When you are at your favorite coffee shop and browsing the internet or chatting with your friend over public Wi-Fi – someone from over that public Wi-Fi network can snoop on your data with little efforts and make your coffee time a disaster.
When you are browsing over a public Wi-Fi network and are not connecting to HTTPs secured website, chances are to the fair amount is that anyone on that network can access your browsing data, steal your password and impersonate you with your browser cookies.
There are VPN, add-ons, apps, security tools and a bucket load of other ways that offer encrypted internet traffic. This article is a part of series “how to encrypt internet traffic.”
How to encrypt internet browsing: Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Virtual Private Network abbreviated as VPN, is a private network and act as a man-in-middle between computing devices and the internet. These remote computing devices act as if they are part of that private network. VPNs can provide security and traffic management to monitor internet encryption.
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“A VPN connection is established by a virtual end-to-end connection (sometimes called encrypted tunnel) through the use of virtual tunnel protocols, traffic encryption, and dedicated connections to the remote server.”
Some companies set up VPNs to allow employees to access securely their corporate intranet structure, or to connect to geographically separated office. Internet users can use VPNs to secure their wireless financial transactions, to protect personal identity and location, and/or to bypass geo-restrictions and censorship.
Why should you choose paid VPN for encrypted internet traffic?
Free VPN service providers are commonly available on the internet. They do provide internet encryption. But their set back is that they only provide limited bandwidth and speed monthly which quickly burns out if you like downloading, use YouTube more often or stream your favorite channels. Also, they provide fewer servers to connected to which makes them populated, as majority people connect to those servers.
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“Some free VPN service providers breach their users’ privacy rights by logging their data usage and reveal it to agencies or make money by selling the user’s unused bandwidth to others.”
Paid VPN service providers, on the other hand, are bound by their policies. For the cost of few pounds, they provide access to hundreds of remote servers located worldwide encrypt internet traffic and hide your personal IP address which makes it harder for others to track you.
How to setup VPN on Windows
Most VPN service providers have their own clients with easy-to-use functionality. Follow these steps to successfully setup your VPN:
- After your purchase, log in to your VPN service provider’s website portal with your credentials and download their client.
- Download and install the client.
- When asked for an activation code, copy and paste the activation code provided to you.
- Login to the client with your credentials.
- Select your desired server location from the list. Choose the server nearest to you, to get better connectivity.
- Click Connect.
Upon successful connectivity, make sure to check up your IP location through whatismyip website.
How to setup VPN on Mac
After your purchase, check your email for a welcome email from your VPN service provider. Follow the link to login to their website with your username and password.
- Download the client and open it.
- A window will appear with message “The package will run a program to determine if the software can be installed.” click continues two times.
- It will ask for the destination. Click continue.
- It will ask for confirmation. Click install.
- A pop-up will appear asking your Mac username and password. Insert and click install software.
- If your VPN provider asks you to help in sharing program, select depending on your choice.
- Click close.
- Open the program and select your desired server.
- Click on Connect.
Check your IP location on whatismyip website.
How to Setup VPN on Android
- Open Google Play Store.
- Search for your VPN service provider (or access the app directly through VPN provider’s website).
- Download and install the app (when asked for permission click OK).
- Open the app and insert your login credentials.
- Select your desired server location from the list.
- Click on connect.
Upon successful connectivity, an icon will appear in the notification tray which means you are connected.
How to Setup VPN on iOS
- Open iTunes App Store.
- Search for your VPN service provider app (or directly access it through your VPN service provider’s website)
- Click on “Get,” it will ask for your Apple account to download.
- Enter your Apple login credentials to download the app.
- After installation is completed, open the app.
- It will ask you to install the VPN profile, click OK.
- A browser page will open and ask you confirm to install the profile, click OK. Once installed, a VPN option will appear on General Settings.
- Open the app again, log in with your credentials.
- Select your desired server, and click on connect.
Upon successful connectivity, a VPN box will appear which means you have a successful VPN connection.
Note: This article is a continuing part of the series “how to encrypt internet traffic.”