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5 Benefits You Will Get While Using a VPN

5 Benefits You Will Get While Using a VPN

You might have heard about a VPN, but you may not be using it. Are you? No! Most of us don’t use VPNs, as many of us have just heard about it, but never researched it! Though you might not be using a VPN, after going through this list, you may want to start using it. But before we move further, it is really important to know what VPN is and what it is made of.

What is a VPN?

Virtual Private Network, more commonly known as VPN, is simply a cluster of computers that are networked together on a public network. Individuals can access the network resources in a network when these resources are not present over the same LAN, while businesses can use the VPNs for connecting to remote data centers.

You need to launch a VPN client on the computer while connecting to a Virtual Private Network. Once you make the login, your computer exchanges a private key with a secure server far away. Once the connection is authenticated from both the ends, all the communication across the internet becomes encrypted and well secured from hackers.

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But, before you choose any VPN services or subscribe, it is better you read up on the terms and conditions of VPN providers. Dig a bit deeper and learn about the benefits associated with using their VPN.

Here are 5 benefits to using VPN.

1. Online Security

Being safe is one of the ultimate benefits of a VPN. While surfing online, you never want your data to be controlled or transferred; the VPN will create a strongly encrypted data tunnel between the server and your system so that no data is leaked to any third party. This encryption is nearly impossible to break.

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2. Online Privacy

VPN keeps your browsing session completely private. You do a number of things on the internet, like buying goods, listening to music, playing games, watching videos, and lot more. Your ISP (Internet Service Provider), or spying eyes can easily track what you are doing on the internet at any point in time. The VPN’s encryption doesn’t allow anyone to spy on what you are doing on the internet.

3. Unblock Geo-Restricted Websites

If you are a traveler and love to travel to different parts of world, you might want access to local websites of your home country that might be blocked in other countries when you travel. A VPN will come handy in this situation as well. You can access all the regionally restricted websites easily. No matter which country you are in, the websites that are blocked in any region of the world are accessible if you are using a VPN.

4. Your ISP Won’t Throttle Your Connection

The ISPs have gone really clever these days. They keep on monitoring every customer and the resources each of them is occupying on their servers. They might throttle the speed of your connection a bit if your usage is at the par. But once you start using a VPN, your online activities wouldn’t be identified by your ISP. You will get the same speed as before.

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5. Hide Your IP Address

One of the best benefits of a VPN is that it changes your IP address, which hides your identity online and protects your personal data from getting leaked or stolen. Your personal data can be stolen when you access your bank accounts, register on few websites, or connect to the public internet. Once your IP is changed, all such risks get eradicated.

Let us say that you love to play online games and are an avid gamer. You love a game, but that game or website is blocked in your country. The IP change will help you in playing that game online. You can browse through the internet anonymously by hiding your IP address.

Last Words

The VPN is an incredible service that every one of us should start using. It is reasonably affordable, and a number of good VPN providers are available across the internet, too. You can even get a country-specific VPN provider online. If you think about your data and computer’s security, a VPN is a must for you. Try it now and be tension free all the time.

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Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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George Olufemi O

Information Technologist

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.

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     A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice.[1] The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

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    The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

    “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

    In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

    The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

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      A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

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      Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.

      “When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

      When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

      The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

      As Herman Melville once wrote,[2]

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      “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

      Silence relieves stress and tension.

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        It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

        A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech. 

        “This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.[3]

        Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.[4]

        Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

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          The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

          Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

          But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.[5]

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          Summation

          Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

          Featured photo credit: Angelina Litvin via unsplash.com

          Reference

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