If you’re a bit of a techie then VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) probably aren’t anything new. Instead, there’s a good chance that they’re already an integral part of your setup and somewhat old hat. If, however, you think megabytes are more to do with shark attacks than computers, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. So, we’re going to examine what they are and why 1 in 6 Brits now use them.
What is a VPN?
A VPN is a tool – often a subscription service – that increases your privacy and security by helping you to access the internet over an encrypted connection. VPNs operate using a number of computer networks dotted around the globe called servers, which re-route your online activities via alternate IP addresses and locations and add a ‘tunnel’ of encryption to keep data secure.
Your IP address is a unique identifier (sort of like a license plate) that allows others to identify your device, its activity and where you are. When you’re using a VPN, the re-routing of your connection means that sites you visit will only see the IP address and location of the VPN server you’re using, rather than the real thing. Ultimately, this allows you to surf the web anonymously, in addition to the secure tunnel of end-to-end encryption that protects you from cyber attacks.
Being able to choose from servers across the globe also means that you can give the appearance of connecting to the internet from anywhere in the world, as long as it’s on your VPN provider’s network. This is how many people choose to circumvent certain geo-restrictions on sites like Netflix and HBO.
Cyber security
VPNs aren’t just a must-have for lovers of American Netflix, they’re also a great way of protecting yourself against malware and cyber attacks.
But how? Well, say

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