A virtual private network (VPN) is a way of accessing the internet via an encrypted connection, one that effectively hides the identity of the person using the VPN by assigning a different IP address to the one that would usually be given by the person’s Internet Service Provider (ISP). As soon as the person opens their browser, the 1Click VPN immediately kicks in by connecting the user not directly to the website that they chose to visit, but via a server from the VPN’s own network.
How does 1click VPN work?
It’s as if there were three people in a room, Tom, Jane and Manjeet. In this analogy, Tom is the internet user, Jane is a VPN server and Manjeet is the target website – let’s say it’s ManjeetShopping.com.
Without Jane the VPN, Tom would deal directly with Manjeet:
“Hi, Manjeet – do you have any 2-metre-wide cotton cloth? I need a roll 20 metres long for some curtains my mum is making…” Manjeet would reply that she has that cloth in stock. Tom would make a purchase, and the process is complete. However, if Jane (VPN) were involved, Tom would ask Jane to ask Manjeet the above question. When the purchase was being made, Tom would hand Jane the money, who would in turn pay Manjeet.
So what’s the point in having Jane involved at all? Because there are several security-related and practical benefits to using a 1Click VPN, which we can examine further below.
How to install and activate 1click VPN
Now we can see what a 1Click VPN is, how does someone obtain and install one? The clue is in the name – in one click! The internet user only needs to visit the VPN provider’s website and download a tiny installer file. As soon as that file is downloaded, one click of a button, and the VPN instals itself as an extension on the person’s browser software, such as Chrome, Firefox or Edge.
It’s important to note the distinction between system-wide VPNs and browser extension VPNs. The former can be installed onto a device, say a MacBook Pro, to protect all internet activity; however this tends to be rather complicated, because a Mac user on a Safari browser would need different settings for the VPN than if they were using, say, Firefox. As a result, it’s much simpler and quicker to install a 1Click VPN as an individual extension onto each browser you might use on one device. This can be done quite easily, and the two installations don’t conflict, because they are effectively running in two mutually exclusive environments.
There’s also the possibility of installing a VPN onto a domestic router in the home, which, in theory, protects every device connected to that router. The problem then, however, is that the VPN’s actions are ‘blanketed’ around the whole house. Imagine that Mum is working from home on the kitchen table, going through her cloud-based company accounts on her laptop, and her teenaged son is accessing adult content from his bedroom on his iPad. The VPN in the router detects potential malware being downloaded to the boy’s device, and instantly cuts the internet connection to the whole house. Mum is now prevented from working, and the boy has some red-faced explaining ahead of him!
If a 1Click VPN is installed as a browser extension, the VPN will only disconnect the local device from the router when it detects malware, it won’t disconnect the router itself from the internet. Clearly, this is a better solution all round.
The advantages of using a VPN
There are many upsides to using a VPN to access the internet, and there are too many to examine in one short article here, but for most domestic and small business internet users the main benefits are:
- No data throttling – ISPs sometimes slow down individual users’ internet connections if they exceed the ‘fair usage policy’ of data. This usually occurs when data hungry activities such as all-day movie streaming and online gaming become excessive. With a VPN, the ISP can’t identify the hungry data-muncher in question, so they can’t throttle them.
- Geographical restrictions circumvented – streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu and Disney Plus place geo-restrictions on content, usually due to copyright law. But if you use a 1ClickVPN you can choose a server in any country of your choice, and stream away to your heart’s content!
- Malware security – especially on unsecured Wi-Fi networks. If you’ve ever been sitting in Starbucks and wanted to check your email or whatever, you just find the ‘Starbucks free Wi-Fi’ connection on your device, put in your email address and you’re surfing away. But that guy with the hoodie, parked in the car outside, is actually supplying your internet connection with a disguised hotspot. He can use malware to record your keystrokes and thus obtain your passwords; or ransomware to hold your data hostage until you pay up. Logging on to that connection via a VPN puts an encrypted barrier between you and the online baddies.
In the final analysis, there are many reasons to use a1Click VPN, and almost no reasons not to do so. It’s a no brainer. So stay safe out there, everyone.