What is a VPN?

VPN stands for virtual private network. A VPN is a great tool to secure your privacy on the internet.

Without a VPN you are exposed on the internet

Being without a VPN is like walking in public with your address on your shirt. What a VPN does is it works as a tunnel for your internet connection. No one outside can see what you do with VPN switched on. Unlike the private or incognito mode of your internet browser, a VPN allows you to truly browse in private while on the internet.

What does a VPN (virtual private network) do?

Instead of connecting directly to the internet, your web traffic goes through a VPN server. This hides your IP address, and makes it look like your web traffic comes from your VPN service provider’s network, not your real location. This extra layer between your device, such as a computer or smartphone, enables you to browse and use the internet safely and truly in private.

vpn connection illustration

Device

VPN server

The internet

VPN encrypts your data

Another thing that a VPN does is that it encrypts your data. Only those who are supposed to can see your web traffic. This increases your privacy. Thanks to the VPN service’s encryption, even your internet service provider cannot access your data and follow your online activities. The same applies to the internet services and websites you use while browsing with a VPN connection.

Why use a VPN connection?

What a VPN is, is not just a gadget for tech enthusiasts. With a VPN you can:

hide your IP address, which is one way used to identify you

secure your connection in public Wi‑Fi networks

change your virtual location to access more websites and content

What a VPN does in the first place, is it protects your privacy. What you do on the internet with VPN switched on is only your own business.

Pay attention to your VPN provider’s privacy policy

When using a VPN, you are trusting your VPN provider to handle all your data. What they do with it is stated in their privacy policy. Choose a trust­worthy provider governed by strong privacy laws to make sure they don’t misuse your data. Especially free VPN service providers are something you will definitely want to avoid, at least if you want to keep your internet browsing and personal information to yourself.

What about a free VPN? Why pay for a VPN service?

For many, using a VPN is a way to have more privacy and ensure a safer experience online. Who would not want to browse without anyone stealing their information and selling it forward? However, with a free VPN, you may in fact be doing just the opposite.

In fact, a free VPN can be a security risk. It’s not cheap to run a VPN service. Typically, free VPN services collect your data to advertisers, foreign government actors or even criminals. Some spread malware or sell your bandwidth. If you don’t pay with money, then what are you paying with?

Using a trusted and reliable VPN service provider and their product is a much safer bet, rather than opting for sketchy and potentially dangerous, yet free alternatives. Overall, with a free VPN service, there is always a trade off. Read more about free VPN services in our extensive article about the topic.

Fortunately, many trustworthy VPN providers offer a free trial for their VPN service. That way you can try all the benefits of a reliable virtual private network and check just why paying for a VPN service is a better alternative to using shady free VPNs.

What are the benefits of a VPN service?

There are a number of reasons why you too should rely on a VPN service when browsing online. Here are some reasons why a VPN offers you a freer and safer experience online.

  • A VPN allows you to browse safely and truly in private. VPN services stop even your ISP (internet service provider) from tracking your activities online.
  • With a VPN service, you can change your location when browsing online. Because of this, you can access regional websites that would normally be unavailable in your location.
  • When browsing with a VPN connection, you stop websites and other entities from tracking your physical location.
  • The IP address of your device is unique to you. With a VPN, you can stop others from finding out your IP address.
  • Public Wi‑Fi connections can be secure, but it is better to play it safe when using your device in public networks. A VPN service offers you a peace of mind when browsing in public.

Are there VPN services for mobile devices?

A good VPN works also on your smart­phone and other mobile devices. But should you get a VPN for mobile? Yes. Things like protection in public Wi‑Fi, accessing geo­blocked online content, and private browsing are equally important on mobile devices.

Many might want a good virtual private network service for their computer but overlook phones and tablets. However, you can use an extensive VPN both on your computer and mobile devices without the bother of getting separate VPN services.

devices

Do you want to protect your privacy online?

F-Secure FREEDOME VPN is a powerful tool that helps you guard your privacy, change your IP location, and gain security on public Wi‑Fi. In addition, FREEDOME blocks trackers that follow you in the internet, and it protects you from malicious websites. What’s best, FREEDOME is super easy to use. You get online privacy and security with a click of a button.