Virtually everyone is aware of phishing, viruses, and malware: from slowing down speeds, crashing browsers, and annoying popups, these stealthy threats have become buzzwords in the realm of internet security.
However, this is only the tip of the privacy iceberg. We now live in a world of spyware, tracking cookies, national restrictions, and global spying.
Advertisers and internet companies want to know and track our online moves and data for marketing purposes, and governments want to monitor different forms of communication in order to identify dissent, enforce laws, and, in cases such as with China, control content/media narratives.
The best sort of protection from spying/monitoring on all levels is, quite simply, concealing your identity by using some VPN (Virtual Private Network).
A VPN is, basically, a group of computers networked together over a public network giving access to users to resources when they are not physically on the same LAN (Local Area Network).
Using a VPN helps secure that the data you are sending and receiving online is encrypted and protected from spying human eyes and robots.
The VPN technology was originally created to enable big companies and government organisations to exchange data securely over their offices situated on different physical locations.
The very term Virtual Private Network was coined back in the early 80s and first discussed at the 1983 IEEE Military Communications Conference. Where the adjective virtual, stemming from the Latin virtus ‘excellence, potency, efficacy,’ entered the computer vocabulary in 1959 with the meaning of “hardware that is not physically present as such but made by software to appear to be so from the point of view of a program or user,” and firstly recorded to name the functions of virtual memory at the Proceedings Eastern Joint Computer Conference. Followed by virtual machine, first attested in 1965, and virtual hardware – in 1972.
The earliest form of VPN, the Software IP Encryption Protocol, was developed in 1993 by John Ioannidis in think tanks such as Columbia University and AT&T Bell Labs. Further researches made the VPN technology commercially available in the following year, when the Network World in its 11th of July, 1994 issue proudly reported: “We have a virtual private network now from here to the U.K”.
The earliest VPNs were often slow to transfer data and vulnerable to attacks. Today’s modern Virtual Private Networks are advanced and adaptable to users’ individual and corporate needs.
VPN enables individual users to enhance cyber security and ensure certain anonymity online, spoof location and access geo restricted content and bypass Internet filters and accessed information remotely.
And furthermore, VPN offers cost and productivity advantages to companies looking to provide a secure network infrastructure for its contractors.