Privacy has become a priority for many users in the last two years due to the different security and privacy scandals that have made the news and that demonstrate, once again, how the internet is not as anonymous as many users think it is.
Facebook and Google, to name some of the biggest, know every move we make while browsing (as long as we don’t log out of the browser we use). But it is not the only one. Our ISP (internet service provider) stores a log of all our internet activity. Using a VPN is the only way to avoid this. In this guide, we’ll help you know what is a mac VPN and how to use it.
What is a VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. As its name indicates, it is a private network that we establish with a service of this type and where all communication is encrypted end-to-end, so that no one can access it, not even our ISP.
When using a VPN on your Mac, our ISP is the way through which we access this service and is not the one who will return the requests we make to the internet from our computer. Let’s use an example to make this clear. To find this article, you have either done a Google search or read us regularly. Either way, if you don’t use a VPN, your ISP has stored a log of both the search you performed and the page you are currently reading.
What a VPN offers us
Beyond the advantages that a VPN service offers us to maintain our privacy when surfing the internet on Mac, this type of network offers us a series of advantages that we cannot access in any other way.
Bypassing ISP restrictions
In some countries, ISPs block the downloading of content, with P2P networks being the most affected in this regard. By using a VPN our ISP will not know at any time where we are connecting to, so they cannot block our access.
Bypassing geographical limitations
As well as allowing us to bypass the geographical limits of internet providers, it also allows us to access content that is geographically blocked, such as Netflix or YouTube. But not only does it allow us to access streaming content available in other countries, it also allows us to access websites that are not available in a country due to government restrictions.
VPN services are legal in most democratic countries in the world. However, in countries such as Russia and China, this type of service is prohibited because it allows you to bypass the restrictions imposed in your country and access sensitive information to citizens, and as we all know, information is power.
Disadvantages of using a VPN
VPNs are not a panacea, and while there are some good things about them, there are some bad things about them.
No VPN is free
VPN services allow us to securely access the internet without leaving a trace with our internet service provider, nor is this trace stored on the servers of the service we are using. Enjoying a VPN service comes at a price, a price that ensures anonymity and that our browsing data is not stored on any server.
While it is true that we can find free VPN services, each and every one of the stores all the data related to the activity we do on the Internet, data that is subsequently sold to third parties. In addition, this type of service offers a limited number of GB when it comes to browsing, so in the end, it’s all about privacy, usage limits and browsing speed.
The connection speed is reduced
The connection speed is not the same as the one we have contracted, as we connect to the internet through a server located in another country, so the speed is considerably reduced if we compare it.
It leaves traces in our browser
We must not confuse surfing the internet anonymously using a VPN with the traces that we can leave on our device using a browser. In this case, the only browser that allows us to browse anonymously is Tor.
How to use VPN on Mac
A few years ago, setting up a computer to be able to use a VPN was a very complicated process and required extensive knowledge of the operating system where we wanted to use it, regardless of whether it was Windows, OS X or Linux. Fortunately, nowadays, if you want to use a VPN on a Mac, all you have to do is install the application you want to use directly from the Mac App Store.
Whenever we want to browse through our VPN, we just have to open the application and select the country we want to browse through. In this case, everything will depend on whether we want to access content available in other countries via streaming (we must select the country where it is available) or if we simply want to bypass the limitation of our ISP.
Once the reason that has forced us to use the VPN has ended, we just have to disconnect and close the application. It should be borne in mind that many VPNs offer a GB browsing limit, so it is not recommended for regular browsing if you have any kind of limit.
What are the best VPNs?
There are many VPN services on the market. If we intend to hire one of them, we must take into account a number of factors such as whether it is compatible with any device, both mobile and computers. Another factor to take into account is the number of servers available to us, i.e. the number of countries we can use to connect.
The more options it offers, the more expensive the service will be, but in the long run, it is always advisable to have as complete a service as possible, as you never know when you can make use of the different options it offers.