The best VPNs can help secure your web traffic against snoops, spies, & anyone else who wants to lớn steal or monetize your data.Bạn đang xem: là gì



Have you ever connected khổng lồ a public Wi-Fi network & wondered if someone, somewhere might be able khổng lồ see your online activity? It"s an entirely reasonable concern, considering the forces arrayed against your privacy. With a virtual private network (VPN), you can protect your information from prying eyes và regain a measure of privacy online.

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What Is a VPN, và How Does It Work?

When you switch it on, a VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between you và a remote vps operated by a VPN service. All your mạng internet traffic is routed through this tunnel, so your data is secure from prying eyes along the way. Because your traffic is exiting the VPN server, your true IP address is hidden, masking your identity & location.

To understand the value of a VPN, it helps to lớn think of some specific scenarios in which a VPN might be used. Consider the public Wi-Fi network, perhaps at a coffee cửa hàng or airport. Normally, you might connect without a second thought. But vị you know who might be watching the traffic on that network? Can you even be sure the Wi-Fi network is legit, or might it be operated by some nefarious individual?

If you connect khổng lồ that same public Wi-Fi network using a VPN, you can rest assured that no one on that network will be able to see what you"re up to—not other users snooping around for would-be victims, nor even the operators of the network itself. This last point is particularly important, and everyone should keep in mind that it"s very difficult to tell whether or not a Wi-Fi network is what it appears khổng lồ be. Just because it"s called Starbucks_WiFi doesn"t mean it"s really owned by a well-known coffee purveyor.

When you"re at home, you don"t have to worry as much about someone spying on the Wi-Fi network because you own the network hardware. But a VPN can help here, too. Your internet service provider (ISP) has enormous insight into what you do online, and, thanks khổng lồ Congress, your ISP can sell anonymized data about its customers. That means the company you pay for internet access is making money from your data.

While it is true that companies lượt thích Google và Facebook monetize your online behavior, you are not necessarily forced lớn use those services. If you suddenly decided to stop using Facebook, you might miss out on cute pet pics & political rants from your friends và family, but you could still live a decent, perhaps better, life. You don"t always have that choice when it comes to your ISP, which controls your home"s gateway lớn the entirety of the internet.

While there are alternatives khổng lồ Google and Facebook, most Americans have limited trang chủ ISP alternatives. Many areas have only one ISP offering wired mạng internet access. That makes recent changes that allow ISPs to lớn sell data from their customers all the more troubling. It"s one thing lớn opt into a shady system, it"s quite another to have no choice in the matter.

Here"s another example: Let"s say you"re traveling abroad, và you fire up your browser only khổng lồ discover that you can only visit localized versions of familiar websites. Maybe this just means a different Google Doodle, but it can also mean that the language of the websites you visit is now unfamiliar, certain sites are inaccessible, & some streaming nội dung is out of reach.

With a VPN, you can connect khổng lồ a hệ thống in a different country and spoof your location. If you"re outside the US, you can VPN back to a familiar location và access the mạng internet (mostly) as usual. You can also vì chưng it in reverse. From the comfort of your home, you can pop over khổng lồ a far-away VPN server, perhaps lớn access streaming đoạn phim unavailable in the US.

What a VPN Won"t Do

A VPN is a simple and powerful tool for protecting your privacy online, but the honest truth is that if someone targets you specifically and is willing khổng lồ put forward the effort, they will almost certainly get what they"re after. A VPN can be defeated by malware on your device, or by analyzing traffic patterns lớn correlate activity on your computer lớn activity on the VPN server.

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Even with a VPN, things like cookies allow companies khổng lồ track your mạng internet usage even after you"ve left their sites. Fortunately, we have a handy guide to pruning cookies on your browser. We also recommend using a tracker blocker, such as the EFF"s Privacy Badger, which can help keep advertisers blind lớn your movements. Many browsers, including Firefox, ship with privacy features that will improve your privacy—particularly when it comes khổng lồ defeating browser fingerprinting.

VPNs also only bởi so much khổng lồ anonymize your online activities. If you really want lớn browse the website anonymously, and access the Dark Web khổng lồ boot, you"ll want to use Tor. Unlike a VPN, Tor bounces your traffic through several vps nodes, making it much harder khổng lồ trace. It"s also managed by a non-profit organization & distributed for free. Some VPN services will even connect to Tor via VPN, making this arcane system easier lớn access.

It"s worth noting that most VPN services are not philanthropic organizations that operate for the public good. That means that they have their own bills lớn pay, và monetizing user data may be too tempting to lớn ignore. They also have to abide by the laws of the country in which they officially reside và respond to lớn subpoenas and warrants from law enforcement. This is why it"s so important to read the privacy policy for VPN services, và to find out where a VPN company is headquartered. This information is included in all of our reviews.

While VPNs are useful, they won"t protect against every threat. We strongly recommend using antivirus software, enabling two-factor authentication wherever it"s available, và using a password manager to create unique and complex logins for each & every online account.

Do I Need a VPN On All My Devices?

Yes, you will need to lớn install a VPN client on each device you want khổng lồ connect lớn the VPN. For the most part, VPN clients offer the same features across platforms but that"s not always the case.

For di động devices, the situation is a little thornier. Most companies offer VPN apps for Android & iPhones, which is great because we use these devices lớn connect khổng lồ Wi-Fi all the time. VPNs don"t always play nice with cellular connections, but it takes some serious effort lớn intercept cellphone data. That being said, law enforcement or intelligence agencies may have an easier time gaining access to lớn this data, or metadata, through connections with mobile carriers or by using specialized equipment.

Do you use a less common OS? We offer a roundup of the best VPNs for Linux, as well as tips for how phối up a VPN on your Chromebook.

Note that you can skip client apps altogether and connect to the VPN service simply using your computer"s network control panel. It comes with major drawbacks, however. For one thing, it"s tedious. For another, client apps give you access to lớn more features. Since you"re paying for the bells và whistles VPN companies offer, you may as well be able khổng lồ use them. VPN apps will also always be up lớn date with the latest hệ thống information, which will save you a lot of trouble.

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