A VPN or Virtual Private Network ensures the security and privacy of a private or public network. This is done by using a system or protocol whereby the user's computer is assigned a new IP address which is owned by the VPN. All of the Internet traffic of the user is channelled to the VPN server. Once there, it is decrypted and allowed to travel to the new IP address. The user's Internet service Provider will only see a single stream of encrypted data stream between the user and the VPN server. The ISP will not be able to log and monitor or control the user's internet usage.
What are the advantages of a VPN?
In this day of hacking online accounts, unsolicited data tracking, security and privacy are important concerns of those who use the Internet extensively for work.
Apart from a virtual firewall, up to 256 bit SSL encryption security and hiding your ISP IP address, the other benefits of using a VPN are unrestricted speed and bandwidth and access to blocked websites. Ads on the internet are blocked. Most of them have apps on Android and iOS and so can be accessed on mobile phones also. It can be accessed from multiple server locations, wherever you are.
Cost wise, what are the kinds of VPN?
Free VPN services offers it at no cost, but they have to be extensively tested by others before you decide to make it yours, because many free VPN services turn out to be nasty experiences. Your privacy could be compromised in that they sell your data to third parties. Or they provide outdated encryption that is easily hacked. The ramifications encourage people to go for paid VPN services. And at very reasonable rates, it is not a big deal either.
Paid VPN Reseller usually take your privacy concerns more seriously as you are paying for them. They have strong encryption and do not store traffic logs.
There are many paid VPN service vendors. It would help to go through some of the rankings available online and read customer reviews of the top five or ten.