It’s getting more dangerous out there… Nefarious actors in the digital space are proliferating, growing ever bolder and doing more damage than ever before.
Luckily, defenses are ramping up as well.
A major part of any good defense is a good VPN (virtual private network). And there’s a brand-new VPN protocol coming out — which promises to offer a quantum leap in speed and protection.
Now, I’m no expert in the technical aspects of this new protocol. Or, really, the inner workings of VPNs in general.
I know what they do, and why you need them… but how do they truly work? That’s above my pay grade.
Which is why today I’ve turned to our friends at NordVPN — technical experts who not only know how it all works, but who’ve invented much of the tech themselves.
I recently asked them a series of questions over email. I think you’ll find their answers enlightening.
1. Why is a VPN important to have?
With the ever-growing amount of privacy violations and spoofing attacks happening over the globe, VPN adds an additional layer of security.
Whether you wish to encrypt your connections in order for no one to intercept or see your traffic — or you just wish to bypass censorship while traveling or access your banking services securely — VPN can do it all.
Not to mention that a VPN does secure your connections while on public Wi-Fi, which we all use on a regular basis.
2. How can you use NordVPN to protect yourself “in the wild” — that is, outside of a home-secured network?
It actually doesn’t matter if you’re using a home network or a public one —you’re protected.
All of the connections going through our servers are encrypted with the AES-256 encryption algorithm — which is the only publicly available cypher approved by the government to secure highly classified documents. Hence, neither your ISP nor public network administrator nor any third party can sniff the network packets [units of data] passing between your device and the internet.
On top of that, our service blocks incoming traffic, so no malicious actor on the public Wi-Fi could remotely connect to your device if they tried.
3. How will 5G affect VPN performance and privacy in general?
5G networks should improve LTE connections and user experience in general; they are unlikely to affect the VPN users in a negative way. They will, however, provide faster connection speeds, which will consequently boost the speed of VPN services as well.
Right now it is difficult to say how the development of 5G networks will impact people’s privacy and security. There are various rumors and concerns regarding Huawei’s technologies — interference of governments with means to surveil and overall lack of sufficient testing regarding the 5G service — which might lead to security threats.
However, in our opinion, you should treat 5G as you would any other network — assume that all information you send and receive might be tracked by a third party.
4. What kind of protections — beyond masking your IP address — come with using NordVPN? How many of the security breaches that hit the news could you be protected from?
Masking your IP address is only the basics of what a VPN service does. While it’s enough to use a simple proxy to mask your IP, NordVPN also encrypts traffic, preventing anyone from snooping or intercepting it.
Our service also blocks incoming traffic, which prevents anyone from accessing a user’s device remotely. On top, our CyberSec feature prevents access to various domains known to be malicious or used for phishing attacks and provides users with ad-blocking capabilities.
However, the biggest security breaches we hear about are those affecting stored personal data. That means people voluntarily provided a website or a service with their data, and no VPN service will be able to prevent that.
Our advice is to be vigilant — provide your data only when it’s necessary, make sure that the service you wish to use can be trusted and never use the same credentials with different services.
5. Could you explain what the WireGuard protocol is, how it works and why it’s a big step forward?
WireGuard is a VPN connection protocol. Simply put, it’s a very lean protocol that combines lightning speed and next-generation encryption algorithms.
While its specifications are very promising, right now WireGuard is still not a perfect fit for VPN service providers to implement, as it comes with some drawbacks regarding users’ privacy.
Our engineers came up with a solution we call NordLynx. NordLynx is based on WireGuard’s technology and maintains all the protocol’s benefits while securing users’ privacy.
Editor-in-chief, Unconventional Wealth
P.S. If you’re surfing the web without a VPN, that’s a lot like leaving home naked in the middle of a blizzard. Sure, you might be OK for a bit… but sooner or later, you’re going to lose something important.
It’s no secret that NordVPN is our favorite VPN service — see how they can help protect you here.
Ryan Cole is the editor-in-chief of Unconventional Wealth. He’s been covering the alternative investment space for nearly a decade and writing about finance and investment for almost 20 years.
Ryan has walked the walk for years, living a very unconventional life. He’s led snowmobile tours through the mountains of Colorado, settled in Japan for five...