If you care about your online security, you’ve probably heard of both HTTPS and VPNs. Based on their functions, both HTTPS and a VPN protect your data online and they’ve both got something to do with encryption and internet security. But what do each of them do? Is it enough to use one of them? How do you make sure that you are being safe while browsing online?
In this article, we answer what a VPN is, what HTTPS is, and whether a VPN or HTTPS is better for security. Both have important unique features that are designed to protect you online, but fortunately, it is possible to combine both to achieve uncrackable internet security.
What is HTTPS?
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, or HTTPS for short, is a method for securing the information that passes between a computer and a website when they are connected. When you go to a website on your device, in order for you to be able to see anything, your computer will send a number of requests to download the content that is hosted on the website’s server.
Put simply, HTTPS ensures that the process runs correctly and safely. When you go to the web address at the top of the page, you’ll probably see HTTPS:// at the beginning of the line of text. That means the website is running using HTTPS protocols.
While older websites ran on HTTP (note the lack of “S”), this is now outdated because it allowed any information, such as credit card details, to be viewed by anyone with access to the website host server. Surprisingly, however, even some major sites still use it.
What Does the “S” in HTTPS Stand For?
The “S” was added in recent years, and it stands for “Secure”. Most of the time, this will be with one of several encryption protocols. Some of the most recent and secure websites are starting to use TLS (or transport layer security) in order to keep the transmission of data secure.
You’ll see this in action when you go to a website and it has a small padlock icon at the top. If the website doesn’t have this, you should exit it as quickly as possible because it is dangerous.
When doing anything related to your finances, such as paying for something online or carrying out online banking, always check for the padlock to ensure that the website you are visiting has HTTPS enabled.
That is especially useful when it comes to phishing websites that are designed quite similarly to official websites to steal users’ private data.
If I have HTTPS, do I need a VPN?
While HTTPS is adequate in very particular situations, it is not enough to keep you safe online. In the first instance, not all websites use HTTPS, meaning that every time you access them you are leaving yourself wide open to viruses, malware, and all kinds of other cybersecurity issues.
In addition, HTTPS only protects browser traffic. It can’t protect the other kind of data that you send and receive, such as emails, music streaming, or watching movies. Those types of communication happen all the time, and your device performs them in the background. HTTPS cannot help you at all in that regard.
HTTPS even has issues of its own when you are browsing a “secure” website. For example, it is very susceptible to specific attacks such as a Root Certificate Attack.
And in terms of privacy, HTTPS is a bust. Although your keystrokes are protected when you are on a website equipped with HTTPS, your internet service provider (ISP) or anyone snooping on your connection can easily check to see which websites you have visited, for how long, and how often you visit them. Moreover, your ISP also throttle your bandwidth when you use huge data for streaming or online gaming based on your IP address. HTTPS fails to stop against that but a VPN can.
That’s why you need a VPN on top of HTTPS.
What is a VPN?
A virtual private network, commonly abbreviated to VPN, is a type of technology that allows users to establish an encrypted end-to-end tunnel between themselves and any network that they connect to, such as a website on the internet.
All the data that travels along this tunnel, in any direction, is scrambled using a complex algorithm and requires a set of keys to unlock. That means it is almost impossible to crack and almost impossible to attack using cyber warfare.
Thanks to the thousands of different servers utilized by a VPN, it is also possible for you to appear as though you are accessing the internet from a different country (which is great if you want to watch US Netflix from outside the US). A VPN also masks your IP address, which is like your computer’s unique identifying code – it’s essential to know that HTTPS does not mask your IP address, meaning it is very easy to identify you.
Https vs. VPN: How Different are They?
Both HTTPS and VPN encrypt your online data, but VPN encrypts more.
The content that is encrypted by HTTPS is only limited to the content from the browser to the server and it only works when the HTTPS is enabled. A VPN, however, encrypts all the traffic between your device and the internet.
VPNs conform to more advanced encryptions.
Although it’s true that any encryption is better than nothing, the protections a VPN provides is in the first class. The method a VPN uses for encryption is based on protocols that include encryption as a part. Compared with centralized VPN, decentralized VPNs, like BitVPN, relies on the blockchain technology that scatters users’ data on distributed nodes so that all the data won’t be reached by a single person.
Https is vulnerable to some type of attack.
Https is not perfect to defeat all attacks on the internet. For example, it is vulnerable to root certificate attacks while a VPN can. Therefore, it’s a good idea to combine them both.
A VPN can do more except for encryption.
A VPN allows you to change your IP address so that it looks like you’re accessing the internet from another place, with your ISP failing to reach you, which is especially useful when it comes to streaming videos or online games.
HTTPS vs VPN. Which Is Better? And Why?
Both HTTPS and VPN are important security services available for users who wish to go online, and you should use both. However, to put it simply, a VPN encrypts much, much more of your data, whereas an HTTPS can only encrypt a small amount of data when you are connected to a particular website that uses it. Its biggest weakness is that it relies on the website providing it, rather than giving you control of your own online security.
So, a VPN will encrypt all of your data. And, importantly, it will also encrypt it to a much higher standard, especially if you are using a decentralized VPN like BitVPN, which is based on state-of-the-art encryption technology. Its protocols are cutting edge, and they keep you secure in a number of different ways, with encryption being just one of them.
VPNs do more than just boost your security – which is all HTTPS is good for. In fact, it changes your IP address, lets you choose a new geographical location, bypasses bandwidth throttling, and can even give you more direct routing while you are online.
Overall, we recommend that you combine HTTPS security with a strong, decentralized P2P VPN like BitVPN. Our decentralized data structure means you can surf, unblock, and stream any content anywhere on the web, anonymously, and in total security.
Thanks to blockchain technology, your data is securely distributed across millions of nodes in our network, meaning that it is impossible for us or anyone else to log your movements online, and it is impossible for a single attack to gain access to your whole data chain. We’re 100% customer-orientated, serving over 1 million users with superfast, super-secure VPN services. To find out more, click here.
The Optimal Solution: To Use Them Both
Both HTTPS and a VPN can be used to compensate for each other when it comes to cybersecurity achievement. HTTPS protects your browsing activities from snooping eyes and against phishing websites while a VPN protects all the traffic between your device and the Internet.
With them combined, you’ll have a top secure internet.
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