What is a VPN and Why You Should Have It?

Todays era of modern technology has made our lives simpler, but it has also brought with it problems that we need to address – like the threat of having the personal information we transmit over the internet intercepted and used without our consent. The majority of people don’t know how they can protect themselves from being robbed while sitting in front of their computers. The answer is VPN.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and what it does is enable your computer to transmit and receive data packets across public networks as if it were a private network with all the functionality and policies of a private network. VPN is technically considered a Wide Area Network (WAN for short) link between websites but it looks to the user as a private network – thus the name “Virtual Private Network”. Essentially it can turn any public network into a private network .

The best part about this is that you do not need a technical understanding of networks and the internet to use a VPN. You just install a VPN software and it secures any public network. Usually this software is very pricey, however there are a few companies now that offer VPN services for free. Now you must be thinking that if companies are giving away software for free, there must be a catch or it must be a fake. But the reason that it’s free is simply because they earn revenue via advertisements, so they don’t need to charge you.

One of the best VPN clients on the market is HotspotShield (HSS) by AnchorFree. It is a trusted VPN with more than a 100 million downloads. They have two versions of the software. One is a free VPN and the other is a low-cost premium version. The only difference between the versions is that the paid version has no ads. As for performance and functionality, they are both exactly the same.

The Hotspot Shield VPN software offers many benefits to the user and has hardly any bad points.

The Good

  • It secures your IP (Internet Protocol) address for privacy and private  browsing.
  • Hotspot Shield Protects you from snoopers at WI-Fi hotspots, hotels, airports, and corporate offices.
  • It protects you from identity theft online.
  • It allows access to all content by bypassing any censorship or firewall.
  • HSS secures your web session, data, online shopping, and personal information with HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol with Secured Socket Layer – SSL) encryption.
  • The VPN client works on both wireless and wired connections.  It also does not restrict your bandwidth.
  • HSS works on both PC, and Mac, and is also compatible with Windows 8, and OS Mountain Lion.
  • Hotspot Shield protects your browsing sessions at home and outside on your iPhones, iPads, and on your Android devices.

Hotspot Shield also allows you to anonymously browse by replacing your IP address with that of the server in the US to which you are connected. This gives an added bonus of being able to access websites usually unavailable outside the United States like Pandora, Spotify, Hulu etc.

This, along with all of its other benefits brings me to the conclusion that VPN clients are fast becoming a requirement. If you are going to start using one, Hotspot Shield is definitely the best choice – especially since it’s free!

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