All machines that can be connected to the internet or Bluetooth come with an IP address in their operating system. This address functions a lot like your home address. Your home address helps guests, friends, and family find your particular house in your neighborhood.
The same applies to IP addresses—internet service providers or ISPs use these addresses to locate a machine in their network. This address also establishes communication between your device and the internet; and even between your device and other devices.
Let’s say that an IP address helps everyone in the world of machines and internet technologies find each other. However, there is one drawback—hackers and cybercriminals can also use this address to get into your machine and gain access to your personal data.
The best way around it is to use a VPN or a Virtual Private Network. These mask your machine’s IP address by connecting you to a remote, secure server; hence letting you explore the internet anonymously, ensuring higher security.
Why are VPNs important for operating systems?
As discussed above, a VPN service offers a higher degree of security when browsing the internet. This means that it can keep your operating system safe from cyberattacks and potential data or identity theft by hackers and other cybercriminals.
The two most popular operating systems for laptops and PCs are Windows and MacOS. Let’s break it down and take a look at how VPNs make a difference for each of these.
Read more: How to Use a VPN for Enhanced Online Privacy
VPN for Windows
Many people use Windows on their laptops and PCs because they are just more familiar with the OS, and there’s a lot that can be done on it. However, Windows does come with its own vulnerabilities, requiring users to download protection software like anti-virus.
This means that Windows is easier to hack into. Even though all versions come with robust functionality, things are a little weaker when it gets to standing up against or recovering from cyberattacks. Moreover, every time you’re online from a Windows computer, you’re open to hackers, cybercriminals, and other malicious online activities that make a pretty good case to download a VPN for windows.
When hackers get access to your operating system, they can steal valuable information from you, use this information against you, and even pretend to be you by assuming your identity. These attacks could get even worse if you have phones and other devices connected to your Windows machine—which would mean that the hacker would now have access to everything.
Since a VPN masks your IP address, your operating system is far safer since now, you’re virtually anonymous.
Now, let’s look at why you’d need one for your MacBook.
VPN for MacOS operating system
Now, MacOS is relatively more secure than Windows, and there are claims that you can even get by just fine without anti-virus software. While this is true, and MacOS is generally much safer when it comes to malware and virus, and does pretty good on its own. A VPN for macOS is always a good option when you want to protect your information from third-parties and your network administrator.
Even if you own a Mac and are immune to viruses and malware, a hacker can still access your personal and sensitive information if you’re not careful. Even MacBooks aren’t fully capable of evading the dangers of using a public Wi-Fi.
These are generally accessible to everyone and hence are much less secure and could result in a man-in-the-middle attack. These attacks mean that all your incoming and outgoing device communication will be intercepted by a third-party. In order words, this third-party could save, use, and even manipulate communication.
A VPN does two things; first, it encrypts your data so that even if a third-party does manage to intercept it, it can’t make sense of it. And second, it lets you surf the internet while being connected to a remote, secure server, making it virtually impossible to hack into your device.
All that a VPN can let you do on your operating system
Whether you’re a Windows user, or a MacOS fan, VPNs are meant to provide an extra layer of security and reserve the power to let you get around the internet in ways that couldn’t have imagined. Here’s a rundown of some of the most notable benefits—besides security, that a VPN can provide both operating systems.
Avoid targeted ads and trackers
It’s no secret that many products and marketing companies can access their users’ data, and use it to fuel their marketing efforts. Some even sell this data to third-parties at very hefty prices and let them use your data to sell their products or promote their services.
VPNs make it impossible for companies to trace your online activities back to you or even make sense of your communication with the internet and other devices. This means that companies and products won’t be getting into your data or using it to sell to you.
Safe torrenting for your operating system
You’ve downloaded a couple (hundred?) torrents in your life. But here’s the thing, whether you’re using Windows or MacOS, if you’re looking to download torrents, your bandwidth is likely to get throttled when you’re on torrenting sites.
A VPN gives you a chance to surf anonymously, hence removing you from the radar of your ISP or your internet service provider to let you bypass throttling. Additionally, torrent sites are some of the websites that are hubs for hackers and cybercriminals. Visiting these sites poses a higher risk you’re your machine getting hacked into, which anonymous surfing also protects against.
Unlock geo-blocked content
Have you ever tried to load a website and get a message that you’re not authorized to access it and that it’s blocked in your country? You’re not alone. This is another problem that both windows and MacOS users face.
Websites get blocked by governments all the time because of issues ranging from legal to political and even religious. This is called geo-restriction, and sometimes, these geo-restrictions can get in the way of your work and even entertainment.
A VPN service serves as a back-door way to get around geo-restrictions by letting users surf privately and anonymously, letting them slide through the barriers. Want to unlock all the sites blocked in your country? Try a VPN!