The internet is a vast, sprawling network that connects billions of people around the world. It’s also a place where hackers and scammers lurk, waiting to take advantage of any vulnerability they can find.
When you connect to your bank account or send sensitive information over the web, do you use an encrypted connection? If not, then you may be putting yourself at risk.
In this article, we will learn what HTTPS and VPN mean and if one is better than the other when it comes to protecting personal data from prying eyes.
What is HTTPS?
HTTPS is an encrypted version of the web that provides security to sensitive data, such as credit card numbers and personal information.
Instead of sending your requests in plain text (which anyone can read), it encrypts them so hackers cannot access this information when it is transmitted between users’ browsers and website servers.
Today most banks, e-commerce sites like Amazon, and many other sites you use every day are utilizing this technology.
What Is a VPN?
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network that allows you to access the internet by routing your connection through different servers.
By doing so, it hides your IP address and assigns you one of its own to give you anonymity while surfing the web or when downloading files.
VPNs are popular because they can be used on any device (laptop, tablet, phone), which makes them perfect for travellers that want to access geo-restricted content while abroad.
How Are They Different?
Both of these technologies have their benefits, but when it comes down to choosing one over the other, there are some key differences you should take into consideration before making a decision.
The main difference between VPNs and HTTPS is in their approach to security. While both are great options for protecting your privacy and ensuring that hackers can’t steal sensitive data, they both go about it in different ways:
HTTPS encrypts connection so nobody except the website you’re visiting knows what information you may be sending them. To access a website that is using an encrypted connection, you must be using a browser that supports the same encryption standard.
VPNs encrypt your entire internet connection and also hide your IP address, which means not only are websites you visit masked, but any information coming to or from your device is encrypted as well (including things like email and instant messages). This is great for protecting your privacy but also your security.
Is One Better Than the Other?
Both of these technologies have their benefits, but there are some key differences you should take into consideration before making a decision:
A VPN is more versatile because it will protect your entire connection and allow you to access any type of blocked or restricted website.
HTTPS is only used on websites that you visit directly (i.e., it’s not like a VPN where it protects all of the traffic to and from your device).
A VPN will cost you, but it’s worth the investment if you want to make sure your data is secure and private without having to worry about which sites offer this security measure.
HTTPS is free and only requires an internet connection, a browser that supports it (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc.), and a website you want to visit.
Which One Should I Use to Protect My Information Online?
In general, for casual users, HTTPS is enough for protecting your privacy.
If you’re using it to access social media, check email, or just browse the web, then rest assured that all of this traffic is being encrypted and secured as long as your browser and the website you visit support HTTPS.
If you want total protection while browsing the internet on any device, then VPNs are probably the better choice since they encrypt every connection coming into and going out of your device.
VPNs are also more secure if you connect to public Wi-Fi or wireless networks that aren’t secured.
If you want to make sure your data is protected, use both VPNs and HTTPS. This will ensure the highest level of security possible.
Are HTTPS Sites Safe?
HTTPS is a great choice for protecting your data while using the internet, but it’s essential to understand that not all sites you visit offer this security measure.
Make sure you know what type of site you’re visiting before entering any personal information (log-in credentials, bank info, credit card number).
Can HTTPS sites be hacked?
While connections between you and the websites you visit are secured, the website back end (server) itself still can be hacked.
How to Check If a Site Is Using HTTPS Connection?
The easiest way is to look at your browser address bar and see if you have an “s” after the “HTTP.” For example https://www.google.com/
Where Can I Get a VPN?
There are many providers on the market, but the free ones do not provide adequate security or just sell user data to third parties that use it for different purposes (i.e., spying).
So before choosing one, you should check reviews online about paid VPNs providers (you can even ask your friends if they use one).
Our recommendation is Private Internet Access and Torguard. Both of them are fast and affordable compared to other providers that cost more.