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What is a VPN and Why Should I Use It?

VPN is the abbreviation for Virtual Private Network; an encrypted, secure connection between your computer, smartphone, or tablet, and the internet.

Using a VPN is Safe and Anonymous

By using a VPN You are safer on the internet – a VPN encrypts all data that you send or fill in. For example, your credit card details for a purchase or your Social Security Number for a registration, and your login details for a certain account. If an internet criminal tries to steal your data via public Wi-Fi, they will only find encrypted and therefore unreadable data.


  • Your employer can give you secure access to the company network – VPNs were originally designed to protect company data. Many companies only give their employees access to the company network via a VPN. This way, you as an employee cannot (unintentionally) give an internet criminal access to the company network. Even if your employer does not require this, it is a good idea to protect your employer’s network by using a VPN when you are not in the office.
  • You are more anonymous on the internet – a VPN hides your IP address and your location. Your IP address is a unique address that can be traced back to your computer (just like a mobile number or your home address). When you use a VPN, you take on the IP address and location of the VPN server.

How Does It Work?

A VPN works like a kind of secure tunnel. If you accidentally connect to a hacker’s network (because you think you are using public Wi-Fi in a hotel or restaurant), the VPN ensures that the hacker cannot view or change data on your computer.

Which VPN Should I Choose?

To make a good choice, it is useful to delve into a VPN and list which VPN service best suits you, your devices, and your internet behavior. For example, do you want to have the option to use an account for more devices? Should the VPN software be available for MacOS or Windows? Also pay attention to speed, user-friendliness, reliability, and how privacy is arranged.
Cnet and Techradar have published their VPN reviews for 2023.

*By clicking on the links, you will be directed to the website in the link. The link opens automatically in a new tab.

Still Surfing the Internet Without a VPN?

On your smartphone or tablet, instead of public Wi-Fi with a VPN, you can also use your data bundle (4G). You then make your mobile phone a hotspot and use the data from your mobile subscription. This costs money, but it is much safer than a public Wi-Fi network without a VPN. At least with 4G, you can be assured that it’s not a random internet criminal broadcasting a Wi-Fi network under a deceptive name like ‘Starbucks Free Wifi’. If you still want to use a public Wi-Fi network without a VPN, at least do not use it to do internet banking or other online activities where personal data or login data are involved. If you do, do not save any passwords or other login data on the device and erase the browsing history and cookies.

Reference Notes:

You may already be aware of my collaboration with the Dutch government and their endorsement of my Information Security PubQuiz. If not, you can read about it here. Regrettably, the government education site that underpins part of my PubQuizzes is not available in English. Therefore, I’ve translated the articles from “” and “” and you can read them on my site. The original source for this article, in Dutch, can be found here.