Why a VPN Is the First Layer You Should Pull On When Browsing the Web

Virtual private networks (VPNs) can be useful for all kinds of things, from streaming foreign sports to protecting your identity from heightened online surveillance. For cryptocurrency users, VPNs are particularly precious, providing access to exchanges that are geo-restricted, and enabling crypto activities to be completed on the web without leaving a privacy-betraying footprint.

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The Rise of the VPN

Virtual private networks can be traced back to 1996 when a Microsoft staffer conceived a peer-to-peer tunneling protocol (PPTP). In many ways, the protocol functioned as a precursor to the VPNs we see today, providing a private, secure connection between a computer and the world wide web, as it was then known.

The advantages of having a permanently encrypted conduit to the web are manifold. Think about how often you unwittingly connect to insecure public wifi, for example, with everything from credit card numbers and social media log-ins vulnerable to theft. A VPN, which lets you connect to a remote server while masking your true location, provides peace of mind by safeguarding data from third-party interception. Virtual private networks also block persistent IP tracking, which is trickier to prevent than insidious third-party