Do I Need a VPN? (And Exactly What is a VPN?)

VPN? What’s that?

VPN? I’d like to buy a vowel, Pat!

According to the Dataprise tech glossary, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is “a means of securely accessing resources on a network by connecting to a remote access server through the Internet or other network.”

Hmm, still not crystal clear?

OK, let me try to simplify things here; A VPN is a privacy tool – essentially shielding your online activity (including what sites you visit and what you download). It also obscures your IP address from anybody wanting to stick their nose into your business. Also – it hides encrypts all the data you send and receive.

Better? Yes. A little.

But why? Does this have anything to do with you? Or is it Spy vs. Spy kind of business? Why do you care about any of this cloak-and-dagger stuff?

Because, if you’re out in public, it’s a no-brainer. You don’t want any busybodies sticking their noses into your business – your usernames and passwords and all that happy stuff. But at home or in the office? What about a VPN there? Necessary or overkill?

Well, that all depends on how you view the world. Nobody is going to spy on your home Wi-Fi network because you have a password, right? And if you’re just happy to get online service from your local joker internet provider, and if you don’t care what they do with your data, then you’re fine.

But – if you are concerned about the about the fact that your ISP (Internet Service Provider) is allowed to sell your online activities to anybody they damn well please (our fine Congress approved this), then go for a VPN. There is plenty of money to be made selling your data, so why let Google have all the fun? I’m sure your local ISP wants a piece of the action too.

Something to think about.