When you connect to the internet without a VPN — whether you’re at home or borrowing Wi-Fi from a coffee shop or store — you’re connected to an open network that the internet service provider (ISP) has full access to.
It’s possible because you have a unique identifier, or IP address, they use to easily tie your browsing data to other personal data they have about you: your real name, physical address, phone number, credit/debit card info, email address (you signed up for their service after all).
Essentially, an ISP can:
- Monitor and log your online searches and web history
- Inject ads into your browser traffic
- Inject ‘SuperCookies’ to allow advertisers to track you across the entire internet
- Hijack and redirect your DNS requests wherever they want
- Sell your internet history to the highest bidder
One way Hotspot Shield VPN helps protect your privacy is by swapping your real IP address with one of ours when you connect to one of our servers. This way, all your traffic is attached to a different IP address, which can never be tied back to your real IP address. Once you disconnect from Hotspot Shield VPN, your real IP address is immediately deleted. There’s no way to attach internet usage to any individual.
On top of borrowing an IP address from our VPN servers, your traffic is encrypted by 128-bit AES encryption, which is one of the strongest encryption protocols invented to date.
Fun fact: it would take nearly 14 billion years to decrypt 128-bit AES encryption at current computer power. To put that into perspective, that’s about 3X the age of our Solar System (~4.5 billion years old), or as long as the Universe has existed (~14 billion years old).