NordVPN Review (for Parents)

13 min read by Bogdi

published 9 luni în urmă, updated 5 luni în urmă

Looking out for your child's safety online is an ongoing task. Once your kid is old enough to make internet searches on their own devices, that challenge becomes even more difficult. Fortunately, using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) such as one offered by NordVPN can go a long way in ensuring a more secure internet browsing experience.

NordVPN is one of the best options for those who wish to increase the safety of using the internet for their children. This service allows you and your family to surf the internet with peace of mind regardless of where you are. However, VPNs will only work if you know how to use them correctly.

If using a VPN interests you, you should take some time to learn more about them. This article will help you do that by revealing some of the main benefits of using a VPN while also sharing some additional ideas on how best to use one. Read on to learn more.

VPNs Allow for Secure Public Internet Access

One of the main reasons people use VPNs is to maintain their security while accessing the internet in public locations. While some may believe that all internet connections are largely the same, this is far from being the case. In fact, there are significantly more risks for internet users who use public Wi-Fi. Before we learn how VPNs work, let's learn more about what those risks are.

The Dangers of Public Browsing

As you shop and travel, you are sure to come across places that offer free WI-FI. This offering is meant to accommodate visitors with a convenient way to access the internet and appears to be an excellent deal at first glance. However, you should be incredibly wary of using these free offerings.

The reason you should be hesitant to use free public Wi-Fi is that these networks do not have a high level of security. That lack of security makes it surprisingly easy for hackers to access your data, compromising the security of your online searches and transactions.

What's At Risk When Browsing Publicly?

It is difficult to understate the risks of unsecured internet browsing. Without arming yourself with the correct protection, a hacker can easily gain access to sensitive information. Here are a few examples of what a hacker may go after if you are not careful:

  • Passwords
  • Banking information
  • Social security number
  • Credit cards
  • Information from other people you interact with online

Unfortunately, bad actors online are well aware of these facts, and they are often ready and waiting for unwitting internet users to arrive on an unsecured Wi-Fi network. Once they find a target, the hacker may steal information or install spread malware to the devices using the network. In some situations, this can lead to the hacker gaining access to your important personal information.

We don't need to delve into all the potential negative outcomes that can arise in this situation. All you need to know is that public browsing on free Wi-Fi is not a smart choice. Thankfully, there is an easy way to avoid that error while still having the chance to use the internet freely while in public places.

How VPNs Make it Safe to Browse in Public

If you want to minimize the dangers of public browsing, your best bet is to use a VPN. Using a VPN will make it so that hackers have little to no chance of noticing you and gaining access to your data. In the simplest sense, a VPN makes you essentially invisible to anyone online who does not have your best interests in mind.

The way a VPN does this is through a process called encryption. Later in this article, we'll get a bit more technical in describing how VPNs use encryption. But for now, let's rely on a simple analogy to help understand what encryption does.

Imagine the internet as a physical landscape. In that landscape, picture each internet user is a car that travels from one online location to the next. These cars move on open roads where anyone, including hackers, can see them. The encryption a VPN provides is like having your own private tunnel through which you can travel from one place on the internet to the next.

When you are in that tunnel, no one on the outside can see you, meaning that you are free to browse with no threat from malicious hackers. That kind of secure virtual tunnel is exactly what a service like NordVPN gives you. So if you want your children to remain safe while using the internet in public, a VPN is the right choice for you.

Online Shopping is Safer with a VPN

Online shopping is an exceptionally popular way for people to buy the items they need in a convenient way. People of all ages can benefit from this convenience, evidenced by the fact that there is a surprisingly high rate of children and teens who enjoy shopping on online platforms.

The issue here is that online shopping often requires you to input some critical pieces of data. As it makes sense, an online vendor often wants to verify who you are and how you will pay before they conduct your transaction. To do so, they will often ask for details such as your:

  • Name
  • Physical address
  • Payment method

It is only logical that a company would need to know this. The problem is that with an unsecured internet connection, the moment you send those details, you may also be sharing them with a hacker as well. You can imagine that a hacker would be more than happy to collect your credit card information and your name. So, if you don't want to find unexpected charges on your card, use VPNs to maintain protection.

Banking Online is Safer with a VPN

If a hacker can get your credit card information while you shop online, imagine what they could do while you do your online banking. Banking online is exceptionally dangerous when you do it in public. Without the right security, a hacker can quickly access all of your financial information, including your bank account number and security pins. That means they can get to your money too.

Now imagine that you have just set up your child with their first bank account. This milestone is an important one in any person's life, but it comes with the pressure of remaining financially responsible. That task alone is difficult enough, but with the perils of hacking in the online world, kids with new bank accounts have more to pay attention to than ever before.

The last outcome you want is to have your child lose their savings just after they have begun to build it up. For that reason, you should do all you can to teach your kids about how to bank online as safely as they can.

Teaching smart internet habits is one of the most invaluable approaches you can take when introducing your children to the online world. But in some cases, those lessons are not enough. For an added layer of security, make sure that you have a VPN in place and that your kids know to use it whenever they are conducting important transactions such as online banking.

