FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Why Would You Need a VPN?

by Akhil Kalepu

Jun 12, 2017

For decades, many companies and universities have used Virtual Private Networks to allow students and employees to work from home. How can a student access private data from the lab? By connecting to the school’s network through an encrypted tunnel. Now apply this to the entire internet and you have a VPN repurposed for privacy.

These days, your personal information comes under attack from a variety of fronts, from your internet service provider to Google to your own government. Even if you have nothing to hide from corporate America and the state, cyber crime is a growing threat, especially overseas where you’ll be using public WiFi. Some countries, like China and Iran, censor the internet and don’t take personal privacy as seriously as we do in the United States. If that’s not enough to convince you, certain entertainment services like Netflix are restricted within certain countries.

A VPN can protect in all of these scenarios by disguising your laptop/smartphone’s IP address. The technology works by first connecting your device to a VPN server, then forwarding that connection to almost any website or app you desire. The destination address only sees the VPN you’re connecting from, so your IP address remains a secret. The best services have servers all over the world, so if you’re in a country that doesn’t have Netflix, connect to an American server to fool the streaming service into thinking you’re at home.

All the traffic between you and the desired destination is encrypted, so your personal information isn’t accessible to prying eyes. Most VPNs have a no-logging policy, and your records aren’t accessible.

—Akhil Kalepu, digital contributor and technology columnist

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