What is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and How Does it Work?

Online Security · Nov 19, 2020

A virtual private network (VPN) is a way to create added online privacy and protect your devices by using a private network from your public internet connection. That’s just a very fancy way of saying that a VPN can simply help keep you, your devices, data and family safe.  

Using a VPN makes your online actions secure with an encrypted connection to increase your privacy over Wi-Fi. And today, with security cameras being such a large part of both home automation and home security systems, VPN’s are becoming an essential part of your overall digital security and protection. 

1.  Why do you need a VPN? 

Great question. Every time you check your email on the go, surf the web when you’re out and about in public using a cafe’s public Wi-Fi, or logging into your banking app on your commute, you have likely transmitted data that could be vulnerable to anyone using the same network. VPNs offer you encryption and anonymity that can help protect your routine online activities like sending email, shopping online or even paying your bills. 

A virtual private network can help protect all your devices, from your computer to your other smart home security and home automation devices. These devices can be a target for cybercriminals. Your handy VPN can help protect that data and ensure hackers can’t see your every move. 

2.  How does a VPN work

VPNs use that encryption to basically ensure that your data isn’t readable when it’s sent over a Wi-Fi network. How do they do this? They create a connection between your local network and another location making it seem as if you’re somewhere else. This data security is invaluable when you’re using multiple devices for home automation and security.  

3. How do you set your own VPN up? 

Setting up a VPN for your devices does require some work to get it all up and running, but don’t worry, it’s simple. If you can set up your new mailbox for something like your email, you’re likely able to master setting up your VPN. To create your VPN service, you can do this in about 3 steps. 

Step One: Get yourself a VPN service. You can purchase any TELUS Online Security plan (VPN is included as a feature in any of those plans) and protect 2 to 20 devices with different plans.

Step Two: Take those VPN credentials and enter them into your device. The VPN provider will give you detailed instructions to set it up on your computer, phone or device settings, configure it, and add in your authentication information. Then, you’ll just be able to click “connect” and get back to doing what you want to be doing. 

Step Three: Remember to turn your VPN on when you’re on public Wi-Fi and ensure you are turning it on every time you access or are sharing any data.

Want to learn more about protecting your devices, online privacy, personal information? TELUS Online Security is a good place to start.

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