A VPN or Virtual Private Network is used by to protect sensitive data. This article explains what a VPN is and why we think Mullvad is the best VPN provider right now
Update Jan 2023
What is a VPN?
A VPN, or virtual private network, is a way to securely and privately connect to the Internet. It creates a private, encrypted connection between your device and the Internet, protecting your online activities and data from prying eyes. Think of it as a secure tunnel through which your data travels, protecting it from outside interference. It can also mask your IP address and location, giving you more anonymity and privacy online.
1. Hide IP address
When you connect to a VPN, it creates a secure connection to a server of the VPN company. Your device then sends all of its Internet traffic through this connection to the VPN server. In this way, the VPN server is like an intermediary that securely connects you to the websites and online services you want to use. Because your Internet traffic passes through the VPN server, any website or service you use will see the IP address of the VPN server instead of your own IP address. This makes it harder for websites, advertisers or hackers to track your online activities or location.
2. Encrypt your communications
A good VPN uses strong encryption to protect your data. Encryption is the act of encrypting information to prevent others from reading it. This encryption allows you to use (insecure) Wi-Fi hotspots such as airports and cafes because you know that your passwords, emails, photos, bank details and other sensitive information cannot be intercepted. Anything intercepted is unreadable anyway thanks to strong encryption.
3. Unblock websites and services
VPNs can be used to bypass blocking websites such as Netflix by letting you connect to a server in another location. When you connect to a VPN, you can choose which server you want to connect to. By connecting to a server in another country, you can make it appear as if you are in that country and access content that is only available in that country.
If certain services such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype, YouTube and Gmail are blocked by a country (government), school or employer, you can often still access them through a VPN connection.
4. Increased privacy and security
Without a VPN, an ISP (internet service provider such as KPN or Ziggo) can easily monitor and record your online activities such as the sites you visit, comments you make, social media interactions, preferences, etc. In many countries, Internet service providers are now required to record user data and browsing activity.
When you use a VPN, your ISP can only see that you are online and connected to a VPN server. Your information is encrypted and secured, making it unreadable to third parties.
5. Safer on the road
With a VPN, public WiFi hotspots are safe to use again, thanks to secure encryption that protects your data. Using public WiFi without a VPN is risky because hackers can use public wireless to steal your identity, credit cards, bank accounts, passwords, etc. A VPN encrypts this data and protects you from third parties and hackers.
Are you completely anonymous with a VPN?
No, on the Internet you are never 100% anonymous. For example, when you use a VPN connection, your interprovider (ISP) knows that you are using VPN service. However, they can no longer see what websites you are visiting and what data you are receiving and sending.
In addition, there are several ways in which a person can be recognized and de-anonymized online, such as through browser fingerprinting. Read what you can do to better protect your privacy online in this article.
What is the best VPN provider?
For whatever reason you want a VPN, you should always check that the service you choose is reliable and will not compromise your data. Never choose a free VPN provider! An exception to this rule is the proton VPN.
1. Simple registration
In literally 2 seconds you can create an account without having to provide anything – no name, no e-mail address, no personal information of any kind. This is because Mullvad uses a token-based system, which is nice for anyone concerned with privacy.
2 . Strict No-logging Policy
When it comes to privacy, it’s good to pay attention to logs and logging policies. Mullvad promises:
-no registration of traffic
-no registration of DNS requests
-no recording of connections, including when made, when disconnected, for how long, or any kind of time stamp.
-no registration of IP addresses
-no recording of the user’s bandwidth
-no recording of account activity
3. Different payment options
Mullvad offers multiple payment methods, including cash and Bitcoin (although some will note that Bitcoin is not completely anonymous).
4. Marketing and Affiliate
Many product reviews you can find on the Internet are paid advertisements disguised as unbiased reviews. Sometimes, the more a company pays, the more favorably their product or service is rated.
From a consumer perspective, this makes it difficult – if not impossible – to know when a review is genuine and when it’s an ad just a cash cow.
Mullvad does not pay anyone to write about Mullvad. They also don’t pay for links to their website.
So About Privacy does not (and will not) receive any compensation for this “review.”
Mullvad VPN costs $5 per month. They don’t participate in black friday deals or anything like that.
In recent years, there have been certain revelations about the mass surveillance programs of various countries around the world. These countries are known as the five, nine and 14 eyes. These countries not only spy on their own citizens but also spy on each other and exchange information. Mullvad based in Sweden, one of those 14 countries.
Is that a problem?
Sweden is generally considered a country with strict privacy laws and regulations. The Swedish constitution contains a clause guaranteeing freedom of speech and letter secrecy, which has been used to protect the privacy rights of Swedish citizens.
Sweden is seen as a leader in areas such as data protection and privacy-friendly technologies, and as a model for other countries.
However, as in many countries, legislation is constantly changing, and privacy laws in Sweden are not immune to the global trend of mass surveillance and data collection.
But registering with Mullvad requires almost no personal information. Mullvad additionally operates a strict no-logging policy. This ensures that your data and browsing habits are not recorded and thus cannot be tracked. In addition, Mullvad has several privacy-friendly payment options.
[¹] With a “privacy focused” reliable VPN service, your connection is encrypted. Never choose a free VPN service.
Using a VPN provider will not make you anonymous, but it will give you more privacy in certain situations. A VPN is not a tool for illegal activities. About Privacy also does not seek anonymity, but privacy.