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What is a VPN and why it is essential to use it to protect yourself

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Although born for business purposes, VPNs ( Virtual Private Networks, or virtual private networks) are also used very often by people who care a little about the safety of their Internet browsing.

What allows the use of a VPN

The basic functioning of VPN for Windows, in fact, creates a virtual tunnel between our computer and a secure server owned by the VPN service provider. All the traffic we carry out passes encrypted from the computer to the server, and then exits “normally” (therefore encrypted for HTTPS and unencrypted for HTTP, FTP, and more) on the Internet. In summary, this allows you to browse privately and securely even on public Wi-Fi networks. These are networks where normally anyone could spy on which sites we are visiting or the passwords we enter in some portals that do not use HTTPS.

Never underestimate online privacy

It also helps mitigate the effects of mass surveillance. Italy is one of the many European countries that illegally withholds traces of all communications (in the sense of date, time, and subjects involved, not content) of Italian citizens, without this requiring an investigation and without being an interception. These data remain available for at least one year.

As if that weren’t enough, the US and UK have much of the Internet’s infrastructure and routinely intercept traffic :

I am pleased that our government “logs” (keeps track in the log files) all the navigation of the Italians? Not very much. Is it acceptable that foreign countries do so without any authority over Italian citizens? Absolutely not.

By using a free VPN service, your Internet browsing could get mixed up with that of dozens of other people and will be generated. Of course, if the connection itself were to contain unencrypted personal information, it would theoretically be possible to correlate the transmission of data to one person, but only that person in particular, not all the others (who knows who they are?).

Finally, a topic that interests many of my readers: Using a best free VPN for Windows service allows us to bypass geographic barriers. Virtually all VPN services, especially the serious ones (therefore requiring a payment to cover the cost of the service, often very reasonable anyway) provide servers in various countries.

So, I want to see a video on the BBC site? Theoretically I couldn’t … but never mind, I connect to my VPN service by choosing a server in the UK and access the content that was blocked! The same goes for a site in the United States, or France, or Germany.

If we want to consult sites in particular countries (for example small non-European states, let’s say Belize) it is better to check the servers offered by the VPN provider before subscribing, but generally the main EU countries, the USA, Canada and Australia are well covered.

For the reasons explained so far, it is highly recommended that everyone use a VPN connection both at home and away from home, on their PC and smartphone (especially outside the home)! It’s a question of privacy and security, two things that should never be taken lightly.

David Smith
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