The role of VPNs has received very little attention in recent years. They have never been needed, used, seen, or heard of. However, many still do not know what a VPN even is today. VPN means “Virtual Private Network” and establishes a secure connection between you, e.g., your smartphone and the website. The VPN then encrypts this connection so that third parties (mobile providers, …).
Nevertheless, most websites are encrypted with a so-called SSL certificate (SSL = Transport Layer Security). This encryption technology is used on more than 50 percent of all websites and in Germany alone on more than 80 percent of all websites. You can easily recognize the encryption by the small lock at the top of the search bar and the HTTPS (=Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) in front of the URL.
VPNs have only replaced the then poor encryption technology because several years ago, it was possible to read data more often.
Nevertheless, many continue to think of their freedom on the Internet and their privacy and anonymity. This is very important because we are very transparent on the Internet, and everything can be traced. The Internet provider can no longer read the data sent through the SSL certificate, but he still knows which websites you call when and where. This limits the freedom of the Internet. Because as it has often happened and still happens, Internet providers block websites, so you can no longer call them. This usually happens for a good reason, but it also shows that we do not realize how easily something like this can happen, and above all, such blocks do not always happen by court order. There have also been mergers between ISPs that have blocked websites without court approval.
These ISPs no longer know which websites we are visiting through VPNs and can therefore not block them.
Thus, VPNs can help their users with their desired privacy. These VPNs also help whistleblowers and other activists to better access information and protect themselves from authorities.
Moreover, VPNs are often used to download music, movies, series, … from other countries because they are currently not available in their own country.
(following status: March 2022 – no own or political opinion is expressed)
Due to the Ukraine conflict and the tough sanctions imposed by many countries against Russia, there has been an increase of up to 2,000 percent in VPN demand in Russia and Ukraine. In Russia, VPNs are primarily used predominantly to access services such as Netflix, Twitter, Instagram, … In Ukraine, VPNs are most likely used to find information for staying in other countries or defending against espionage.
In addition, many children use VPNs at school, for example, to bypass blocks on YouTube or other games.
As you can see, VPNs have become much more significant in recent years and are getting much more attention. However, unfortunately, many still do not know which one to use and then install the next free VPN app, which is supposed to be “super secure” but grabs many data.
Such free apps often access the following: contact information, identifiers, purchases, location, usage data, diagnostics, user content, browsing history.
If you want to get a secure and good VPN, you should think about what you need, compare different providers carefully, and check them. Then, you should be ready to pay for it.