VPNs Work Anywhere You Go

Most of us feel safest when we are at home. That fact remains true whether we are spending time with those we know and trust or if we are using tried-and-true home internet networks we know to be safe. If only we could take that sense of security with us when we leave home.

By using a service like NordVPN, you can take the safety of home where ever you go. Once you set up a VPN, it will work for you in any location where you need it to be. That means that you can guarantee safe browsing for you and your children even when you visit these places and more:

  • Airports
  • Schools
  • Hotels
  • Cafes and restaurants
  • Libraries

Keeping your kids safe, whether online or not, is a full-time commitment. However, as a parent, you know that it is not possible to monitor your children all the time, especially when they get a bit older. To set some of your worries aside, teach your kids to use your VPN by default. With a VPN in place, you can rest assured that your children are in good hands regardless of where they choose to access the internet.

You Can Connect Multiple Devices to Your VPN

One topic you may be wondering about is how many devices you can connect to your VPN. After all, the security you hope to grant your kids online would not be effective if your VPN only works with one tablet or computer at a time. The good news is, with a company like NordVPN, you'll have the chance to connect several devices to the internet through your VPN.

NordVPN lets you connect a total of six devices to your VPN with a single account. You should have no issue connecting these devices regardless of the operating system they use. The benefit here is that you and your family members can all simultaneously enjoy secure internet.

The ability to connect multiple devices regardless of their location is a major selling point for NordVPN. While you search online using your home desktop. Your kids can use your VPN on their mobile devices even if they are not at home. That way, you won't need to worry about them losing a safe connection just because you need to use your computer at the same time.

Why Parents Should Be Wary of VPNs

By now, it is clear that VPNs offer a lot of advantages to nearly any internet user, especially those with children who browse online. But those benefits come with a few caveats. While a VPN can help you keep your kids safe, there are also some ways that a VPN can work against you. To help illustrate this point, the next sections will introduce you to some common VPN pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Make Sure You Know How to Use Your VPN

As we alluded to earlier, it is vital to not only have internet security in place but also to understand the best practices that make for safe internet use. Without this knowledge, you will not be able to use your VPN to its fullest effect, and you may miss some key ways to maintain your online security.

Is Using a VPN Difficult?

One issue many parents come across while keeping their kids safe online is that many technologies can be difficult to use. As a result, many parents worry that they will struggle with unintuitive user interfaces rather than meeting their goal of finding a way to ensure their child browses safely. What contributes to the value of a VPN is that it is not only highly effective, it is also relatively easy to set up.

Even if you don't feel confident that you could explain what a VPN is or how it works, that does not mean you'll be unable to use one for yourself. Companies like NordVPN have found ways to make finding and setting up a VPN as straightforward as can be.

How to Set Up Your VPN

You'll be pleased to find that setting up your VPN is simpler than you may have first imagined. Here are the few manageable steps that you should follow:

  • Find the Right VPN Company: Shop until you discover an industry-leading company such as NordVPN. Then choose the VPN plan that is right for you and your budget.
  • Download and Install Your VPN Software: After purchasing your VPN plan, it's time to download and install your VPN software onto your device. Following the installation steps in the dialogue boxes that appear is all you need to do to complete this step successfully.
  • Sign-In to Your Account: With your VPN software downloaded to your computer or mobile device, an icon for the program will appear on your desktop or somewhere else in your computer's storage. Access your VPN program by clicking on that icon and entering your sign-in information.

From there, you'll find options that will guide you through turning your VPN on. While this process is not overly complex, there is still some chance that you may run into issues during your setup. To your benefit, there are plenty of helpful online resources that will supply you with the help you need to begin using your VPN.

Remember that you can use your VPN on multiple devices. So, once you have set up your VPN software initially, begin to do so on the devices you and your family use most often. Again, when helping children, make sure you take time to teach them how to use their VPN software properly. While computers have helpful, user-friendly software, mobile devices will have VPN apps to serve the same purpose.

Make Sure Your Kid Isn't Using a VPN

If VPNs are so beneficial to online security, why should any parent ever be concerned that their child is using one? Well, the problem here arises from the same security capabilities that make VPNs useful in the first place. VPNs are so skilled in protecting privacy that people can use them to bypass any parental controls on a given network.

What that means is that if your kid is tech-savvy enough and has the funds, they can buy and use their own VPN the get past your parental controls without you having a clue. To make matters worse, the only way to know if your child is using a VPN of their own is to search through their devices to find the VPN program.

As should be noted, it is typically the case that setting clear expectations and a pattern of honesty and trust is best when encouraging children to use the internet safely. But if your situation necessitates you to use stronger means such as parental controls, you should know that a VPN is one surefire way a kid can get around them.

How Does a VPN Work?

