Privacy in this day and age may often be overlooked, or rather taking the precautions for keeping it secured is often underestimated. Many people may not realize it but whatever we do online — may it be sending emails, browsing the web, chatting with friends, or even streaming our favorite shows or music — goes through and is dictated by our ISPs, or internet service providers, because of our IP address. Inherently, these internet providers abide by their respective company policies, as well as your government's policies. Through your IP address, your computer can be singled out and identified, among all connected computers in your country alone, by servers around the globe; it's basically how the internet works.
Making use of a VPN ensures you that you remain anonymous, and on top of that you get to bypass geo-restricted content by utilizing a virtual private network.
VPNs have been used by people from countries where internet access has been heavily restricted, in addition to the looming threat of being monitored unbeknownst to them.
Since then, it has been widely used globally even by average consumers, amid constant threats to privacy among the masses. It has been increasingly easier to set up a private network, with it not being exclusive to desktops or laptops — several apps are already in the market for both Android and iOS users, making it a process simpler than ever.
Having your own virtual private network allows you to set up a secure, private channel to access the internet anonymously; effectively masking your computer's IP address with an address set up in a different location. Servers from requested sites would identify your computer to be within its bounds to share geographic specific content when you have chosen to set up your VPN's server to be on that area's range — even if you're logging in from across the globe.
Not only this opens up your capabilities to unblock location-specific services or content from other continents, this also ensures that data exchanged between your computer and servers are encrypted. This severely reduces snooping from prying eyes, and even then, your computer's specific IP address is hidden and on top of that, the data being exchanged is scrambled which renders attempts to decrypt it a lost cause, with the keys only shared between your device and your private network.
It has been mentioned above that a secure, private connection can also be achieved through mobile devices. It is fairly common to have open, free public WiFi hotspots but that doesn't mean you would have to subject your device — and its connected accounts — to these unsecured public hotspots. By setting up your VPN, you can utilize free public internet without being vulnerable to malicious persons that may have connected to the same public hotspot.
As we all know internet isn't free, and data plans with a higher cap would, understandably, mean a higher bill. In some instances, users have found that virtual private networks may also bypass ISP's data cap, or more likely, bypass throttling imposed by internet providers by hiding their original IP address with the private network's server IP address.
With a multitude of VPN providers and app developers across the software market, it takes time to research the right VPN provider for you. Privacy is the key here, the main point of having a VPN is to keep things secure; make sure you choose a provider you can trust and doesn't collect your network traffic. Technology has come out of its early shell into a more widespread tool that doesn't necessarily have to be complicated to set up.