However, VPNs have their limitations. VPNs are great for certain applications. For example, in authoritarian states where citizens use the technology in order to make it appear that they are using the internet in another location. ThatThis allows them to access web content that they are not able to see. But as a mainstream privacy tool, it’s no longer an ideal solution.
ThisThis led me to seek out alternatives to purchasing a VPN. I ended up using some web tools to create my own private network for free, which wasn’t easy. ButA lot of casual users might not need a VPN anymore, I learned.
Here’s what you need to know.
What Has Changed AboutVPNs
NotMany websites did not have security systems to protect users browsing their sites. This allowed for bad actors to spy on them, opening the doors to their data being stolen. ThisVPN services became a necessary security product. VPN providers offered to help cloak people’s browsing information by creating an encrypted tunnel on their servers, through which all your web traffic passes.
ButThe internet has seen tremendous change in the past five years. ManyTech companies and privacy advocates urged website developers to change their sites to support HTTPS. This security protocol encrypts traffic, and solves most of these problems.
You’ve probably noticed the padlock symbol on your web browser. A locked padlock indicates a site is using HTTPS; an unlocked one means it’s not and is therefore more susceptible to attack. These days, it’s rare to stumble upon a site with an unlocked padlock — 95 percent of the top 1,000 websites are now encrypted with HTTPS, according to W3Techs, a site that compiles data on web technologies.
ThisVPNs are no longer a necessary tool for most people who browse the internet on a public network. Wi-Finetwork Dan GuidoChief executive of TrailOf BitsA cybersecurity company.
“It’s very difficult to find cases where people were harmed by signing on to the airport, coffee shop or hotel Wi-Fi,” he said. TheseHe said that VPNs are beneficial for those who work in high-risk areas and could be targeted by journalists who communicate with sensitive sources or business executives who travel abroad carrying trade secrets.
Source: NY Times