VPN is definitely a must-have tool for anyone serious about their online privacy and anonymity. The number of people using VPNs is increasing at an exponential rate everyday. Did you know that one in every four people around the world uses a VPN? Chances are, you most likely use it as well — or are at least considering it. But have you ever wondered, “Does VPN work without Wi-Fi?”. We’ll answer this question in the article below.
Can VPN work without Wi-Fi?
Using a VPN without Wi-Fi is possible, but only if you have a substitute internet connection active such as mobile data or Ethernet to replace the Wi-Fi. You’ll learn how VPNs work shortly but just a sneak peek: VPNs work by encrypting packets of data transferred through your internet connection. It makes your internet activities private and makes you anonymous on the web.
You’ll have to establish an active internet connection in order to use a VPN at home or somewhere else. It doesn’t really matter if you use Wi-Fi, cellular data, or Ethernet. So yes, so long as you have a stable internet connection, a VPN does work without Wi-fi.
How does a VPN work really?
Also known as Virtual Private Network, a VPN’s role is to provide its users with a private virtual network so that your online activities and information remain private. For example, it can hide your actual IP address and location/country. This IP change helps protect you from online services, websites, and apps that would be interested in tracking your web activities.
A good VPN also protects you from online security breaches such as packet sniffing. A VPN also helps to break through firewalls meant to restrict access to certain websites such as YouTube. A VPN gives you the freedom to access these sites if blocked in, let’s say, your school or office.
How a VPN works
So here’s how VPN works technically and why it relies on an active internet connection: A VPN technically works by routing the internet connection of your device through your selected VPN’s server (your service provider) instead of your Internet Service Provider (ISP). What this simply means is, when your device’s data is transmitted on the web, the VPN redirects it through its configured remote server.
When you’re browsing on the web, the VPN’s server acts as the source of your device’s data. Your ISP or any other interested parties will therefore not be able to view the sites you visit or any other online activity on your phone or computer.
This ability to hide your device’s data on the web is what’s commonly known as encryption. Most VPNs have their servers distributed worldwide. For example, you may be in the US in person but by using a VPN, you have the option to change your IP location to, let’s say Germany. This way, no one can really tell where you live since the VPN encryption keeps your browsing data private.
Encryption turns your device’s data into a very complicated code that can’t be read by other parties minus a key or strong password. This key is only known by your computer and the remote VPN server. Have you ever heard of the term decryption? Decryption is the process of now making that encrypted data readable by using the key/password. Different VPNs have different encryption protocols that they use. So the effectiveness of your data encryption depends on the encryption mechanisms put in place by your VPN provider.
Is VPN alone enough for your online security?
Here’s an important point to note: while a VPN hides your location and browsing data, by working alone, it can’t protect your device from external intrusions. A VPN alone on your device won’t protect you from viruses, malware, Trojans, and even bots. To achieve this level of device security, you’ll need to use your VPN alongside a good antivirus software. Whether you use a VPN or not, a virus that sneaks into your computer can steal your data or even damage your device.
Also ensure you choose a VPN provider that’s trustworthy and with excellent user reviews. Why is this important? It’s because your VPN can see your web traffic and if it’s compromised, so too will you be.