If you are an active user of the internet or even fairly frequent on the internet, one term must have come across many a times- VPN. But most people go on about their regular internet usages without putting much thought into what a “VPN” is, like several other tech-savvy jargon they hear and ignore on a daily basis. Let’s change that and take a look at what is a VPN and what is it all about.
A Virtual Private Network or VPN for short, is meant for the particular purpose of securely extending a network from one private location and enabling its users to connect to other networks securely. What are the most common utilities that come with a VPN? Let’s take a look at few instances that are actually quite common and relatable nowadays. We know about the often imposed internet censorship in different regions in the world where authorities restrict the access to certain contents or/and websites. Or that “rumour” that the government is always tracking everyone’s browsing activity or the fact that there is actually a threat to privacy invasion from random people looking to exploit. Well, a VPN can help you in all these instances and more. It’s no surprise the VPN market is on the way to grow bigger and bigger.
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So, let’s have a look at some more benefits that a Virtual Private Network offers:-
- Maintaining privacy and anonymity from ISPs- Internet service providers are pretty keen on tracking their subscribed customers to try and monetize on the browsing patterns by various means such as targeted advertisement, etc. These providers also tend to sell this data to third-parties who can further misuse this information. Using a VPN, such invasion of privacy can be avoided.
- Accessing shopping websites from different regions- The VPN can allows you to access shopping websites, which are otherwise inaccessible due to region-based restrictions.
- Staying protected in public wi-fi- We all often tend to connect to the free wi-fi at public places like hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, railway stations, etc. But in doing so, we are actually getting connected to an unsafe network where we are exposed and so is our private data and credentials. A VPN comes handy at such times by masking our identity, making us anonymous and keeping our personal data private and unexposed.
- Prevention from hackers- As we discussed already, VPN masks the IP address and hence the identity of an individual connected to a certain network. Hence, any hacker trying to target your network via your IP address will be thrown off as they simply can’t reach your home network.
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To sum it up, a VPN has a lot of pros as it provides us with a secure encrypted network, disguises our location data, helps in accessing region-restricted content and also secure data transfer to prevent any confidential data leaks. Although there are numerous VPN services available today, but like every other technology, some are good, some bad and some ugly. So, one should do their fair share of research and use the right VPN for enjoying all the benefits of a VPN without compromising with the security.
We all know how important it is to have a website that has a super-fast loading speed. In today’s world, where everything has come within our finger’s reach by the means of technology and its use of the internet, websites are basically acting as the channels or portals to another realm, where sits the products, services or information that one seeks to find. It is that easy for the end-user to look-up something they need over the internet and access it that much easily. A process that is almost entirely hassle-free!
Except, when they click on a website, it starts to load, and within the extra few seconds that the site might have taken to load, the consumer will almost certainly change their minds about purchasing a product or purchasing it from the same website. Now, if you have a website, you certainly will not want this to happen. Hence, speed of a website is considered as one of the most crucial factors that any business or individual needs to pay attention to.
An optimum loading speed for a website is considered to be within 1 second. Between 1 to 3 seconds, it is considered as an average speed and any longer than that, and the website tends to lose on its visitors’ attention and hence, chances of conversions. That causes such a direct loss to the revenue generation for any business that conducts sales and business via the online medium (i.e. e-commerce websites). Obviously, this needs to be taken care of with a lot of website optimization work. So, what all can be done to make sure a website is running at its optimum speed? Let’s have a look:
• Using an optimized server hosting: Hosting style of the server plays a very crucial role in determining the speed of the website and hence should always be optimized as per the requirements of the site.
• Utilizing the browser’s cache: Whenever possible, when the browser cache is utilized to access resources, the website always loads faster as the browser isn’t required to find the resources from the original source, hence making it a faster process.
• GZIP compression: A golden rule is to use GZIP compression to reduce the file size by 70%. As the reduced file size is easier to transfer from the server to the browser, the website speed is increased significantly.
• Using a CDN: CDN (or a Content Delivery Network) works to deliver content more efficiently to the users as it is a collection of web servers present across multiple locations. For this, the servers with the quickest response time or lowest network hops are selected to deliver the content, from the closest location, hence speeding up the process.
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• Identifying and removing unnecessary items: Often a website has a lot of installed software and modules that might not be even needed any more. Configuration of the MySQL to decrease the cache size frees up a lot of space. Also, Apache configuration can be done to disable modules that are not required.
• Reducing re-directs: Redirects from one URL to another lead to extra HTTP requests and hence slows down the website by causing increased latency. Hence, it is very necessary to limit the redirects.
• Image optimization: You should make sure the images on your website are optimized so that they are cropped down to the smallest size possible without affecting the quality, saved using the JPEG format and have valid src attributes added to them.
• Avoid query strings from static resources: As any link with “?” in the URL will not be cached, any static URL should avoid using query strings. They can be used for the dynamic sources on the website.
• Code optimization: The code should be properly optimized to remove any kind of extra spaces, blanks or HTML comments.
While these are some of the most common and useful tips to speed up a website, there can be a lot many approaches when it comes to optimizing the website to achieve its optimum speed. Hence, it’s a task best left for experts who can properly backup the existing website and then optimize it element by element to get you the desired results.
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