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No matter how and why you use the internet, you need to do everything you can to protect yourself from cyberattacks. Businesses, streamers, gamers, and even casual users are at risk without proper protections.
One of the most insidious forms of cybercrime is the DDoS attack. Many people who are familiar with the practice believe that it is only an issue for large businesses and networks. However, even gamers and live streamers need to work to prevent DDoS attacks.
A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is an attempt to disrupt a network or computer by sending an overwhelming amount of traffic at one time. All of this unwanted traffic overwhelms the system, and it can no longer carry out the tasks it was designed for. The network or computer is effectively offline until the attack is over.
This type of attack has been used to take down sites dedicated to eCommerce, gambling, and finance. On a smaller, but just as disruptive scale, DDoS attacks are becoming more common for individual gamers and live streamers. Rivals can knock competitors offline to win matches, and bad actors can knock off a live stream just for their own entertainment.
A denial of service attack from one source (DoS) can be easily mitigated by simply blocking traffic from that address. However, with DDoS, the traffic comes from multiple systems in multiple locations. Often multiple compromised computer systems or IoT (Internet of Things) devices are used to multiply the impact of the attack. Without automated anti DDoS deterrent systems, there is no way to block all sources without shutting down completely.
In one way, all VPNs work to prevent DDoS. Some simply provide a higher level of protection. They all give some level of security because to perform a DDoS, the attacker must know your IP address. When you are using your VPN to connect to the web, all your traffic goes through your VPN server. Any website you visit will only see the IP address of your VPN server. Those looking to attack your network will only be able to target the server of your VPN’s server.
Now, you may wonder, can’t the attacker just knock you offline by attacking your VPN? Well, in theory, yes, but it is not likely to have any impact. First of all, most high-quality VPNs have servers with anti DDoS protection. It would take a very sophisticated attack to take down a professional VPN server. Even if it happened, the user of a high-quality VPN could simply move to another server. NordVPN, for example, offers over 5200 servers in over 59 countries.
So back to the original question, “can VPN prevent DDoS?” The answer is yes, but it is crucial to understand how. VPNs don’t directly protect your network from DDoS attacks. They hide your network behind theirs. Without the ability to discover your real IP address, attackers can’t attack. Meanwhile, if they go after your VPN, they are not likely to get very far due to the security protocols built into the VPN servers.
Large companies and website operators need to handle DDoS prevention on their own servers and networks. However, many smaller internet users rely on their connection and can’t afford to be vulnerable. These include:
- Gamers – They can be easily knocked offline and lose matches or competitions. A VPN keeps this from happening by hiding the gamers real ISP.
- Live Streamers – Whether streaming gaming, entertainment, or business video, a DDoS attack can knock their stream offline at any time. With a VPN, attackers can only go after the VPN’s servers, not the streamers.
- Small Businesses – Many small businesses run on one or two devices and cannot afford their own sophisticated anti DDoS prevention. They are still vulnerable to competitors and others who wish to temporarily disrupt their business. A DDoS attack can stop them from accepting credit cards, placing orders, or conducting other business processes. By connecting to needed resources via a VPN, they can avoid attacks.
- Freelancers – While the lower your profile, the lower your chance of being targeted, anyone can fall victim to a DDoS attack. Without an internet connection many freelancers can’t work. Using the right VPN will prevent DDoS and give freelancers one less thing to worry about.
Fortunately, there are many options available for a VPN that can prevent DDoS. Even better, the right VPN, such as NordVPN, will protect your privacy and give you access to even more of the web. Since your web traffic will flow through your VPN servers, no one, including your internet service provider (ISP), will be able to track your web use. With servers located around the world, a VPN can give you access to content not usually available in your own country. For privacy, security, and flexibility, the right VPN is the way to connect to the web.
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