What is a VPN (full definition)

VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, is a software tool that allows users to securely connect to another network on the Internet. They are useful for several reasons. With one, users can access restricted websites, protect their identity while downloading, hide various online activity, and more.

VPNs were mainly used by online businesses before they became widely available. Today they are becoming increasingly popular with individuals too. Before we dive into the various uses of VPNs, let’s first see how they work.

How VPN works

How VPN works

A VPN is used to encrypt your connections over the Internet. It can do this by forwarding your device’s internet connection through a private VPN server. Both the network server and your device require dedicated software for this. You can then use the software on your device to connect to the Remote Access Server (RAS).

Various protocols are required to access a RAS to keep the connection secure. Some protocols have better connection speed while others are better for security reasons. Popular protocols often offer a balance between reliability, connection speed, and security.

In addition to these protocols, the software also creates a tunneled and encrypted connection to the RAS. When you visit a website or watch a stream, hosting websites can only display the VPN server’s IP address, not yours. So your information will be hidden if you use an IP address provided by the client.

What can a VPN hide?

A user sends a lot of data while going online to visit a website, watch a stream, or simply use an app. This data can endanger the user for various reasons. A virtual private network can hide most of this user information. Some of them are:

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IP address and location

Your IP address can reveal valuable data inputs such as your immediate location. By hiding your IP address from various websites and apps over the internet, you can protect your online privacy. A virtual private network uses a different IP address than your own so that you can hide your ID address from other parties.

Browsing history and web activity

Almost all websites, apps, and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) track their users. They store this information for long periods of time. This enables them to show you targeted ads, sell your data, link your various online activities to you, know which apps you are using, and much more.

equipment

We have many devices that can connect us to the internet including laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets, etc. Without a VPN client installed on your devices, hackers or other malicious users can get detailed information about them. You can use this information to learn about the most vulnerable part of your security systems.

Use of VPN

Use of VPN

VPNs can be useful in a variety of situations, and in some cases even necessary. We have listed some of the main uses below:

Anonymous downloads

Torrents and peer-to-peer downloads are becoming increasingly popular. While most of these downloads are illegal in most regions as they violate copyright law, there are countless legal cases out there. You can set up a virtual private network on your device to perform anonymous downloads. This is how you can keep your download data private.

Access geoblocked sites

Geo-blocked site means that users must be in a specific region or country to access the site. While using a virtual private network, your device will behave as if it were connected to the internet from its server location. This will give you access to geoblocked websites for your region. Note that you need to use a VPN provider that offers region selection to freely access geoblocked websites.

Hide online activity

Certain professions in the world, such as journalism or activism, may require constant online protection. A VPN server can help them avoid being tracked. This allows them to freely access websites and communicate with other people.

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Access to business computers

With a VPN, you can securely connect to your business computer from virtually anywhere in the world. This allows you to log into your device remotely via a fast and secure connection. Most organizations install a VPN client on their employees’ devices to work remotely, eliminating the possibility of interference from other parties. While they exchange local files between colleagues, they are transferred via the same server. By doing this, companies greatly improve the security of their files by eliminating the risk of files being exposed to ISPs, trackers, and more.

Access to the home computer

Access to the home computer

You can set up a VPN to remotely access your home computer and its network. You can play games, share files, and more, just like connecting over the same local area network (LAN).

Avoid tracking

Many ISPs, websites, and apps keep track of their users. While there are many reasons for this, selling data to third parties and targeted advertising are the most important. You can use VPNs to protect your browsing history, location data, app usage details, etc. from trackers.

Public WiFi security

Free WiFi is available in many places, including hotels, airports, libraries, cafes and in the capital’s squares. These public WiFi stations mostly do not have strong security. Other users and even the provider can therefore view your data without consent. It’s always a good idea to use a virtual private network to avoid interception.

VPN FAQ

Which VPN service is the best?

VPNs have many advantages, but choosing the best one can be time-consuming as there are more than 400 providers out there. When making your selection, you should primarily consider their device compatibility, server locations, logging policies, connection speeds, and security features.

What is a VPN tunnel?

A VPN tunnel is an encrypted connection between your device and the Internet. This link is exclusively dedicated to your device and surrounds your data like a tunnel. There are several tunnel protocols used by VPN providers. The most common tunnel protocols are the point-to-point tunnel protocol, the layer 2 tunnel protocol, the secure socket tunneling protocol and the generic routing encapsulation.

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Why do companies use VPNs?

VPNs offer companies a high level of security. They are inexpensive, useful, and easy to use for the common internet user. In addition to these reasons, they provide high-speed connections between employees and deny third-party access.

Should I use a VPN every time?

If you are concerned about your privacy or connect over public networks frequently, these should always be used. Aside from these, there are certain situations where you can use a reliable service such as B. to transfer money, visit blocked content or prevent bandwidth throttling.

Do VPNs work with mobile data?

Regardless of whether you connect via WiFi or cellular data, it doesn’t matter for VPNs. However, using the fastest connection is better in all situations.

Conclusion what a VPN is

VPNs are important tools for establishing secure connections over the Internet. You can help internet users hide their location, avoid trackers, stay anonymous, and much more. This article explained various characteristics of VPNs, how they work, and what their different uses are. If you somehow expected it to act as an ad blocker, we refer you to this article where we explain how to block videos on YouTube.

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