Computer users who are frequently on the Internet have likely seen services for VPNs or virtual private networks. These help establish a secure connection for users by redirecting an individual’s traffic through an encrypted virtual tunnel. They don’t offer 100 percent anonymity, but they can increase a person’s security and online privacy.

“All it really does is create a virtual presence on a different network in a different location,” said Adrien Nong, owner of Start and a former IT expert. “It’s basically like borrowing someone’s wireless network.”

A VPN connects a person’s computer or other device to another server somewhere on the internet so that the user can essentially browse the internet using that server’s internet connection. The server could be in a different state, or even a different country, and look like the …

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