Here's a quick video that explains very simply what a VPN is. As online business owners, creators, and marketers a big concern for us is our privacy online. So here I'm going to give you a quick run down of VPNs, what they are, and why you'd want to use one with your online business.
Here are links and resources mentioned in today's video. Enjoy!
Now I'm sure you've at least heard of VPNs before...and you probably already know that VPNs have something to do with security and privacy online. But at the same time, the whole thing might sound kinda technical and complex, right?
So first, let's directly answer the biggest question: What is a VPN?
A VPN is a service you'd sign up for that creates a secure, encrypted, private connection between your computer or device, across the internet, to a web server that's managed by the VPN provider.
Let's say you're travelling or you're away from home, but you want to access your home network for your online business while you're away. If you wanted to do this, you'd of course want your remote connection to be strong and secure -- this is a great example of where a VPN would be used.
Or let's say for example that you have employees who are working remotely, but they have to connect to your business across the web. Once again, this connection needs to be secure and encrypted because maybe your employees are working on sensitive documents, customer information, or whatever.
Well, that's a great example of where a VPN would be used in your business. So that's all a VPN is -- an encrypted connection between your computer or device and a web server. That's it.
Now in addition to the examples I've given you, you can also use a VPN to protect your privacy online. And of course, there are very valid reasons why you might want this extra layer of safety and security.
For example, maybe you want to use free public wifi, maybe at the local coffee shop...or maybe you're away from home and need to do some online banking...or maybe you simply want to prevent your ISP, Google, and Big Tech from tracking your behaviour online and using your data for advertising -- who knows.
When you connect your computer or device to the internet through an encrypted VPN connection, it looks as if your physical location on the globe is wherever the VPN server is located.
This allows you to get around geo-restricted websites, for example, gain anonymity online by masking your geographic location, and it gives you peace of mind that your web browsing data is secure and encrypted.
And if you really want to protect your security and privacy online, make sure you're using a web browser that offers lots of security too. I've got another video on this exact topic that I'll link to in the Show Notes below for you.
Now are there any downsides to using a VPN? Yes, there are a few. First, most often there is a cost to using a VPN service. We'll talk more about this in a sec.
Also, sometimes using a VPN makes your web browsing slow down...or sometimes websites won't load properly or they may not load at all. So there is a bit of a trade off here.
Now if you'd like to get started and try out a VPN service for yourself either for personal use or for your online business, you can actually get started for free with ProtonVPN, which is from the same company that offers the free, encrypted ProtonMail email service.
ProtonMail is an email service that I actually highly recommend for business use, by the way. In fact, ProtonVPN is included when you sign up with ProtonMail.
ProtonVPN is one of the top-rated VPNs available. Simply sign up for a free account, download and install the software on your computer or device and give it a go.
And the good news here is that you don't have to be a tech whizz or anything to get started. Setting up a VPN is super-easy.
And using a VPN is even easier -- if you want security while you're online, you turn it on. Then for regular web surfing, simply turn it off...no big deal.
Another top-rated VPN is ExpressVPN -- unfortunately, they don't have a free plan. But that said, you can get started with ExpressVPN for just $12.95 a month...even less if you pay annually.
So whether it's for your business or for personal use, either ProtonVPN or ExpressVPN are great choices for you to dip a toe in and get started with protecting your personal and business privacy online. I'll leave links to ProtonVPN and ExpressVPN for you down in the Show Notes.