The age of the internet has brought innumerable advantages to our lives. Increased speed, reliability and exchange of information has made us dependent on online connectivity. If you are from generation X and Y, you will still remember a life without the internet. Millennials and Gen Z can’t say the same. We practically cannot exist in modern times without the internet. Emails, connecting with people through messaging apps and social media is a part of our existence now. Buying groceries is not a luxury, but a way of life. COVID-19 has played its role too. In the last year, the virus forced governments all over the world to stay indoors, being online the sole communication method with the world.
The Dark Side of Online Connectivity
The ever more reliability of staying online has its own dark side. What most people don’t understand is that the concept of privacy doesn’t exist online. When you connect to the internet, your ISP gathers information about you. It knows what websites you visit and what content you download. The website you visit themselves gathers information about you. Accepting terms of cookies is so common that we often tend to ignore reading the fine print and press the accept button to get that annoying popup out of the screen.
These cookies collect different information about the visitors and users, such as what pages do they visit, clicks and keystrokes are recorded, down to the IP address (and therefore, the location) of the visitor – all under the garb of collecting the information to give a better tailored user experience. Big firms such as Google and Facebook go a step beyond, reaching into the very depth of a person’s privacy and recording their each and every move. They collect information such as what browser you use, what websites you visit. Your emails and messages are not secure. They even use the microphone, camera and the GPS device to gather intimate information. They know where you are, what you were doing at a particular time, whom you interacted with and what did you talk about. And let’s not even get started on the governments! Edward Snowden exposed the massive level of surveillance used by governments to invade privacy of their citizens and is perhaps the biggest eye-opener of all times.
Things have gotten worse with mobile connectivity. At first, the laptops and PCs were physically limited to the location where they were plugged in. Mobiles are in our pockets and these devices are gathering information 24/7, passing on the data through the apps download and use.
Protecting Your Privacy Through VPNs
Though it is impossible to stop apps and devices from collecting information about you, there are ways to protect through manipulating what data is collected. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are networks that route all incoming and outgoing transmissions through their servers. Essentially, they act as intermediaries, just focal points through which the data is moved in and out.
The network this way enables people to hide what they are doing online. For example, if you wanted to watch a streaming video on, let’s say Vimeo, you would connect to a VPN and all the surveillance and data gathering parties will see if you connect to a server of the VPN. They will not know what the VPN is passing on to you. Modern VPNs go a step further and encrypt all data transfer, making it impossible for Big Brother and Big Data firms to view what you are even communicating with the VPN servers.
There are many VPNs that offer free services, albeit with limited services, such as selected server locations, slower speed and even a cap on the data you can use per day, week or monthly. To obtain the best services, you will need to get premium, paid accounts.
Pay VPNs with Bitcoin
If you are going to pay for your VPN, this creates another problem. Fiat is traceable! You will either use your credit or debit card to buy the services, and banks, governments and other entities will know what you are doing. This essentially breaks the purpose of being anonymous!
If you really want to be anonymous from start to end, you need to use payment methods that hide your identity as well, and what better option than to pay for VPN with Bitcoin? However, not all VPNs accept Bitcoin. Fortunately, there is VPNsurfers, a platform that’s dedicated towards providing the best of VPNs for the public. They have created a comprehensive list of the top 8 VPNs that accept anonymous payment through Bitcoin.
The list also contains detailed information on what each VPN service provides, advantages over others such as encryption levels, servers, speed, the packaging prices etc. To learn more about VPNS, check out this article.