You probably have heard a lot about VPNs and may come upon this question: What is VPN?
They basically make a secure pathway from your computer to the servers around the globe. This pathway that is called a tunnel makes it very difficult for a hacker to break into your devices and access all the critical data you have on them. In this article, we will explain to you what a VPN is, how it works and why do you need them.
Before we jump into that what is VPN and how it works, let us tell you a little bit about the past and the need which ended in the creation of the VPN.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Networks. It was initially designed for large companies where employees needed to access a computer from other locations.
The primary goal of VPN was (and is) improving security throw out an internet connection. For example, all of the computers of headquarter of a company connects to the company’s server via a network of cables. Cables are physical and reliable, and it is a challenging (and nearly impossible) task for a hacker to infiltrate this private network.
But what if employees of a branch want to access the company’s private network? Definitely running a cable from an office in one city to the headquarter in another town is not a very rational thing to do. So instead, the company creates a virtual private network. This is basically a virtual and secure cable between two locations.
This is why and how VPNs came around. They were initially used by businesses so employees could connect and access essential files from different places without jeopardizing security.
What is VPN?
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a connection method that adds security and privacy to the public (like a cafe’s wifi) and private networks. As mentioned above, VPNs are most often used by organizations to protect sensitive data.
But, using a personal VPN is becoming more and more popular every day, as we become more dependent on the internet. So what is VPN and how it works?
Simply put, VPN acts as a safe passage for any type of online activity of yours like browsing, downloading, streaming, etc.).
VPN routes your traffic through a VPN server in a specific location. That hides your location and changes your IP address with one from the VPN server. It basically creates a virtual cable between your computer and any server. This virtual cable forms a tunnel that encrypts any data that comes and goes through it. This blocks hackers, ISPs, governments, or anyone else from viewing and surveilling your activity.
What is VPN advantage?
Not one but there are actually a bunch of benefits.
Securing your data when using public Wi-Fi
Today, being connected is frequently a necessity, and free public Wi-Fi plays a significant part, especially when out, and you want to save your data plan.
But, public Wi-Fi comes with threats, from many scams via from malware infestation to wireless connections and everything in the middle, the risk of getting hacked is pretty high. A VPN can protect you against all the dangers that can attempt to reach your data.
Some countries impose restrictions on content they deem sensitive or offensive. Besides websites with gambling and sexual material, social media is often placed on the no-go list, which makes external communication challenging. Whether you’re traveling to such countries either as a tourist or on business, you’re subject to local online regulations. A VPN could provide you unlimited access to the world wide web.
Bypassing geo-restrictions (Say hi to Netflix, Hulu, etc.)
Streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC implement geo-blocking due to various reasons including copyright and licensing, illegal content and etc. A VPN allows you to cross over virtual fences and access the materials that you want by changing your IP address. Good news is we grant our new users a 30-day free Netflix compatible VPN trial with no credit card information required.
Bypassing particular locations restriction (schools, workplaces, etc.)
Restrictions are also often imposed at specific places, such as schools, libraries, and workplaces that offer a partially obstructed Internet access. With a VPN, you can get around these restrictions and gain access to the full Internet without any unreasonable limitations.
All types of online communications like emails, web-based chats, cross-platform messaging and, VoIP services are not encrypted. Some are open to interception by a third party that can extract and abuses sensitive data. This also entails organizations as much as individual users, especially if there are some sensitive corporate data in play. By sending communication through a VPN, you increase security with encryption, making it decidedly harder for any intrusive elements to gain access.
You may say a VPN service can affect your performance and raise your ping time a lot. But, it can protect you against unwanted attention of hackers in many ways. First of all your sensitive information (both gaming-related and finance-related) stays private and secure. Secondly, it protects you against a DDoS attack. Sometimes competitive factor compels gamers to gain an advantage however they can. Bombarding some with incoming traffic results in a crash of service and then you know… game over. Lastly, a VPN can also defeat gaming geo-restrictions.
Covering your online tracks
A VPN can stop businesses and services from tracking your digital footprint in practically everything you do. You can see the examples everywhere: Google, the universal search engine company, bases a large part of its business model around advertising, that requires to know its users as much as possible. Whether you find that useful, mildly exciting or quite invasive, the truth is that Google knows everything about you including who you are, where you are, and more. By using a VPN, you can decrease the effect by hiding your online whereabouts and activities.
Best prices for online shopping
You may not believe it, but there is a thing called location-based price targeting. That means adjusting the price tags according to your geolocation. And this means you may pay extra under the false claims of “local competition,” “price equality,” and etc. Why should you?
By changing your real-world location with a VPN, you can get around this inconvenience. Check it for yourself with our 30-day free VPN trial (no credit card needed). The results may surprise you.
A VPN has three main components to it.
- Security protocols
What is VPN protocol?
VPNs use a security protocol that guards any data that passes through. This creates a protected connection and also determines the type of encryption a VPN uses. With these security protocols, you get as close as it can get to the security of a physical cable or a real private network.
There are different types of protocols that are used for various reasons. In general, OpenVPN is the most secure protocol. Mainly due to its open-source nature. OpenVPN delivers the best combination of speed, reliability, and security.
LT2P and PPTP protocols are pretty standard, too. PPTP or Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol is one of the oldest. PPTP is less secure, but some people find it gives the best connection speeds. PPTP may not be the best choice, but it is a perfect one for doing simple things like watching Netflix.
L2TP is the successor to PPTP. It doesn’t actually provide encryption or privacy itself. Services that use L2TP are usually bundled with another security protocol called IPsec. When they are together, L2TP/IPSec displays one of the most secure VPN connections. It uses AES-256 bit encryption and has no recognized vulnerabilities.
What is VPN encryption?
This feature secures your data by encrypting it. Hence, even if a hacker or anyone else reaches your information, they won’t be able to read it. Our VPN benefits from AES 128-bit and 256-bit encryption. AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard, and it’s compatible with all of our supported VPN protocols.
What is VPN Server?
When you use the internet, you send your data to a server with a request for a particular website. Then, That server transfers the website data back to your device. If you use a VPN, your data first goes to the VPN server, and then it sends a request to the intended server.
When you ping a server for a website, you always send data back and forth over that connection. When you use a VPN, your request for the site goes to the server, but your information only travels between your device and the VPN’s server through an encrypted tunnel. Accordingly, the intended server doesn’t receive any of your data. This is how VPN users stay anonymous online.