Free Press Journal

Anonymous online access: VPNs gaining ground in India



New Delhi : At a time when security has become the foremost concern in browsing or sharing data online, people in India are progressively turning to virtual private network (VPN) services for anonymous and safe Internet experience.

A VPN generates a secure network connection over a shared network such as Internet or a private network owned by a service provider. Many businesses across the world are now taking this route for quicker online access for lower costs, security and anonymity. Individuals too are opting for VPNs to circumvent censorship or blocking of websites.

According to cyber security experts and analysts, there has been a distinct increase in the use of VPNs for voice, video and data in India and more and more Indians want to access banned content while staying away from the preying eyes of surveilling agencies.

But are the VPNs really secure? “Nothing in the world is completely safe as there is nothing called absolute security. However, VPNs promise far better security thanks to their high-end, top-of-the-line encryption,” says Pavan Duggal, one of the nation’s top cyber law experts.

According to Thomas George, senior vice president and head of CyberMedia Research (CMR), one of the grey areas of such private networks is that when deployed with wireless devices, it may raise some security challenges.

“Users turn out to be vulnerable when they roam across access points,” George, who has been witnessing a rise in the VPN usage in India, told IANS.

While VPNs do not allow internet service providers to track what their clients are browsing, the VPN proxy service keeps track of a user’s browsing details. “The flipside is that you need to be aware of the local laws of a country where you are accessing a website,” explains George.

Some VPN providers, though, say the fear of data being tracked is misplaced. “NordVPN takes users’ information safety extremely seriously. It doesn’t keep any user logs, uses special security protocols (OpenVPN, IKEv2), owns DNS servers and uses a number of other security measures plus military-grade encryption,”told IANS.