Note: Access to Hotspot Shield's VPN isn't currently available in Dashlane Free or free trials of Dashlane Premium.
When we visit social media, consult our bank accounts, or communicate with friends and family, we can't always wait until we're at home or on a trusted network. Also, we might prefer that our internet service provider or online companies not track our every move online.
A VPN, or virtual private network, addresses these concerns.
What is a VPN?
As the name suggests, a virtual private network is about privacy. A VPN creates a network—a closed communication system—between you and the VPN provider. That network is virtual because, unlike a "real" network, the virtual network has no preexisting, dedicated infrastructure.
Some people are already familiar with VPNs through their organization or school because using one is sometimes necessary to access those institutions and their resources.
But many people use a VPN to protect their privacy and improve their security on unsecured networks, which is why Dashlane has a partnership with Hotspot Shield.
Why should I use a VPN?
In many cases, your access to the internet, whether at home or work, is safe and secure.
But when you're on the move and use free or unfamiliar networks, such as in airports, hotels, or cafes, you open yourself up to people seeing and potentially stealing your data. This risk is especially high if you visit web addresses using "HTTP" and not "HTTPS" or access an email account using unsafe protocols. You can use a VPN to go online through a secure connection even when you're on an unsecured network.
When you're on the internet, you're anything but anonymous. Your IP address is public information and identifies where you are in the world. A VPN routes your internet traffic through the VPN provider, so your traffic comes from the VPN's server location instead of your IP address. Additionally, your service provider can't see which websites you're visiting because the VPN encrypts the traffic moving through it.
With Hotspot Shield, you choose the location of the server. For performance reasons, if you let the VPN assign the server automatically, it connects to the nearest server it can, most often in the same country or region where you are.
Learn how Hotspot Shield respects your privacy in their Product Privacy Notice.
When do I use Hotspot Shield's VPN?
We recommend you use the VPN feature whenever you feel you need an extra layer of privacy.
We also recommend you always connect to the VPN when using WiFi in public places, such as cafes and airports or on any open network that's unfamiliar. Hotspot Shield's VPN is a simple way to protect your online traffic from prying eyes.
Remember, you need to choose when to connect to and disconnect from the VPN.