What is a VPN? Do you need one?

VPNs are very useful programs. They’re mentioned often in the streaming world.

But what do they do?

And do you need one?

We’re here to help!

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It’s a service or program that does a few different things to make your Internet usage more secure.  We could go into a long winded 20 page article on how exactly a VPN works, but want to keep things simple.

When you’re on your computer at home and click on a website link, your internet connects to that website’s server. That server can see your IP address (Think of an IP Address as your computers home address. It’s unique to your router.) When a server sees your IP address it keeps a record of it. Each and every website that you visit keeps track of each and every connection/IP address that connects to it. This process happens billions of times per minute all across the world.

There are a couple of drawbacks to this system. First, your IP address is out there and can be viewed by a lot of different people including hackers, government employees, and most people with knowledge of computer networks.

Pretty much whatever you view or websites that you visit can be tracked. While you may feel secure surfing the web in your home, basically everything you do on your computer can be tracked or monitored. Privacy is nonexistent on the Internet. Tools like Incognito Mode or Safe Browsing can only prevent things from being added to your browser history on your local device. They don’t really protect you.

The second problem with your IP address being available is that hackers can view that information. Hacking is big business these days. With stories breaking every day about data breaches and stolen identities, it’s a very serious situation. It’s estimated that over 15 million people in the US have their identities stolen each year. This is a scary statistic.

One of the main ways that hackers get access to your credit card information is through online purchases. Most retailers use HTTPS and SSL Certificates to encrypt sensitive information and ensure your security, but not all retailers take these measures.

If your online encryption or connection is not the same as the retailer you’re purchasing from, it can leave your information vulnerable to interception. The transaction will still go through as normal, but now someone somewhere in the world has your personal information

How does a VPN work?

When you use the Internet, instead of connecting directly to a website, a VPN will direct your IP address to one of their servers first. From there, it encrypts the connection and then connects you to the website you entered. This prevents your IP address from being displayed all over the Internet like it normally would. This keeps your information much more secure.

VPNs are now being used for many different reasons. From keeping your information secure, to protecting your credit card information during online transactions, to downloading certain content without getting letters from your ISP.

In the streaming world, they can also be used to get around geo-blocking used in certain apps. Some apps aren’t available in certain countries. A VPN can be used to get around this since they can sometimes throw off your location.

A convenient feature of most VPN services is that they can be used on all types of devices without having to open multiple accounts. Many services offer apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, and even your router. With one account you can ensure privacy and security on all of your devices.

Do You Need a VPN Service?

That depends on how valuable your security is to you. We all use the Internet for different reasons and have different levels of privacy and security needs. We do feel, however, that you can never be too safe. Many retailers do take steps to ensure your personal information is secure, but can an extra layer of security really hurt? We don’t think so. These services are usually inexpensive, and are worth every penny. Plus, like we mentioned before, one account can usually cover all of your devices in your home.

Which VPN do I choose?

We’ve researched VPNs for our EZ Stream boxes and tested many options. Two options stood out to us.Vypr VPN and Express VPN are definitely the two best that we found. If you’d like to check out their websites, click the links below.

Please note that EZ Stream does not provide support for any VPN service. If you need assistance with any technical issues with your VPN, we recommend contacting the VPN service directly.

Express VPN

Vypr VPN

 

 

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