Before you use a VPN, you should learn how VPN services work and the risks involved in using one to get around filters.
What is a VPN?
A VPN makes you anonymous online and encrypts your data so that no one can intercept it. When you use a VPN service, it creates a virtual private network between your computer and the proxy service. This VPN provides your data a secure path it can travel in. The proxy service provides you with an IP address so that all communication appears to be coming from another computer instead of your own. The IP address can even appear to be coming from another location. You can use your computer in New York City and make it look like you are in Germany, the U.K. or Canada depending on the server locations that the web proxy service has available.
One thing to consider when preparing to use a VPN is what other consequences you might face as a result of using one. While there are legal and legitimate reasons for employing a VPN, if you are using one to get around a filter or to hide your online activities, you may face serious repercussions if you’re discovered.
When you’re at work, your company’s IT department can probably identify if you are using a VPN service to get around filters and firewalls. Depending on the service you use, an IT department can sometimes see what you are accessing even though you are surfing anonymously. Even though IT may not be able to identity what content you’re accessing online, the simple fact that you are using a VPN may be enough to suspend your computer rights, put you on probation or even cause you to lose your job.