Explainer: What is a VPN? How is it different from an antivirus?

VPNs. What exactly are they? We’ve heard a lot about VPNs in the last few months especially while we’ve all been working from home. A friend might have sent you a link to a movie and told you to “Use VPN to view it as it’s blocked in India”. Or that paranoid friend you have has lately been urging you to use a VPN for all your online activity, because “they’re all watching us!”.

Sure, fine, but what is this VPN they talk about? What does it do? We’ve tried to use some simple analogies so you can get a working understanding of what a VPN is and why you should consider using it.

VPN: Virtual Private Network

Let’s start with the name itself: VPN stands for Virtual Private Network (VPN). Private networks are exactly what it says – a network established between two computers/devices that is “private” in the strictest sense, i.e. no one from the outside looking in can access the network and know the contents of the data/information shared between these two computers/devices.

A “Virtual” private network creates a private network between a computer and the entire Internet, virtually. Hence, that’s why the name: Virtual Private Network (VPN). We’ll go into a little more detail later into how it functions but essentially, a virtual private network enables you to access the Internet privately, which means you maintain your anonymity and your usage, browsing history or any other identifying information will not be tracked as it will all be encrypted.

Benefits of VPN

VPNs offer many benefits. They are summarized below:

  • Enhanced security – When you use VPNs, you are using the Internet through another connection which means the details of your connection (IP address, location, passwords, etc.) stay hidden. This substantially decreases your risk of getting attacked.
  • Data Encryption – Your data is completely encrypted when you are using a VPN. This is a great feature as it means that even if threat actors can access your data, they can hardly do anything with it because it’s encrypted. This is one of the key reasons you should use a VPN when you are using Wi-Fi in a public place, i.e. an airport or a coffee shop.
  • Secure Data Sharing – Data can be securely shared on a VPN and that’s why VPNs are increasingly being used in remote working environments. The ongoing pandemic has led to many workplaces getting employees to connect to enterprise networks on VPNs, ensuring data sanctity.

VPN vs Antivirus: why you should use both

Now, let’s stop for a moment. We’ve been talking about VPN for so long but you might be wondering whether it’s the same as an antivirus. Let’s get into that as well – an antivirus is a fundamentally different product than a VPN. Think of it as a protective shield that keeps your computer/device free from all types of outside threats. It does it through many ways such as regular scanning, anti-malware protection. Quick Heal AntiVirus Pro has powerful features like Anti-Malware, Anti-Ransomware and Firewall Protection to keep you safe from all types of threats.

If an antivirus is a protective shield, VPN offers you the cloak of anonymity by keeping your connection with the outside world private. For the best security, it’s a good idea to invest in both a strong antivirus and a powerful VPN. That way, all incoming threats get blocked by the antivirus while all external connections get routed through VPN and stay safe.

If you would like to know more, do get in touch with us as at Marketing@quickheal.com.



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