What is a VPN and why you need one?


Technology has so many buzzwords and jargon, it can be overwhelming.  

VPN is one of those terms.   VPN is an abbreviation for “Virtual Private Networking”.  More jargon! What it does, however, makes it worth understanding.  A VPN ensures there is a direct, secured connection from your device (this could be a computer, a mobile device, or a firewall) to another device anywhere in the world.  This means no one on your internet connection can eavesdrop or capture data as you go about your business.

The significance of using VPN software to connect to the internet cannot be understated.   Practically every business and residence have an internet connection.  Most everyone has an internet connection in their pocket via a smartphone or tablet.  Using these connections, particularly on publicly accessible WiFi connections, puts you at risk of having your data stolen.  In some countries, using a VPN is literally the difference between life and death, especially if you are doing something that conflicts with the tenants and morals of government in that country.

As I write this sitting in a waiting room, at a medical imaging center in Naples Florida, I am using their guest wireless network connecting to the internet through a connection in Miami.  That means no one here can capture data from my computer nor from my internet activity.   That means my systems, and more importantly, my data is protected.

Depending on the VPN software provider, your internet connection can be virtually anywhere in the world (well, anywhere the VPN provider has servers) and protect you from prying eyes.

Some things to consider regarding a VPN (and by extension the VPN Provider)?  

  • Does the VPN negatively impact speed?  VPN’s do relocate your access to the internet, so some speed impact is expected.   You want to get one that minimizes the slowdown.
  • Does the VPN provider store activity logs?  To ensure anonymity, you want to make sure they don’t keep any logs.  The one I personally use, and partner with, do not.   The country of Turkey confiscated their servers trying to get information on some of its citizens and were unable to retrieve the logs, because they don’t exist.  Very important to consider.
  • Do the VPN servers run on disk or virtually?  Using Trusted Server technology is an imperative.  In this configuration, the server runs in system RAM which means when power is shutdown, anything in memory is flushed.
  • Where is the VPN provider based?  It is imperative that a VPN provider is based in a country or other jurisdiction with strong privacy laws.
  • What kind of devices are supported?  It doesn’t make sense to purchase a subscription from a VPN provider that doesn’t support all your devices!

If privacy is important to you, get a VPN.  A trusted advisor like Ryvle Technology can help you navigate all types of technology, including the best VPN for your needs.