The American Federal Communications Commission overturning Net Neutrality laws is only one of the reasons many people are starting to turn to private internet access options. In the modern age, most of our lives are online and on display, either through social media or other platforms. Being unable to communicate, restricted from educational resources, and unable to access websites because competitors are making traffic slower are events we hope never come.
Regardless, private internet access can be utilized by anyone despite their country’s or internet service provider’s rules and regulations about viewable content online. With popularity and demand for private internet access and VPNs rising, more people are trying to seek out easy and cheap alternatives.
Here’s how to get started:
The Importance of PIA
If you were to Google the term “IP,” which is short for “internet protocol,” then your IP address will appear. Your IP address is a unique number to your device and stays with you no matter what website you access. In order words, you can be tracked using your IP — and the address being public makes internet stalking easy.
Tracking IP addresses is also used for “white hat” purposes. Catching criminals or companies collecting data isn’t anything to get paranoid about. However, browsing the internet securely is always a plus. PIA makes your IP address hidden to anyone trying to get a look, and you become anonymous online. With your IP hidden, your service provider can’t see what you’re doing, so anything restricted before is now available.
A business collecting your data is supposed to improve your browsing experiences and their customer service, but accidents happen sometimes. According to a Pomenon study, 43 percent of companies have had a data breach within the last year, or 10 percent more than the year before.
Now your information is in the hands of criminals if you’ve done business with one of those companies. With many transactions happening online, having data taken is a very real possibility.
Cybersecurity comes in many forms, but nothing beats seemingly not existing on the internet at all. With your IP hidden, you can access sites your neighbors can’t, and at potentially higher speeds. Viruses could still be a problem, as always, but browsing anonymously protects your right to information and is just one more layer of security.
What Is a VPN?
A virtual private network, or VPN, is one of the most popular and well-known ways to get private internet access. A VPN works by encrypting the information your internet service provider, or ISP, can see. More technically, your ISP provides your internet connection.
The VPN then makes the connection between yourself and the ISP encrypted, allowing you to browse anonymously. The IP address your ISP sees is the VPN’s, which means your browsing is anonymized.
There are some legal gray areas in using a VPN. Getting around restricted or outlawed networks doesn’t make the act any less illegal, whether for a serious crime or something as small as watching a program through a third party.
Owning and using a VPN isn’t illegal, though, because many people simply don’t want their personal information up for grabs and they don’t want their traffic slowed by businesses trying to make their competitors look bad.
A VPN can be a great investment if you can afford the price. Many of them are low-cost, and some are as low as $5-$10 per month.
You can even make expenses lower by working with the fees of your other device providers. For instance, Google’s Project Fi allows a bill protection plan that gives you a set monthly rate and lets you keep the excess data for free.
Privacy, Security and Anonymity
If you were worried about the FCC’s Net Neutrality decision or something similar happening in your country, a VPN could be a remarkable investment for the future. Even if widespread corporate and state censorship doesn’t come to pass, having a VPN can’t hurt.
Your information is protected, you can see anything you like, and you can rest easy knowing your identity is hidden.
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