The Ultimate Guide to VPNs: From Protecting Information to Buying Cheap Tickets | your technology | Country

It is likely that when hearing about VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), many users come to mind hacker Wearing a hoodie in a darkened room while arriving dark web (the dark web) on your computer. However, these tools are useful to any Internet user, as they ensure privacy in the communications our devices establish with other web pages or services.

Before you start using a VPN, it is important to keep in mind that privacy is not synonymous with security, and as Josep Albors, Director of Research and Awareness for information security company ESET in Spain, explains to this paper, “VPNs do not prevent you from accessing a web page , and download a virus and install it on the device, because it is not their job ”, although they are often presented as security systems.

“What a VPN does is create a tunnel in which an encrypted connection is made between your connection on your device and a web page or service that you want to access, and you don’t want anyone to be able to see what data is being transmitted through that private tunnel,” he adds. In addition to providing privacy, VPNs have other uses, such as allowing a user to watch a movie that isn’t available in their country or finding cheaper prices on certain products.

Connect privately to Wi-Fi networks while traveling

In recent years, awareness of the dangers of connecting to public Wi-Fi has increased. We already know that as tempting as it may be to find free Wi-Fi on the street, in the shopping mall, or even at the beach, there might be a cybercriminal on the other side who is willing to steal information from connected users. The presence of a VPN ensures that if we connect to a public Wi-Fi network, whether on the street or in a hotel, that the connections that are established are made privately, although this does not mean that we must continue to maintain the same precautions when accessing web pages or Download apps or files. “This prevents anyone snooping on that Wi-Fi network from knowing where we’re going or what information we’re sharing,” Albors explains.

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Buy cheaper airline tickets or get more affordable subscriptions

As Josep Albors recalls, there are users who use VPN to get lower prices when buying plane tickets. “Depending on the country you are buying from, the price can vary by a certain amount depending on the purchasing power that people living in that country are supposed to have. If you buy a plane ticket from the Philippines, with a VPN you can potentially save a certain amount of money,” he says. It is clear.

However, in an article published in the newspaper USA todayJournalist Nathan Diller says he’s verified that the differences between fares aren’t usually as great as, say, airline tickets between the United States and Mexico. In fact, when using a VPN with a server in the UK, one of the hotel reservations he looked up was more expensive than if he ordered it directly from his home country. However, it depends on the specific case and there are users who claim to find lower prices by changing their location to countries with less purchasing power.

When it comes to price discrimination based on a device’s IP address, changing location with a VPN and clearing your cookies and cache may also result in better prices for online shopping in general. There are users who use these tools to buy video games at the price of countries on the other side of the world or to get a subscription, for example, to a music platform, so that it is more profitable without much effort.

Watch movies or series that have not arrived in Spain

How often have you searched for a series or movie title on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming platforms? flow And a message appeared, regretting that it is not available in your country? Usually the alternative is to watch said content on an illegal web page where dozens of advertisements appear, so that you end up taking the risk of finding a virus on your computer sooner or later, moreover, contributing to a website that does something illegal legal activity. By using a VPN, the user can more securely access content that is not available in their country, as they will not have to resort to said web pages, but simply access their Netflix account (or whatever platform they contract with) normally. As if he traveled to another country. It is enough to choose through the VPN where you want to establish a connection with the server, be it the USA, Colombia or Japan. Not all VPNs offer servers in all countries and regions, so choosing one or the other often depends on the offer. Some have servers in 90 countries, others in 50, etc.

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Keep your identity hidden when navigating countries with authoritarian governments

VPNs are not only useful for entertainment or consumption; In countries where certain websites are inaccessible, censored, and even risk imprisonment for users who share or search for certain content, these networks can be useful in helping users hide their identity and information.

However, not all VPNs protect user information in the same way. In the case of free networks, Albors explains, they usually store some information: “They prevent them from spying on what you visit or the connections you make, but those VPNs, on their servers, can save some information to sell to you later on other products.” And that’s a problem. Because if someone later requests this information in a country with repressive legislation, it can expose people who are trying to access content that is not accessible from their country and is considered illegal, for what they can be convicted of.”

Steganography can be essential for activists, human rights advocates, or people of the LGTBI collective. These types of people would be at risk if they use a VPN that can transfer data when required by the authorities of that country. For this reason, it is important that you only hire those who make guarantees who are audited (and are responsible for promoting them), who do not keep any kind of records, and that if they try to interfere with their customers’ information, they cannot provide anything. This is what basic and free VPNs usually do, ”adds the expert.

For remote work, it is also recommended to use them

Albors insists that it is recommended that all companies use a VPN because “when you are using remote access to your company’s computer or to any of its online platforms and you are dealing with confidential information, the logical thing is that you can only access it properly from the internal network.” For the company, either from a tunnel that you create from your home or from your workplace and that encrypted connection is implemented so that no one can spy or steal the credentials.In this way, even if someone gets the credentials, they will not be able to access the platform because It does not connect via a company-supported VPN.”

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