Welcome to Virtual Private Networks 101. Let’s start with the obvious – what is a VPN?
Well, if you have multiple computers, phones and tablets at home, you’re using a local area network. These devices are all connected to the same WiFi, and you can even transfer photos or movies from one to the other without being connected to the internet. Local area networks are private by design.
A VPN is a virtual private network; originally designed for employees to virtually connect to their office network from home or on a business trip. The employee establishes a connection with their company’s intranet and uses their laptop as if it were in the office. They’re virtually in the office, using their company’s WiFi.
VPNs work by funnelling your online traffic through an encrypted ‘pipe’ to its server, so it’s difficult for anyone on the internet to see which sites you’re visiting or which apps you’re using.
These days, they’re used for play as much as for work. Changing your IP address, for example, is useful for tricking streaming services into thinking you’re in another country, or getting better deals on flights, hotel rooms and more.
But it’s not all fun and games. A good VPN will also secure your internet connection, protect your privacy and conceal your identity, keeping you safe from hackers or anyone else who might be trying to keep tabs on you. They even help activists and dissidents bypass censorship systems in their own countries.
However, there are potential cons to consider:
- A slower connection. While most internet users won’t notice the difference, serious gamers may experience a slight lag in speed – as an internet connection with a VPN is re-routed and encrypted. You can test any VPN speed here.
- Inaccessible content. Some streaming and entertainment services discourage the use of a VPN, with a few popular PC games blocking less-reputable ones entirely.
- The sale of your data to advertisers. You need to have confidence that your VPN provider isn’t abusing your trust – always check logging and data storage policies, and read a mix of reviews from tech media and real customers.
Free VPNs are usually the culprits of all of the above, and can sometimes be worse than no VPN at all! A prime example is Hola VPN, which has a 1 star rating on the Mac App Store, and regularly makes headlines for absent encryption and user IP leaks. In fact, 40% of free VPN services were found to leak data in a November 2020 investigation.
Anonymox takes your privacy and security extremely seriously, whether you’re a Free or Premium user. We have a 4.4 star rating on the Chrome Web Store and a 4 star rating on the Firefox Add-ons Store.
We don’t log your data and try to ask as little about you as possible – during registration, only your email is required and no other information is asked for, except if your chosen payment method requires it.
We’ve even published guidelines for safe use that will help you stay safe online, and get the most out of our service.
While we have over 60 million happy Free users, our Premium service is a worthwhile investment if you want an even better experience online.
Anonymox Premium is up to ten times faster – ideal if you’re a keen gamer or binge-watcher – and completely ad-free. It allows you to choose from X extra countries and IP addresses, and includes an additional layer of encryption.
Enjoy unlimited traffic (no more pesky bandwidth throttling) and lightning-fast downloads of up to 16,384 Kbit/sec.
Our Premium plans start at €1.50 per month and can be cancelled at any time. Join us now, and #becomeanobody.