VPN as it is popularly known simply means Virtual Private Network. A VPN changes your IP address to effectively mask your computer’s identity and disguise your browsing location. Well, in simple term, VPN gives you online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection.
There has been a lot of questions aroung the safety and legality of VPN. Firstly lets consider the leaglity of VPN.
Is VPN Legal?
So, depending on the country you are in, VPN is most likely not illegal. Currently, a handful of governments either regulate or outright ban VPNs, which include countries like Belarus, China, Iraq, North Korea, Oman, Russia, and the U.A.E., to name a few. Still, others impose internet censorship laws, which makes using a VPN risky. However, anything that’s illegal without a VPN remains illegal when using one.
is VPN Safe?
Using a reliable virtual private network (VPN) can be a safe way to browse the internet. VPN security is increasingly being used to prevent data from being snooped on by government agencies and major corporations or to access blocked websites. However, using a free VPN tool can be insecure.
A secure VPN tool contains the following features:
- Internet Protocol (IP) address leak prevention: The core purpose of a VPN is to hide or disguise a user’s IP address and prevent anyone from tracking their online activity. However, a VPN can sometimes include flaws that result in the user’s IP location being leaked. It is therefore important to look for a provider that actively prevents IP address leaks. Check reviews online to see if they have a history of IP address leakage.
- No information logging: No-log VPNs do not collect, or log, data that users share on the network, such as login credentials, files they download, and their search history. This is key to ensuring users’ online privacy and protecting their anonymity from other internet users. It also ensures that a user’s information is protected, even if an attacker gains unauthorized access to a VPN tool. When considering a VPN, check whether it logs online activity, logs and periodically purges data, or discloses user information in any other scenario.
- VPN kill switch: In case a VPN connection drops, the user’s internet access will switch to their regular connection. A VPN kill switch feature automatically exits specific programs if an internet connection becomes unstable to reduce the risk of sensitive data being leaked by applications.
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA): Any VPN program should be as secure as possible to ensure that only authorized users can gain access to it. MFA enables a user to prove their identity, that they are who they say they are, before they are given access to the VPN. For example, upon logging in to the VPN using their username and password, the user can then be sent a code via Short Message Service (SMS) or a notification that they can approve on their mobile phone. This extra level of security ensures only the right people can access a VPN and makes it more difficult for a hacker to intercept.
Disadvantages of VPN?