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  • Writer's pictureCaliber Networks

What’s a VPN and Why do I Need One?

Updated: Jan 16

At Caliber Networks we love helping our clients expand their own understanding of the products and services available to them to enhance their IT cyber security. The internet can be a scary place, but having the right tools and know-how to protect yourself and your devices can save valuable time, money, and headache in the future.

Heard the term VPN but not sure what it means? Virtual Private Networks, often abbreviated VPNs, are tools (that come in the form of apps) that allow you to establish secure connections over public or shared networks without compromising the cybersecurity of your device. By creating a point-to-point connection between devices through the use of what’s referred to as “tunneling protocols” or special circuits, VPN’s can allow you to both send and receive data safely, essentially extending your own private network over a public one.

Why Is a VPN Essential?

If you are someone who ever conducts work or even personal business in a public space, a VPN is essential in assuring that your data stays secure. Perhaps you like to read and respond to work emails in a coffee shop or pay bills while you’re waiting for a flight at the airport. Doing anything that exposes information such as your social security number, credit card number, bank account information, or sensitive work information can be dangerous over a public wifi network. Most public networks are convenient, but especially vulnerable to experienced hackers who can easily intercept your information and then use it for their own purposes such as making online purchases with your credit card, deciphering your passwords, or even applying for a loan in your name. VPNs can create secure mobile connections along with secure cloud storage to protect important information and guard you against fraud and identity theft. They are able to do this by essentially establishing what amounts to a private connection over a public network.

How to Choose the Best VPN Program

When selecting a VPN application for your phone, tablet, or laptop computer, it’s generally best to avoid the ones that advertise themselves as free. One week of free service or 30-day trial periods are common and very helpful, but if a business advertises a totally free VPN program, run the other direction, as these are often a way for dishonest companies to get ahold of your sensitive information for themselves to either use or sell to third parties.

The best way to compare popular VPN services is to look at recent, comprehensive reviews that have already been done. If you have an Android device, this list is a great resource to choose the best VPN, while if you have an Apple device, this list is most helpful.

VPN’s are also excellent for people working from home whether you’re attempting to block nosey websites from collecting your information or stop internet service providers from having access to private work information.

Another thing to consider is location. In general, the closer the hardware is to you, the faster your network will be, so it also might be worth looking into which VPN company has locations in your area of the country or at least on your side of the world!

When you think you’ve made up your mind, check to make sure that the VPN service offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so that you can ensure everything works properly to meet your needs and that your hard-earned money is being spent on a high quality service.

We Can Help!

If you’re looking for the very best IT support specialists, Caliber Networks offers everything from small business IT support and cybersecurity (including email security services such as email encryption), to SIEM, disaster recovery, data loss protection, and cloud backup. Our prices are competitive to those of larger companies like Geeksquad, and we strive to create a friendly, personalized experience with our customers.

If you need any assistance choosing between popular VPN options, setting one up on your device, or learning more about IT network security in general, contact one of our IT specialists. We will talk with you to recommend the specific types of IT services that would most benefit your company. At Caliber Networks, we offer each and every client exceptional 24/7 IT support and the tools and knowledge to stay safe in a potentially dangerous online world. Contact us today at (877) 882-2542 to learn all the ways we can help you with your IT needs.

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