Deep packet inspection (DPI) is necessary for network security, but it also puts user privacy at risk. Find out why DPI is important, what its advantages and disadvantages are, and how Hotspot Shield, the best security VPN, can protect you from its disadvantages.
DPI in a nutshell
DPI is a filtering process in network computing wherein a packet going through a network is analyzed as it passes an inspection point. This allows the network to examine the data carried by that packet and scan for notable content such as malware, intrusions and protocol violations, to name a few.
The packet is then let through, blocked or redirected to another location depending on whether or not it has complied with the rules set by the administrator of that network.
DPI is employed by IT administrators in businesses and government organizations for various reasons, e.g. to prevent security breaches, to protect against Denial-of-Service Attacks, and to manage the network much easier.
Beyond network security and management, DPI is also used for gathering statistical information, enforcing copyrights online, and monitoring subscriber traffic for Internet service providers (ISPs). These are a few of the benefits of DPI.
Dangers of DPI
DPI is used by organizations for a lot of good reasons. With the nature of DPI, however, it’s also possible to use it for malicious purposes, including:
DPI can be enforced for the purpose of spying on Internet users, either by IT workers in businesses or by ISPs, especially in the US where their sale of users’ search histories to advertisers without consent is legal. Because it allows the scanning of a packet’s contents, there is a possibility for the abuse of DPI in the wrong hands.
Aside from monitoring user traffic, DPI also allows censorship, preventing content from being accessed by users. Governments, for example, can use DPI to filter out specific keyword phrases that they don’t want users to get search results for. They can also do this to prevent users from accessing certain websites such as adult sites and peer sharing sites.
- Price discrimination
ISPs can take advantage of DPI to employ price discrimination. One way they can implement this is by imposing restrictions on content that are outside of the “tier” that a user is currently paying for, or charge more for access to content outside of the tier. This is possible since DPI allows them to monitor and censor Internet traffic
Protect yourself with the best security VPN
When it comes to network security, the use of DPI is a must because it helps protect networks from various online attacks. However, it can also put users at risk given how it works.
To protect yourself from the malicious use of DPI, one solution that you can consider is encrypting your data, and the most effective way to access this is by installing Hotspot Shield, the best security VPN, on your device.
Hotspot Shield protects your data from being monitored and censored using advanced encryption technology, providing a secure tunnel for all your data to pass through. While encrypted, it prevents third parties from intercepting your files, ensuring that only the sender and the receiver of the data are able to use it.
Protect yourself from the dangers of DPI by downloading the best VPN now!