We can thank the Department of Defense for the creation of the internet. With the introduction of the internet, our society as a whole launched into a brand new era – the digital age. Whether you are working, researching, connecting or exchanging, it can now all be easily done through a few taps and clicks on an electronic device, and more specifically through the internet. The internet and its abundant resources has completely transformed the way our society now functions on a daily basis. We now are privileged to the easy-access and instant-access of almost anything we desire with the internet.
This comes with a few downfalls. With the unlimited access of the internet comes the risk of security breaching. We’ve seen an uptick of hacking, viruses, malware, spyware and the like as the internet has grown and spread. Thankfully, there has been a proactive approach to conquering these issues when it comes to the hardware side of the problem. There are multiple software and programs now available that work consistently to fight these viruses and potential threats that affect the computers and devices that we use to access the internet. However, there was a void when it came to ensuring security and privacy when maneuvering through the internet and exchanging information through servers, especially between remote devices. So, there has been a rising concern with who or what is watching what we do and where we go on the internet. In 1996, there was the birth of a new type of informational exchange through the internet. This led the way to the modern day virtual private network (VPN).
Security and privacy has grown to become a serious issue for people fearing internet attacks on their personal and business information. Whether it is exchanging financial information, e-commerce, or even just communicating between employees, there is a constant influx of data being transferred through devices. The main source of transfer has turned out to be using access to the internet.
The VPN has grown and flourished since its inception a little over twenty years ago. The market itself has remained pretty stable though. As functions of the internet and technology change, the VPN has now been nudged to remain up-to-date with its counterpart’s advancements. A virtual private network creates a secured network between remote devices and users over a private network or a public network (like the internet) in order to keep the information and moves being made secure and almost undetectable. It protects users from potential threats like unsolicited mass data collection and hacking. Additionally, we live in an age where your internet service provider (ISP) has the authority to sell your browsing history to the highest bidder. A VPN helps the user add a layer of security when accessing the internet and exchanging information. When using a VPN, the information is encrypted, or coded, before being processed. The easiest way to understand its functions is to think of it as a private internet within the public internet.
Something to consider is that as the internet has advanced, so has the threats. Hackers and their affiliates are coming up with stronger and sneakier ways to access your private information. So in order to counteract these advanced attacks, VPNs are being forced to step up their game and offer services that are up-to-date and can withstand the increasing threats that users are being faced with on the internet on a daily basis.
One thing that VPNs have been working on when it comes to the products and services they offer their customers is the amount of data or bandwidth. An increase in bandwidth allows the user to do more downloading and streaming without the adverse side-effects like a slower service.
Another addition to this is the number of remote server locations that they have to offer. When it comes to accessing a VPN, location is a very important factor. First off, the farther you are from a VPN server, the slower your service is going to be. This is because that it takes a little extra processing power when transferring encrypted data that then needs to turn around and be decrypted. It is normally recommended to find a VPN server that is local or as close to you as possible, but that is not always the case. If a VPN server is able to offer several remote locations, it increases the chances of being able to connect to a server that is closer to you. This, in turn, lowers the chance of a slower service speed. When it comes to the number of server locations, the more the merrier!
Offering built-in firewalls and ad-blockers is always a plus. This allows the user more comfort of accessing a server network without dealing with the potential threats that come with surfing the internet in general. This can go a step further when a VPN offers these services from desktop to mobile. People are on the go. With a rise in remote working, people tend to switch between devices pretty frequently. More and more VPN services are looking to offer their customers protection on all fronts.
Cost has been a top priority in 2017 when it comes to VPN providers. They are looking to provide the most service and the most affordable price in order to remain relevant in a competitive market. Many VPNs are now offering free versions of their services, or even free-trial periods in order to test out their product. Even though many of these free services come with certain limitations like data caps or access to a smaller number of servers, they are an easy way for people to test out different options and to see which VPN service works best to meet their privacy and security needs.
Set up of a VPN can sometimes be a headache, especially for those who are not so tech-savvy. Now, VPNs are looking to offer easy set up for their customers to make the overall experience more enjoyable and stress-free for the user. Another perk in this regard is looking at automatic access. Whether switching server locations, or switching between devices, VPNs are now offering an automatic connection which allows a single user to access the VPN in different location without re-entering information or changing any default settings.
Most importantly, the VPN market is looking to improve its overall performance. Users are looking for simple and easy to use models that allow them to receive the privacy and security they are seeking at the optimal speed and easy set up. As the internet continues to shift and change, the VPNs will continuously be working to advance their quality of service. With a slightly saturated market, they will need to continue these advancements in order to remain competitive and relevant in the market. It’s no secret that the VPN has changed the game of internet usage on a global scale. But technology is continuing to advance. At the same time, the dangers and threats of our information being seen by someone else continues to rise. VPNs are faced with the ultimate challenge of keeping our internet usage and exchanges private and secure.