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What is a VPN, and why do I need one?

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A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a technology that creates a secure and encrypted connection between your device and the internet. By encrypting online activities, VPNs can help users maintain their privacy. And since personal information is a prime target for online thieves, VPNs are also a handy tool to safeguard your data and keep information secure.

Keep reading to learn more about how, when, and why to use a VPN from Verizon Tech Coach experts. 

What does VPN stand for?  

VPN stands for "Virtual Private Network." A VPN routes all internet services securely, protecting data from being monitored or intercepted by other parties, such as your internet service provider (ISP), government agencies, or hackers. 

Do I need a VPN?  

The necessity of a VPN depends on your specific requirements. If you wish to protect your online activity from being tracked or accessed by third parties, a VPN is an effective solution. Additionally, if you want to access content available only in other countries (like streaming services) or access websites or services blocked in your region, a VPN can help bypass these restrictions. Ultimately, whether to use a VPN should be based on your personal needs and preferences. 

Types of VPNs

There are several types of VPNs, each suited to different needs. The most common type is the Remote Access VPN, which allows users to securely connect to a remote network over the internet from any location. Other types include Site-to-Site VPNs, which enable two sites to connect directly and securely; Tunneling Protocols, which encrypt data for secure transmission over a public or shared network; and Mobile Virtual Private Networks (MVPN), which provide a secure connection between mobile devices and private networks. Many companies also offer proprietary VPN services, such as Verizon's Secure Connect Service. For more information about Verizon VPN service availability, including Verizon VPN app details, contact your Tech Coach. 

How to use a VPN  

Not sure how to use a VPN? Just follow these easy steps: 

  1. Choose a VPN service provider. Ensure the provider offers excellent security protocols and encryption methods, fast speeds, and competitive prices. 
  2. Download and install the VPN software on your computer or laptop. Once your account is set up, download and install the VPN application on your device(s). 
  3. Connect to a server location. When online, open the VPN app and select a server location based on your intended use (e.g., streaming content from another country or accessing blocked websites). 
  4. Enjoy online privacy and freedom! Your activities are now securely encrypted, allowing you to browse the web without fear of being tracked or monitored by third parties. 

How to use a VPN on iPhone  

Using a VPN on an iPhone is simple. Here’s how: 

  1. Choose a VPN service provider. Opt for providers with advanced security protocols and encryption methods. 
  2. Download and install the provider's app from the App Store on your iPhone. 
  3. Open the VPN app and enter your login credentials. 
  4. Select a server location based on your needs, such as accessing region-restricted content or optimizing for speed. 
  5. Start browsing and enjoy enhanced privacy and freedom online. 

How to use a VPN on Android  

Using a VPN on your Android device is an easy way to enhance online privacy and security. Here’s how to set it up with Verizon: 

  1. Choose a reliable VPN provider. Select a reputable service offering a dedicated Android app, such as Verizon's Business VPN or Digital Secure VPN. 
  2. Download and install the VPN app from the Google Play Store on your Android device. 
  3. Open the app and create an account with your chosen VPN provider by following the on-screen instructions. 
  4. Log in to the VPN app using your credentials to access the Android VPN network. 
  5. Select a server location based on your intended use. 
  6. Connect to the VPN by tapping the "Connect" button in the app. 
  7. Enjoy a secure browsing experience! Your Android device will now route all internet traffic through the VPN server, ensuring your data remains encrypted and protected. 

Why use a VPN? 

Anonymity Online: A VPN helps keep your identity private by masking your IP address and physical location, making it harder for websites to track you or link information to you. 

Secure and Encrypted Connection: A VPN encrypts all your data and transmits it through a secure tunnel, making it much harder for third parties to intercept and monitor your online activity. 

Bypass Censorship: In some countries, certain websites are blocked or censored by the government or other organizations. A VPN allows you to bypass these restrictions so that you can access any website without worrying about censorship or restrictions on content. Likewise, with a VPN, you can also… 

Access Geo-Restricted Content: A VPN allows users to access geo-restricted content from anywhere in the world—no matter where the actual server is located.    There are other benefits to using a VPN, too. For example, using a VPN while traveling to encrypt your internet traffic can help keep your personal information private. If you’re traveling, consider using VPN services to stay safe, no matter where you’re connecting from. And for live assistance with every step, reach out to a Verizon Security Advisor today. 

Protect all your home tech  

There’s an easy way to secure all your family’s favorite home tech. Verizon Home Device Protect coverage includes computers, TVs, tablets, premium headphones, smart devices, and more—plus 24/7 assistance for your whole family. 
Learn more about Verizon Home Device Protect, and how you can get peace-of-mind device protection.  

Note: Verizon Home Device Protect doesn't cover devices already covered by any of the Verizon mobile device protection options. For more information on protecting those devices, please visit our Verizon Mobile Protect FAQs. 

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