At ZenMate, we try to keep to keep it simple when explaining the benefit of our software but there's a few terms we use everyday that maybe a few of you don't know, so here are five tech terms we use everyday explained.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN or virtual private network is a series of linked computers. While a LAN or local area network involves computer servers and databases linked together physically near each other with cables to share data, a VPN does the same but for systems that have no physical connection, usually connecting over the internet. You can use a VPN to create a secure connection to a private computer or route your internet traffic through a server before connecting to a website.
VPN Servers can be based in other countries making it appear as though the user is connecting to the internet from the country where the server is based. This how VPNs improve your security and help you avoid geo-restrictions.
Open Proxy Servers
Open web proxy servers use similar technology to VPNs but are less secure. A VPN like ZenMate is much more secure and reliable. Open web proxies can be accessed through a number of websites. They might seem simple for accessing blocked content, but they often break websites and put your data at risk.
When using a open proxy server your data passes through the proxy server before reaching it's destination. This is useful because it can help you avoid geo-restrictions and access restricted content. But it's risky because all your data will pass through the server and can be intercepted by whoever is running the server. Open Proxy servers don't have proper encryption and so aren't suitable for sending sensitive information.
Encryption is a way of securing data to protect it from being read by anyone except for the intended recipient.The sort of encryption that ZenMate uses ensures that your data when being transmitted over the internet is protected from hackers and other snoopers that might attempt to steal it.
Encryption is mostly used while accessing sensitive data such as bank accounts or when giving credit card details during online purchases. But if you trust encryption to keep your data safe when buying online or accesing sensitive data, then why not have that protection at all times. It's as simple as installing our add-on or app.
Internet Protocol Address (IP)
Your IP address is a simple form of identification for your computer. A string of numbers that are often communicated to websites when accessing them. IPs can tell people stuff about your activities, such as where your from, what browser and operatinig system your using.
Allowing such information to be accessible on the internet is obviously risky, hackers often gather what information they can on users to help steal data or to hack computers. A VPN hides your IP address and make accessing the internet safer.
It's basically what websites and programmes gather about the user. It's a big issue when talking about VPNs and other anonymising software because while the VPN may anonymise you when accessing other sites, you have to trust that the VPN or proxy sever provider isn't collecting your data for profit.
There also those who would fear that the VPN company could be forced to reveal information about them to law enforcement and surveillance authorities. ZenMate doesn't log data we operate under very strict data protection laws in Germany.
Hopefully you learned something from this post. If there are other terms that you're curious about and will help you when making decision about your online safety let us know in the comments or on social media.