As the world has rapidly accelerated towards the cyber-future in front of us, the grass is not necessarily greener.
Every aspect of our online life has gone from cornerstones of our day-to-day routine in real life to something we can do at anytime online. The internet has revolutionized how we operate daily, and external events like the pandemic and technological innovation have accelerated this.
While we feast on the insurmountable positives that it has brought to the human race, there are significant pitfalls and challenges that the average online user will have to face as they go online. With over 5 billion people now regular online users, this leaves many potential victims to many dangers that linger on the internet.
The biggest challenge for people who want to go online is how users rapidly lose their sense of security and privacy. We are quickly seeing changes in how hackers and cybercriminals target people, ranging from crippling malware and spyware attacks to hyper-realistic phishing attempts. Even worse, we now see previously-trusted third parties taking advantage and attacking the consumer.
ISPs (Internet Service Providers) are now becoming widely known for their nefarious activity toward consumers, logging, storing, and selling customer data to people like governments and third-party advertisers. This massive loss of privacy is devastating, especially with giant corporations suffering regular data breaches.
Many users see these threats online and take the right step in searching for the best free VPN, a cost-effective tool that can boost online security and privacy by masking your IP address. In this blog, we’ll look at eight reasons you will want to hide your IP address today with a free VPN.
What is an IP Address?
An IP (Internet Protocol) address is something that every device uses to create a unique identifier when it goes online. A good example is looking at your real-life address and using that as your IP address worldwide. Whatever you do in life, whether buying something, working a job, or inviting friends, all relate to your real-life home address. The exact process occurs with your PC and an IP address.
Whenever you sit at your computer to go online and communicate with other devices, you use your IP address, and the same can be said for when you go to a website – your IP address is used to identify who you are and where you are. This is fastly becoming a big concern for online users, as it is a breach of personal privacy when the data is misappropriated, which can comprise a user’s real-life information.
When is it Advantageous to Hide Your IP Address?
- Maintaining Your Privacy: When you go online, you can use a VPN to mask your IP address. This is done purely to protect your personal information from prying eyes. This can be anyone from hackers and cybercriminals to ISPs and governments.
- Getting Past Geo-Restrictions: Some online content has now been adjusted for users in some areas of the world. If you are a regular streaming platform user, your content library is limited depending on where you are in the world. A VPN can allow you to move your IP address to different regions and get access to the locked content.
- Bypass Online Targeted Advertising: Online advertisers will use a user’s IP address to see what you do online and then tailor advertising campaigns towards this user. By using a VPN to hide your IP address, the third-party online advertiser cannot track you and, therefore, cannot spam you with annoying personalized adverts.
- Protect Your Identity: When you hide your IP address, you can protect your identity and personal information, ensuring cybercriminals and phishing attacks cannot be used against you.
- Stop Your Internet Speed Being Limited: Pesky ISPs have been known to track user’s online activity and then do something called “network throttle” them, which limits their internet speed and bandwidth. By hiding this online activity, you ensure your internet speed is at the highest possibility.
- Secure Your Data: When you go online, you risk your data being siphoned by online third parties and infamous characters. Using the VPN encrypted tunnel and masking your IP address makes you invisible and unexploited online.
- Protect Your Devices: If you use many different devices on a network, you risk getting a malware or spyware attack that can spread across them all. Hiding your IP address also hides the devices, protecting them from cyber-attacks.
- Stop Being Censored: More and more governments are restricting their inhabitants from getting content that spans the globe. When you become anonymous by masking your IP address, you can get content from any country worldwide!
How to Choose the Best and Most Safe VPN for Free?
There are multiple options when it comes to free VPNs online. However, not all of them go without fault, so you must create decision criteria when selecting one. Here are options to think about when you choose a free VPN:
- Find a VPN with a no-logs policy: This is confirmation that a VPN does not keep track of and log your online activity, confirming that it will not sell your data.
- Look at encryption protocols: You must ensure the VPN has solid encryption processes, keeping your data safe and hidden online.
- Prioritize an extensive server network: A VPN with a widespread server network allows you to go to different regions and access more content.
- Double-check for bandwidth limitations – while a VPN may be free, it could have bandwidth limits that will slow down your online experience.
- Keep security tight: Some free VPNs have very lackadaisical security and can even contain adware or malware. You should do thorough research into safety when choosing a VPN.
Written by Scott Weathers