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Are VPNs worth it?

March 15, 2013

Many people do not even know what a VPN is, and yet some techies would bet their life that these Virtual Private Networks can keep their lives out of the hands of hackers and internet thefts. The reasoning behind using VPNs is in fact to keep all of your information from being exposed to the world around you. This is extremely important for information pertaining to credit card numbers, important business analyses of the company, and will help to protect you from identity theft through your social security number.

                VPNs are a way to hide one’s IP address through a randomly assigned number which hackers cannot crack. Of course, that alone possesses a threat with the fact that when one says you “cannot” do something really means to try really hard to prove them wrong. That is exactly where the problems begin for this service. People strive off of a challenge. When faced with something that one tries to prove to them that they cannot do, the incentive to prove them wrong is all that much more. A way that hackers can break through these security walls is through Brute Force which is when people, or more than likely now, computers, go through every possible combination of codes until it finally achieves the goal of cracking the encryption. To do this takes a great deal of brain power, money, and time but who said cracking codes was cheap?

                As seen in this article about the flaws of VPNs, IP addresses can be found quite easily based on their connections broadcasting information which is attached to the random number that is to represent their IP address. In other scenarios, such as MAC users, it is very easy to figure out their IP addresses due to their personalization in which it identifies a particular device and displays the computers name on the internet. In my eyes that means there is no hiding from the world for MAC users no matter what they try to do.

                The costs of VPNs also are not insane either. They are reasonably priced for all different packages. Just look at BOXPN’s deals, where they offer $3.75 per month from your computer, and only $1.99 for mobile devices such as iPads or iPhones.  For guaranteed security, those are awesome prices, but with more and more techies and hackers attacking these accounts, it may put you at more of a risk to have your own VPN. There are also some free versions of VPNs out there specifically for mobile devices as seen here. It is plat formed for Android phones specifically and should provide the same services as a normal VPN service provides. But honestly, how safe, or how well, could it really work.

                Personally I am very skeptical about using these. I feel as time presses on, our rights to privacy greatly decrease. Even when people try to make options in order to hide your internet searches and important information, there are always people out there who are able to crack the codes and break into whatever they want if they really want to. If these VPN services are non-hack able though, I would not be opposed to using them and would love for my life to be exactly what it is: MY life.

-Mike

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