and its common uses, for both individual users at home and commercial users.
A VPN is a process that protects sensitive and confidential information by hiding your device’s IP address and allowing the network to redirect the information through a secure remote server enabled by a VPN host. When you use VPN to perform activities online, the VPN server acts as the source of your data rather than the ISP server. It means that the websites you visit and the data you exchange online are not visible to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and any other third parties because VPN masks your online identity allowing you to surf the internet anonymously.
A VPN can protect your identity even when you are using public or shared Wi-Fi, and your data will be kept private from others who may be trying to furtively consume your data. A VPN bypasses your personal ISP, instead of connecting you to a hosted server. A VPN because its servers are located all over the world allows users to access the internet from virtually anywhere.
Let us take a closer look at what makes it critical for you to use a VPN:
Use public Wi-Fi securely: When you send emails or use other communication methods from a public place or through social media at a public place like an airport using public Wi-Fi, there is a possibility that your activity is tracked by someone unscrupulously. A VPN comes here as protection for your data hiding your browsing history, sensitive information, passwords, and such confidential information from hackers and intruders with malicious intentions.
Data privacy protection from ISP: Your internet service provider has access to all your internet data and your browsing history and behavior. ISPs can collect and sell this valuable data to advertisers and marketers who devise marketing and sales strategies for companies. This can be sometimes dangerous if your sensitive and confidential information lands in the hands of malicious players. A VPN can be used to hide your IP address from your own ISP.
Data Privacy protection from Services: We have seen that many of the popular apps and internet services have been called out for the way they misuse the private data of their users. A VPN can protect your information from being misused by these apps and websites.
Security with remote working: The encryption feature of a VPN allows you to keep confidential information private and secure. One of the benefits of VPN, thanks to the encryption feature, is that it enables companies to let employees work remotely by connecting to their office network which has a lot of sensitive materials safely. A VPN gives businesses the confidence to continue with the work-from-office policy even after the pandemic.
Adaptability with multiple devices: VPN can be used on virtually any device, not just laptops and desktops. There are many VPN service plans that can protect multiple devices such as your phones, tablets, and other smart devices. Every VPN company has different protection plans depending on the capacities of the devices to protect.
There are many use cases of VPNs for businesses, gamers, and streamers, among others. Let us take a look at the most common use cases of VPNs in businesses including the following:
Smooth and safe remote working. Even after the pandemic, many companies allow employees to work from home. VPN ensures data protection and security while logging in to a shared corporate network. This helps both employees and companies in pursuing a smooth and secure work-from-home mode.
Maintain shared network security. VPN plays a critical role in ensuring that your shared network is safe by keeping your business communications and data sharing safe and protected from cyber attacks and hackers.
Access control. VPNs offer options to control application access control that make sure that sensitive and confidential information cannot be accessed even by employees who are not authorized to access certain information.
Safe browsing from anywhere on any device. It allows you to safely connect to the applications on the cloud, from anywhere, and on any device. VPN enables access to applications from anywhere on any device without the need to worry about security breaches.
Overcome location-based blocking. Some locations like China and Iran have specific controls over certain contents and social media. This becomes a hindrance to business travelers who travel to those locations by not being able to access some important websites. A connection using a VPN with your home location will help avoid such content blocking.
Protect business transactions. Business transactions, particularly financial transactions are critical, and getting unauthorized access to such information is of high risk to the companies. A VPN through masking your internet traffic and encrypting your connection helps stop unscrupulous tracking of your business transactions or transfers by unauthorized people.
Use public Wi-Fi trustfully. Most individuals and business users connect to the internet at public places including airports using free Wi-Fi but it is a risky option. However, a VPN ensures that your activities using public Wi-Fi are safe and secure from any breaches.
The shift to remote working and the increasing need to bypass geographical access restrictions have been two of the key drivers for VPN adoption in recent years. According to Grand View Research, the VPN market was only worth $16.15 billion in 2016. In just four years in 2020, the market expanded, reaching $30 billion in 2020, and it was worth $35 billion in 2022. In the next five years, the market is expected to almost triple in size to over $92 billion in 2027.
When using the VPN, all your data traffic is routed through an encrypted virtual tunnel, hiding your IP address, and making your real location invisible to everyone. This makes a connection using VPN highly difficult for cyber attackers to breach your security and access your data and activities. It is critical for businesses - small and large - to protect their data and privacy by adopting VPN in their network connection by engaging relevant teams if available internally or availing services from external sources. Not establishing VPN can sometimes turn out to be very risky and resultantly costly for businesses.