What Is a VPN and Do You Need One?

A virtual private network, or VPN, protects your information while you use the internet. When browsing the internet on public wifi, your activity is public, making it easy for hackers to access your data and IP address. With this, they can view your information and online identity.
By installing a VPN, you can protect your data and devices, allowing you to use the internet in public without fear of someone accessing your information.

What Is a VPN and How Does It Work?

As mentioned above, VPN stands for virtual private network. Essentially, it mask your device’s IP address by encrypting the data. Also, by tunneling your data to a VPN network, it masks your location.
Although there are many types of VPNs, we can separate them into two distinct categories: Remote Access and Site-to-Site.
  • Remote Access VPNs use a private network through a private server. It masks the location of the user and encrypts their data. Individuals can also use a Remote Access VPN to access websites that are blocked in their country.
  • Site-to-Site VPNs provide connections between two or more networks. Companies and businesses often use Site-to-Site VPNs to connect one branch office to the network of another.

How Do You Use a VPN?

To use a VPN, you will need to install the service on the device you want to protect. Many VPNs require monthly subscriptions, while others offer a limited service for free. Here are three of the top-rated service providers:

Express VPN

Express VPN is one of the largest VPN providers and offers worldwide services across 160 locations and 94 countries. With a subscription, users get unlimited bandwidth access. However, this option is more expensive, at $9.99 for a six-month plan and $8.32 per month for a 12-month plan.


NordVPN spans 59 countries and has its headquarters in Panama. In addition, it doesn’t log any of its user’s data, making it one of the most private services. Although NordVPN is more expensive than smaller service options, it is fairly affordable. For a one-year plan, users will pay $6.99 per month.


CyberGhost is another great VPN option for $3.99 per month with a one-year subscription plan. It also works in 91 countries and has over 7,400 services. The cheapest plan available with CyberGhost is $2.25 per month for three years.

When Should You Use a VPN?

VPNs protect your data wherever you are. It’s important to have a VPN if you’re using your phone or laptop on a public network away from home. However, if you’re working on your laptop from home (which already has a private network) you may not need a VPN service.
To clarify, a VPN protects your data when you expose your device to public networks. In comparison, your home network is a secure network and doesn’t require encryption unless you’re working with highly sensitive data.
Nevertheless, if you want to provide extra security and privacy to your home network, you can use a VPN.

How to Protect Your Devices

Whether or not you have a VPN installed on your device, your laptops and phones are still susceptible to physical damage and accidents. According to a poll of over 2,000 Americans, the average person drops their phone four times a week. Additionally, liquid spills, like coffee and water, are the cause of over 60% of laptop repairs.
Without proper protection, replacing a broken phone or laptop can cost thousands of dollars. However, Upsie offers an alternative.
Upsie’s extended warranties protect your smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices from drops, spills, and manufacturing defects. Their warranty plans are often up to 70 percent more affordable than competitors. Even better, customers can make unlimited claims up to the purchase amount of the device.
For better protection and more peace of mind, protect your devices with Upsie.

Learn More About Protecting Your Devices:

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.