A virtual private network is a secure tunnel between two or more computers on the internet, allowing them to access each other as if on a local network. In the past, VPNs were mainly used by companies to securely link remote branches together or connect roaming employees to the office network, but today they’re an important service for consumers too, protecting them from attacks when they connect to public wireless networks.
Given their importance, here’s what you need to know about VPNs:
VPNs are good for your privacy and security
Open wireless networks pose a serious risk to users, because attackers sitting on the same networks can use various techniques to sniff web traffic and even hijack accounts on websites that don’t use the HTTPS security protocol. In addition, some Wi-Fi network operators intentionally inject ads into web traffic, and these could lead to unwanted tracking.