What does VPN protect you from

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A VPN is a very simple, but powerful service to use and it provides a high level of privacy and personal data protection. Sometimes it is not clear what exactly does VPN protect you from, but here is the answer – VPN service for sure protects your personal data, hides your online activity, but does it protect from hackers, malware or when you use mobile data?

When a hacker tries to steal your data, he (or she, or a group of them!) tries to intercept internet traffic from your device to the website you are visiting via a method called man-in-the-middle attack. This means that instead of a direct connection to the website a hacker places himself between you and the website, therefore all traffic is routed through his device. Once the traffic starts to travel through a hacker’s device, all personal data becomes visible and easily accessible.

A connection established to the VPN server uses very strong encryption ensuring that even if the data is captured, it could not be red. The hacker uses different attacks such as sniffing, spoofing or intercepting traffic to access private data, and most chances to get hacked is on the public Wi-Fi, but not with VPN.

Original connection is cut and new one with man-in-the-middle is created allowing a hacker to see all data on his device

Surfing on a public Wi-Fi is much riskier to get hacked and your data and passwords can be exposed to without you even knowing. Connecting to the VPN server provides a high level of encryption at the moment the internet traffic leaves your device, so it is not possible for hackers to see any personal information, even if somehow they succeed to capture it. But how does it do it?

When a connection to the VPN server is initiated by using VPN protocol, encryption methods and ciphers are exchanged with the server. VPN protocols use strong encryption with 256-bit keys providing security from anyone reading the data sent from your device. What about mobile data?

Even though mobile networks differ from Wi-Fi or fiber-optics using the mobile version of VPN software the same rules apply. The connection is still strongly encrypted and any data from your device is protected from the public if you are connected to a VPN server.

When torrenting it is important to hide your IP address which is exactly the case when using VPN service. It not only encrypts the data you are downloading but also hides your identity, however it is important to have a stable VPN connection since any random disconnect from the VPN server can reveal who you are.

A VPN cannot protect you from malware since it does not know if the file you are downloading or the website you visit contains any malicious code. However, some VPN providers have additional features that can block access to some malicious websites this way preventing you from catching any malware.

Since a computer virus is just another type of malware, using a VPN does not really protect you from catching one. However, some VPN providers implemented measures to warn you or block access to some websites containing computer viruses, therefore protection from malware is there, but limited.

With VPN you are definitely safe from government or ISP tracking your browsing history, however, you are not protected from ads tracing you across the internet since the browser stores cookies locally. A VPN provider without a no-log policy stores logs on their servers, meaning you can be traced.

To summarize a VPN protects from hackers trying to steal your personal data, especially on public Wi-Fi. It hides IP address when downloading files, however, it has only limited protection from viruses and other malware. VPN services with a no-log policy are perfect from staying anonymous online from the government and ISP, but online ads will still follow you on the internet.


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