We are witnessing amazing times, where we have access to an online world that can make our lives so much comfortable. But, like most things, there are negative sides that can ruin everything. The Internet has actually quite a few downsides, and one of the worst are hackers. The situation has become so bad that in a single year, billions of data records are stolen. And the victims may be big companies, such as Twitter, but also the average person who has his/her online banking info stolen, etc.
Many companies have been trying to develop software that protects users against hackers. One of the most common is an antivirus software, and most users don't connect to the Internet without it. But, in the last few years, a new type of software is growing and becoming very popular. We are talking about a Virtual Private Network, or a VPN, as it is most commonly known. Many users are now using a VPN as a defense against hackers, and this post is exactly about that. We are going to see if it actually works.
How does a VPN Fight Hackers?
The main way that a VPN protects you from hackers is by encrypting your connection and your data. Everything your machine sends and receives is encrypted. To put it in simple words, when you turn a VPN on, you are establishing a connection to an encrypted VPN server. Between you and that server, there is what is known as an encrypted tunnel. Everything that goes through that tunnel is encrypted and, therefore, anonymous.
This makes it extremely hard for the hacker. Nowadays, VPNs use military grade encryption and safety tools that make it almost impossible to break. And yes, we used the word “almost”, which takes us to the next chapter.
Can a VPN be Hacked?
As we mentioned, the encryption that VPNs use is high grade and extremely difficult to hack. But, if you ask if it's possible to hack a VPN, then, theoretically, we have to answer yes. The thing is that it would take years to penetrate it and, in some time from now, there will be a higher grade encryption available. A hacker knows this and he's not going to spend years trying to break into the VPN of the average user.
Let's put it like this, if a hacker would try to break into a VPN connection, it would be of a valuable target, like a big corporation. It would have to be a hacker with a lot of time and resources available. And even like that, it would be an extremely difficult thing to do.
So, if you were wondering if a VPN increases your defense against hackers, yes, it definitely does. If you do not use a VPN, the probabilities of being hacked are much higher.
Do All VPNs Offer the Same Protection?
A word of caution, not all VPNs are the same. When we say that a VPN can protect you, we mean a decent VPN provider, not all of them! Some of them have outdated encryption ciphers that are not as solid as the modern ones.
When you make your research, make sure you take your time reading about the encryption and safety details that VPNs offers. If in doubt, you can always stop by our VPN comparison page and see the differences between them.
Should You Replace Your Antivirus by a VPN?
No, definitely not. The perfect solution is using both. An antivirus still offers an extra layer of protection that avoids specific types of threats. There are many free antiviruses that do a great job, but the same does not happen with a VPN. We strongly recommend paying for a reliable VPN and never using a free one. That can be a dangerous thing to do because maintaining this type of software and servers is expensive. In other words, you want to know how your VPN provider is making its money. Some free VPNs are famous for selling your private info in order to profit.
Increase the Level of Protection Against Hackers
Let's go a bit deeper and see what else can you do to increase your security.
What we normally recommend is to use a VPN all the time you are connected to the Internet. This is the best way of guaranteeing your online safety. It may sound like extra
This should go without saying, but make sure that you use a VPN on all devices you use. When you get a subscription, they let you use their software on many devices. They even have apps for Android and IOS. It would be counterproductive to use it on one device and not on some of them.
Finally, be very careful with public Wi-Fi. These are the most vulnerable places, where hackers can also connect to the network and set traps to infiltrate your device. That being said, using a VPN on a free Wi-Fi hotspot should be one of your top priorities, if being on the safe side is what you are looking for.
Hackers are a great danger to all of us. But there are things that can be done to decrease that kind of risk. A VPN is one of the best ways of protecting yourself, thanks to the encryption it offers.