What is a VPN?

What is a VPN? How Does It Work?

Last Updated: August 4, 2022
In this article, we will explore the question of “What is a VPN?”. Keep reading to find out more!
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What is a VPN?

It’s a common tool that many use, but not many know how it works. There is no denying the fact that the internet has just turned our existence upside down.

From business to education, it has revolutionized everything and made our lives easier. 

Having said that, the world has seen a spike in cybercrime cases as the internet got prevalent.

No doubt, it has made things convenient for us, but data theft and hacking cases have also become common. VPNs can prevent this. Here’s how they work.

What is a VPN, and How Does It Work?

A virtual private network, also known as VPN, is a service that encrypts internet traffic and lets you hide your IP address.

With a VPN, you can change your internet location to anywhere in the world, even while sitting in your bedroom. 

The use of VPNs is not new. They have been around since 1996, but they were not widely used.

They were primarily used by businesses to allow their employees to access a secured internet network.

However, as they got popular, many small businesses and even individuals started using them. Research suggests that around 31% of internet users have used a VPN. 

A virtual private network, or VPN, creates a secure private connection between your PC or mobile phone and a network on the internet.

It is always encrypted to ensure a secure internet experience and protect you from bad guys online.

In simple words, a VPN acts like a cloak as it helps you use the internet safely and anonymously

Every device has a unique address on an internet network, known as an internet protocol address.

A VPN software conceals your IP address and makes sure no one spies on your internet activities, not even your internet service provider. 

Types of VPNs

Once you understand what is a VPN then, you need to delve deeper into its types. 

  1. Remote Access VPN
  2. Site to Site VPN

1. Remote Access VPN

Remote-Access-VPN

In remote access VPN, the individual devices are connected to networks from any location.

For example, if a computer in your home is connected to your organization’s network, it is a remote access VPN. 

2. Site to Site VPN

Site-to-Site-VPN

As the name tells you, the site-to-site VPN connects networks to each other. In this type, users of a network can access each other’s resources through a VPN gateway.

They are usually used in businesses to connect branch offices to a company’s headquarters.

With a site-to-site VPN, you don’t have to log in and out of the connection every time you use it. 

How to Install a VPN?

Fortunately, installing a VPN is a straightforward affair. If you are using an Android device, go to the Google Play Store.

Similarly, go to the App Store if you want to install it on an iOS device. Now, find a VPN and click on the “install” button to install it.

Depending on your internet speed, it will take a few minutes. 

There are hundreds of VPN apps available on the internet. However, not all of them are trustworthy. So, consider choosing a reputed service with good ratings and reviews.

Once installed, you can set it up and select the right server to enjoy secure browsing. The setup process is also simple and will hardly take two minutes. 

Benefits of Using a VPN

Even if you are not an FBI agent, there are many reasons why you may want to use a VPN service. Below are some key benefits of using VPN software. 

Secure Browsing

VPNs are a preferred option for security and privacy. Many internet users opt for VPNs to hide their online activities from internet service providers.

With encryption technology, no one can spy on your browsing activities. 

If you are concerned about your privacy or don’t want your internet provider to sell your browsing information to other companies, consider using a VPN service to get a safe internet connection without compromising on the speed. 

While browsing on the internet, you need an extra layer of safety as privacy breaches are now more common than ever before.

When you connect to a network using the HTTPS protocol, the ‘S’ means that the website has a secure connection.

However, not every website uses this protocol, and if you visit a website without an HTTPS protocol, the chances are that your data can be stolen by cybercriminals. 

Furthermore, mobile apps can also leak your private data. While using a mobile app, you never know about its security protocols.

If it does not follow advanced cybersecurity practices, accessing your information can be a walk in the park for cybercriminals.

A VPN is encrypted, and you can rest assured that your data is safe from cybercriminals and third parties. 

If you are an avid traveler and often use public wi-fi connections in cafes, airports, etc., consider using VPN software.

Without a VPN, your online data is vulnerable to being stolen. Not only can hackers steal it, but they can also harm your device with malware. 

Access Blocked Content

Blocked Content

Another reason why consumers use a VPN service is that it enables them to bypass internet censorship.

It routes your traffic through a remote server and allows you to access content that is restricted in your area.

In other words, a VPN service lets you use the internet under the cover of its IP address, allowing you to view blocked content, such as Netflix shows and movies. 

When you use a VPN to connect to some network, it swaps out your IP address with that of the VPN network. So, you can change your location to almost any other country in the world. 

Avoid Government Surveillance

It’s no secret that many governments monitor their citizens’ online activities. Furthermore, there have been cases where a government shared online data with other countries.

So, how to avoid this surveillance? A VPN brings a perfect remedy to this solution. With a VPN, no one will be able to track your online activities. 

Faster Internet

It may sound silly, but connecting to a VPN service may also improve your internet speed.

The internet service providers often throttle the internet when your downloads exceed a certain limit. As a result, your internet speed will take a hit.

As mentioned above, a VPN changes your IP address. So, your internet service provider won’t be able to track you, and you can enjoy fast streaming. 

FAQs

Is the VPN Free?

Most VPN services require a monthly subscription. However, there are some apps that are free to install and use.

Is VPN Use Illegal?

Although VPNs are legal in most countries, every country has its own rules regarding VPNs. So, it would be better to check for yourself.

Having said that, you should not engage in criminal activities while using it.

What Is a VPN, and Why Do I Need It?

A virtual private network, commonly known as VPN, hides your IP address to keep your online data safe from hackers and third parties. If you value data privacy, VPN is the solution.

In today’s digital era, companies of all sizes use VPN services to let their remote employees connect to the internet safely.

Final Thoughts

The thing about a VPN is that it will help you to protect all of your online activity.

A VPN is an invaluable tool if you want to make sure that everything you do online is kept safe from hackers and cybercriminals.

If you think that your internet connection isn’t safe, then you definitely need to make the most of a VPN, so that you can cover your bases, and ensure that your personal information is protected at all times.

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Written by Trevor Cooke

The only safe internet is a private internet. You’ll see me at parties talking about cybersecurity, privacy, and VPNs. Yes, I’m that guy.

Latest Stories

Last Updated: August 4, 2022
In this article, we will explore the question of “What is a VPN?”. Keep reading to find out more!
What is a VPN?
EarthWeb is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Stay on top of the latest technology trends — delivered directly to your inbox, free!

Subscription Form Posts

Don't worry, we don't spam

Written by Trevor Cooke

The only safe internet is a private internet. You’ll see me at parties talking about cybersecurity, privacy, and VPNs. Yes, I’m that guy.

Latest Stories

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