By now, you should have a decent idea of what a VPN can do for your online safety. But that does not mean you have a firm grasp of how VPNs work. As alluded to earlier, VPNs work through the use of encryption. Encryption allows you to browse the internet in a way that prevents hackers from seeing you and accessing your data.

While that description is accurate, it does not paint a full picture of how VPNs operate. To help you gain a fuller understanding of the details, the next few sections will introduce a greater level of detail surrounding the function of a VPN.

The Basics of Internet Connection

Before you can fully understand the role of a VPN, you must know how internet connections work at a foundational level. To do that, you need to know a few crucial terms:

  • IP Address – A series of numbers that represents either a website or a device such as your computer
  • Domain Name System (DNS) – Essentially a directory of all websites on the internet and their associated IP Addresses
  • Web Browser – An application on your device such as Chrome or Firefox that allows you to access websites

Now that you know those three terms let's look at how they interact with one another while you use the internet. First, you use your web browser to reach a website. Your web browser's role is to contact the DNS to retrieve the IP address for your desired website. Then, the browser and the DNS work together to connect your device's IP address to the IP address of the website.  

The result of that process is your browser successfully navigating you to the website you're looking for but, in that process, a lot can go wrong, especially with hackers in the mix.

How Encryption Comes into Play

While your browser contacts the DNS, it sends your information across the network. Even your IP address itself is a form of identifying information. A skilled hacker has little difficulty in finding that info when you use a standard internet connection.

A VPN resolves that lack of security through encryption. What encryption does is scramble your IP address and other data so that it is completely unreadable and therefore protected from unwanted eyes.

What's the Best Way to Keep Kids Safe Online?

Keeping your kids safe online is a seemingly endless battle that only gets more difficult. But what you should know is there are several methods you can use to help facilitate the process. Much of your success will rely on how well you teach your kids to use safe internet practices. At times, you can combine this effort with some more drastic methods like blocking certain websites and apps.

Teach Safe Internet Habits

Your best way to defend your child from dangers online is to equip them with the right internet know-how. As is the case with all of life, there are a few common-sense best practices that kids and adults alike should adhere to while online. Here are just a few of the habits you should maintain while using the internet:

  • Never share passwords with anyone
  • Don't send any personal information like addresses or phone numbers
  • Avoid sending photos to people you don't know
  • Try not to visit sites that are unsecured or otherwise questionable
  • Be wise in how you respond to suspicious emails

Repeating those guidelines to your child is a great way to prepare them for the online world. Above all, you should remember that the two of you are working together to maintain online security. As such, try to develop an atmosphere where your kid can feel comfortable sharing troubling experiences online. If they feel comfortable sharing such details, you'll have a better chance to respond if something has gone wrong.

Use Hard Safety Measure Only When Necessary

Guiding your child towards the best behavioral practices online should be your primary focus. But at times, your child may be creating risks of their own accord while surfing the internet. If, for instance, you can't trust your child to refrain from inappropriate websites, you may need to use some harder safety measures.

Setting up parental controls is one of the best ways to keep your children off of undesirable sites. Just recall that if your kid is persistent enough, they can find ways to use a VPN to circumvent such protections.

From a positive approach, you can also encourage your child to visit positive websites by bookmarking them for easy access. This approach is especially applicable if your child finds their way to inappropriate websites by accident. By bookmarking the sites you and your kid know and like, they will have a much easier time navigating the way you hope them to online.  

Should You Bother Choosing a Paid VPN?

By the time you settle on a VPN, you will have noticed that there are some options online that will supply you with a VPN for free. At first, this seems like a tempting offer. But those who understand those offers know that they are worth passing up. Generally, you should focus your shopping on VPNs that you need to pay for in order to use.

Free VPNs look like a frugal option but remember that products with a price have that price for a reason. That reason is that they offer real value to those who use the product or service.

This reasoning holds true for VPNs as much as any other commodity. There are also some specific ways that choosing a free VPN proves to be an unwise decision.

What is Logging?

One common VPN issue is an act that some VPN providers perform called logging. Logging refers to the act of storing data related to the searches and activities you conduct online while using your VPN. On some level, it makes sense that your provider would do this. However, logging can defeat the purpose of having a VPN in the first place.

All logging does is create a set of personal data that could serve as another potential target for hackers. For that reason, many companies now advertise their no-log approach as one of their primary selling points. By keeping no log, these companies do not run any risk of accidentally leaking your information.

This topic is also one of the many reasons why you should avoid selecting free VPN services. These providers are more likely to be performing logging and other questionable practices.

Why it is Important to Choose a Trusted VPN Provider

With so many VPN options online today, it is more important than ever to understand how to select a trustworthy provider. The best tactic you can use is to find an industry-leading company with good online reviews and a strong overall reputation. A company like NordVPN is just one of many examples you can evaluate.

Conclusion

If finding the safest way to allow your kids to access the internet is your goal, then finding a good VPN is what you should do. Options like NordVPN are always an excellent choice for this. But regardless of the VPN you choose, it will ensure that you and your family can browse the internet safely no matter where you are and the sites you are trying to use online.

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