Back then, only several individuals and companies are very concerned about online safety and privacy. Thus, they consider installing and using a virtual private network (VPN) vital to protect their sensitive data and online activity from cyber-criminals. But as the years passed, online safety has become a priority not just to big companies, government offices, and entrepreneurs but to almost everyone.
That’s not surprising. With the booming number of internet users around the world, the web has become a major communication platform. It comes with many advantages to persons with good and honest intentions, yet the crooks like hackers and scammers are also too happy with those advantages. Yeah, sadly, cyber-crimes grew rampant, too. Read more information about cyber-crime here.
Because of that, there is an increasing need for VPNs. What can a VPN service do for you anyway? And how can you choose one? First, let’s talk about what it can do for you. Just like everyone else, you have your own address in the online world. Internet protocol (IP) address is the technical name for it.
Many of us would choose to hide our real IP address through private browsing to avoid prying eyes, especially when we’re using the local cafe or airport’s free Wi-Fi service. Why? Because these are the places where hackers love to hangout to be on the lookout for anyone who’s online activity is vulnerable!
Browsing through VPN service is the answer for that. It’s also the answer to combat any kind of censorship or bypass geo-blocking when it’s needed. Basically, a service provider hides your real IP address and replaces it with its own so that your online activity won’t be tracked.
Now, the challenge is how to find the best one for you since the usual issue here is speed. Everyone wants a safer online presence but we don’t want to compromise internet speed either. So, we want to choose the best provider that can deliver utmost security while letting you do your online activities with a breeze. There are ways to do that. You can read reviews from actual users and choose the server from the location nearest you.
Small details matter, too. Specifically, it is important to pay attention to encryption protocol settings. While the VPN service provider deserves the most of your scrutiny, you should also carefully review and determine how you would use your VPN and what for. Get some ideas on that topic here: https://www.lifewire.com/reasons-to-use-a-vpn-for-private-web-browsing-2483583
Your choice of encryption protocol settings would highly depend on what you would use it for. We’ll dive more into that in a bit.
OpenVPN: One of the Most Popular Encryption Protocols
Almost every provider offers OpenVPN, one of the most popular encryption protocols. It has been around for some time—since 2001 to be exact. We can understand why most VPN services use it. It has major advantages that are too hard to pass up.
First of all, it is open source which means that many people have already examined and tested it for its reliability. Second, it has been proven highly secure and flexible—you can even use it on any operating system such as Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS and Android. Most of all, it features 256-bit encryption, not only a single type of encryption but multiple techniques and algorithms.
It may require some technical expertise for configuration, but that shouldn’t be a problem because the VPN service provider you’ll choose will do the job for you. As mentioned, your task is to dive into the smaller details and determine what best suits your online browsing activities in terms of protocol settings.
OpenVPN can use either Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or User Datagram Protocol (UDP). Most likely, you’ll be torn between them—well, you have to choose what you would use with OpenVPN. Both TCP and UDP have their own advantages. But delving on these specific advantages would help you determine which is best for your situation.
Who Should Use TCP?
In a nutshell, TCP can be slower than UDP, but when it comes to reliability of every single data, it has an excellent performance over the other. It accurately detects and corrects errors which is great for accessing static data such as when you’re browsing webpages, sending emails or downloading files.
That said, if you would use VPN mostly for these activities, TCP would be the right choice for you. This is ideal for professionals whose jobs heavily rely on writing emails, researching important information on the web or visiting and reading lots of websites and accessing private files from their respective companies, clients or somewhere else.
Who Should Use UDP?
If speed is your priority, you should go for UDP. But reliability is rated low as compared to TCP. It doesn’t feature congestion control as well. It doesn’t correct corrupted packets either. But what is it good for? It is ideal for gaming, audio and video streaming, VoIP and accessing live broadcasts.
Are these the activities you’d generally use your VPN for? For example, you might want to use VPN for accessing geo-blocked films on Netflix or YouTube. Then, UDP would be the best choice for you.
VPN would only be more useful and satisfactory if you’re able to choose the right protocol settings for most of your online activities. Assess your situation carefully and choose the best one.