Why is a virtual private network (VPN) the first layer to use for browsing the Web?

Virtual private networks (VPNs) can be useful for everything from streaming foreign sports to protecting your identity against enhanced online monitoring. For cryptocurrency users, VPNs are especially valuable because they provide access to geo-restricted exchanges and enable crypto activities on the Web without leaving an imprint of confidentiality.

Read also: Stealth miners on the BCH network draw attention

The rise of the VPN

Virtual private networks date back to 1996, when a Microsoft staff member designed a Peer Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). In many ways, the protocol functioned as a precursor to current VPNs, providing a secure and private connection between a computer and the World Wide Web, as it was called at the time.

The benefits of having a permanently encrypted conduit to the tape are multiple. Think about how often you unknowingly connect to an unsecured public wifi network, for example with credit card numbers and social media connections vulnerable to theft. A VPN, which allows you to connect to a remote server while hiding your real location, gives you peace of mind by protecting the data from interception by third parties. Virtual private networks also block persistent IP tracking, which is more difficult to prevent than insidious third party tracking, eg. from Google.

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The quest to decentralize the VPN

VPNs can mitigate the worst data intrusions of centralized agencies (be they technology giants or governments), but they themselves are vulnerable to the inherent flaws of centralization. This month, it appeared that the popular provider NordVPN had been a victim of a data breach in 2018 when a Finnish server located in a rented data center had been compromised. Although the company claimed that no username or password had been intercepted, the fiasco proves that VPNs are not invulnerable to the very attacks against which they are trying to protect their users .

Decentralizing Web3 architects have naturally turned to VPNs, where they see the potential to create more robust systems that are not vulnerable to the vagaries of central organs acting unilaterally, be they hackers or hackers. 'law application. Decentralized VPNs – dVPNs – allow a percentage of users' download bandwidth to be allocated to transport traffic intended for other network users. Although they are still in their infancy, dVPNS have the potential to hide your encrypted transactions and communications while eliminating the need for a central authority.

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One such project is Tachyon. In addition to hiding your location, the protocol simulates the HTTPS and SMTP protocols, which means that it masks the sites you are browsing, deceiving others into believing that you are visiting Youtube and Gmail respectively. User requests are distributed across multiple, encrypted nodes, eliminating TCP / IP security vulnerabilities and inefficiencies.

Another proposal, developed as part of the Web3 movement, is VPN®, a decentralized network built around a Distributed Hash Table (DHT), based on several privacy protection mechanisms. What makes the network particularly unique is that it allows the relay nodes to control the traffic they want to transmit – without specifically learning the content. This feat is achieved through the application of unconscious evidence, a cryptographic technique in which the prover can validate with the verifier that a statement is true without revealing any information other than the validity of the statement. Developed by a trio of Brave researchers for browser security, VPN® is waiting to be developed and funded.

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Why cryptocurrency users should consider a VPN

As everyday Internet users claim more and more about their privacy, motivated by the widespread coverage of mass data collection and government oversight, bitcoiners have even more need digital discretion. The cryptosphere, after all, has become the prey of opportunistic hackers, spear phishing and swapping of SIM cards being just two examples of security breaches that have left traders aside. A VPN is not a veil of invisibility, it gives carte blanche to its wearer to escape cybercrime or to commit it with complete impunity, but it strengthens your security in many significant ways.

By encrypting your data when you are trading, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) makes it harder to listen to hackers. Because VPNs hide your IP address and prevent persistent IP tracking, the location of your device will not be connected to your wallet address. In addition, using a remote server to hide your real location more effectively prevents targeted viruses and malware than many expensive software packages designed specifically for this purpose.

Of course, the benefits of using virtual private networks go beyond enhancing security. They can also expand your options by unlocking geo-blocked websites, such as banned trades in your home country. By granting unrestricted access to otherwise verbalized foreign portals, these networks can greatly enhance your trading experience. They may also prove useful if your government suddenly censors access to an exchange in which you hold currencies, for example.

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How to choose the right VPN for your needs

There are many VPNs to choose from, some free, some paying and all with pros and cons.

First, be sure to choose a VPN that does not store user logs, which could possibly be passed on to third parties. Some VPN providers insist that this information is mandatory to ensure optimal service, but in reality, they often sell your data to advertisers. Needless to say, this goes against the very purpose of using a VPN. In any case, you will not want timestamped details of your VPN sessions – as well as visited sites and downloaded files – to fall into the wrong hands.

Once you've asked a vendor to set a final zero-log strategy, think about the speed of connection, the number of servers in different countries (giving priority to multiple users in countries that respect privacy), level of encryption proposed, to the traffic. Restriction policies and customer support. It may also be wise to select a VPN that accepts cryptocurrency payments, which can further enhance your privacy.

Practice secure browsing

Absolutists eagerly await the day when decentralized VPNs will be ready for production, citing mistrust of centralized gateway privacy policies and issues of network stability.

In the meantime, VPNs play an important role in ensuring security and privacy in our hyper-connected world – and this applies to both regular users and those of us who are used to digital currency. Before you get into the big bad guy, take a moment to get dressed in a VPN.

Do you think that using a VPN provides added security when browsing the web? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Kai Sedgwick

Kai has been manipulating the words since 2009 and bought his first bitcoin at $ 12. It's been gone for a long time. He has already written white papers for blockchain startups and is particularly interested in P2P exchanges and DNMs.

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