Beginner's guide to VPN

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A Beginner’s Guide to VPN

Recently it has become common practice to use a VPN as an individual computer user. Maybe you also started wondering whether or not a VPN service is something for you and what exactly does it do? Fear not, we’re here to walk you through the ins and outs of VPNs and explain how to use them.

What is it?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and it is a way to make your internet scrolling a little bit more anonymous and a little less restrictive. When you connect to internet through WiFi or ethernet there are certain pieces of information that can be later used to track your behaviour online, such as your location (based on your IP address), websites you visit, anything that you disclose to websites that are not secure. Now, VPN encrypts that information and resembles a little tunnel that connects your device to the internet – it masks you IP address and makes you less vulnerable to cyberattacks. Moreover, it is a service that allows you to access websites that might be geographically restricted otherwise.

Why is it useful? The advantages of VPNs.

  • Privacy

One of the main advantages of the VPN is the additional layer of security that it provides you, mostly thanks to the encryption of your data that it offers. It allows you to keep your online activities more hidden and it makes it more difficult for the hackers or your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to track what you do. That might also mean that the ads that you receive won’t be as targeted and you might avoid your data being sold to advertisers.

  • Security

Another positive side to using a VPN is that no matter where you are you can make your transactions and online activity more secure. Sure, you might feel comfortable typing your credit card details into your browser whilst using your personal WiFi. However, if you do so while you’re connected to a public WiFi in the library or a café your data might be at a greater risk. So if you’ve got a VPN on your laptop or smartphone you can access important files from various locations or make a purchase without fearing for the contents of your wallet.

  • Anonymity

If you are worried about the safety of your personal data and the fact that third parties could use your information for nefarious reasons you can count on VPN to provide you with a certain level of anonymity while you browse the internet.

Why is it risky? The disadvantages of VPNs.

  • Free services

Like with many other services and software online there are both free and costly alternatives of VPN. And while it might be tempting to use a free service to see if this is something for you, it can also be quite dangerous. It is costly for companies to run a quality VPN service in order to develop the most secure apps possible and ensure that they are being regularly updated. So if you’re trying to avoid third parties having access to your data you might want to re-consider using that free VPN as very often in return they will collect your logs and sell them to other services.

  • Investment

When it comes to a VPN the price will often indicate the quality of the service you’re getting so if you are looking into getting one you probably have to set aside a budget for the selected VPN service. That is not to say that all paid VPNs are extremely expensive because you can often find good offers and promotions and a reliable service at a relatively small cost.

  • Connection

One of the issues related to using a VPN is intermittent or slower internet connection. It’s not always the case but it might be worth keeping that in mind as when the internet connection drops your real IP address might be exposed and you will be vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Popular services:

Many services are adding new functions and improving the user experience regularly so there is a variety of VPNs to choose from. We’ve selected few of the most popular ones to help you get a sense of what’s out there.

Nord VPN

  • Free trial available
  • Good choice of subscription options
  • 6 devices support

Express VPN

  • Available in 94 countries
  • 5 devices support
  • Business-like encryption


  • Unlimited number of devices
  • Free trial available
  • Great unblocking

Hotspot Shield

  • Longer trial period than most
  • 5 devices support
  • Easy to use

It is extremely important to keep safe whilst using available online resources. The more you learn about your activity online, the easier it gets to use your devices without needing to worry about your online security. Mastering your digital skills can also help to keep in touch with your loved ones and it might improve your chance of getting a job. Choose from a range of courses that we provide or get in touch for any help.


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