What is a VPN and How Does it Work (Complete Guide)
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to protect your privacy only by surfing on the internet through an independent network and IP address instead of your personal IP address.
A virtual tool that began with a business use and for the current date, it has gained great popularity due to its functions and the benefits of connection and network access that it presents for the particular users, having as meaning to be able to visualize contents with geographical restrictions, as well as a more private navigation.
In this article, different points of interest will be discussed so that readers can have a better understanding of these kinds of connections that are becoming increasingly necessary in these modern times.
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What is a VPN?
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network that serves to have a greater degree of privacy when surfing the Internet, as its name indicates.
In other words, a Virtual Private Network is one that allows a secure connection when entering public networks, such as those found in airports, cafes, plazas, hotels and other similar places, as well as the type of connection that can be made in users’ homes through their Internet service provider.
It is worth noting that this type of tool is not new. However, in recent years it has become more important because of the type of work that began to be done in companies and also because individuals wanted to have the privacy benefits of web surfing.
Meaning of VPN
To begin with, what is a Virtual Private Network VPN is a type of technology which is used to make a connection of one or more devices to a private network, through the Internet.
Understanding that the connection to the internet network, a router or a modem is used, where this serves to connect the internet provider with the homes or work sites of the users. Internet service and connection can be achieved by wiring and can also be obtained wirelessly.
In that sense, when using the data connection that the user could have by means of his mobile phone, the elements would be different because they would be provided with their own connection system, but in general it is the same principle, since the equipment can access the internet service.
It is very possible that the user has more than one device in connection with his router, such as desktop computers, tablets, mobile phones, televisions, video game consoles, among others. The important thing here is that each computer will have an IP address.
It is at this point, where the meaning of the importance of what is a VPN and this type of connection, since in this way a local network is created, this without those devices are connected between them and instead, are connected to the Internet network.
Therefore, what is a VPN has become very important in recent times because it has another of the benefits offered by this type of service, which is nothing more than data tunnels. In general terms, when a user connects to the Internet network through the provider of this service, it is the provider that connects to the platform.
This is different when using a VPN. The information and network traffic goes from the device being used to the service provider and from there to the VPN server, and then to the selected path.
Virtual Private Network Definition and History
As a definition of what a VPN is, we need to empower users to connect remotely to private networks by using a public network in a secure manner.
Avoiding hacking, increasing the degree of digital privacy and the possibility of unlocking geographically censored content, as well as masking the user’s connection location, are some of the features of what a VPN is.
Concerning the history of the Virtual Private Network, we found that the Internet was used by the United States Department of Defense to communicate with remote sites in the early 1960s. What is known as ARPANET was created, which was a packet-switched information network.
As time went by, connection protocols were established which are the ones known today. Already by the mid-1980s, there were the military connection protocols and then began to be given a commercial application, where large communications companies such as IBM and AT&T adopted this type of technology.
By 1995, computer engineers began to work much more interested in the evolution of the Internet itself, where protocols such as IPsec began their implementations. Also the tunnel protocol is the one that gives a real beginning of what today is known as a VPN.
What does a VPN do?
In this section of what is a VPN, it is used in general terms because it allows a connection in a very secure way, as well as remotely to a private network of internet service.
Another benefit of a Virtual Private Network is that you can link to a large number of different networks, even entering different servers, thus having a much more secure connection than you could have by conventional means.
In this way, what is a VPN you can count on this service also gives you the power to have a public Wi-Fi type network navigation such as those present in hotels, airports, train terminals, cafes, public squares, being able to avoid any type of content restriction that are regionally blocked.
What is a VPN used for?
With the above mentioned, you can already have an idea about what a VPN is, as well as the applications for network connection. They were very important in the corporate world, although the Virtual Private Network has now had another form of use. Here are the most relevant ones:
1. Avoiding censorship
One of the benefits of a VPN, is that the device passes the information to the VPN server, which establishes the codes for Internet connection. As an example, if a user is in a country like Argentina and the VPN server is in the United States, the network servers will “think” that the user is surfing the Internet from the United States and, thus, be able to enter the contents that are available in that region. The most common case is the geoblocked content of the Netflix platform.
Following this same idea, the user could access the content that is blocked in the user’s home country, but not in the servers of what is a VPN. This becomes especially important when there are countries with a high degree of censorship of web content for political reasons, as is the case with China.
2. Additional Security
It is very common for a VPN to have an encryption system in its network connection protocol, being the most recommended at the time of entering the Internet network of a public WiFi, do it through a Virtual Private Network, or VPN for its meaning in English.
This becomes especially important when the user enters his bank accounts when connecting through a public WiFi, since those data would be exposed to hackers to get such sensitive and private information, being also quite easy for them to do so if they enter through that public Internet access network.
However, since the user is trusting the server what a VPN is and the server, in some cases, keeps the browsing and traffic records of the people using it. For this reason, it is very important that the user selects service providers of what is a VPN that have a high degree of recognition in the market, as well as their reputation.
As explained in this article, a connection of what is a VPN allows the interconnection between networks that are not physically connected, the best example being people working outside their companies’ offices.
When handling information that could be sensitive to the interests of companies, the use of a Virtual Private Network (or VPN for its meaning in English), that risk is considerably reduced if the user can use these services, since the information will be encrypted. In short, it is as if the worker were physically connected to the company’s network.
Among the applications that are very popular among users of what a VPN is, are the P2P downloads. Although many downloads in this way are completely legal, in some cases service providers often both monitor the type of downloads made and even block them completely. By using a VPN service, you avoid this type of censorship in your home countries in order to access these types of downloads.
Should I use a VPN?
If you are a user who travels a lot or who needs to be able to see certain types of network content in order to be informed, you should definitely consider using what a VPN is.
The benefits offered by this type of service, especially in masking Internet navigation as well as protecting data, make VPNs necessary every time you enter the network.
How to use a VPN?
In general, the use of what is a VPN is the same, regardless of the service you select from the different options on the market.
It’s usually this way:
- User registration for VPN service.
- Download of the software.
- VPN configuration.
- Server selection.
- Surfing the internet.
These types of VPN services are very intuitive and no further computer knowledge is required to use them. However, they have a customer service that is usually quite fast and efficient.
Benefits of a VPN
Among the benefits of a VPN, you can find that by using this type of network services, you prevent attacks that could originate with what is known as “man in the middle”, being something where you intercept the exchange of network information and taking the role of intermediary, all under the false idea that it is a reliable connection.
It is worthwhile, to give the most important points about the benefits of what is a VPN and then the most relevant ones in that aspect will be presented:
- Network connection and disconnection is very simple. As the initial configuration of what is a VPN is done, this process is very easy.
- One of the great benefits of what is a VPN, is that it serves all applications, as it serves to channel all Internet traffic in network, compared to other servers, as these only use the web browser and its configuration is limited to a few options.
- When using what is a VPN, the user adds to the service a security in the accesses of WiFi when the encryption of navigation data is activated.
- What is a VPN allows to place a different location in which the user is because the service offers to use different servers that are in the world, depending on the selected company, allowing to avoid the blocking and censorship of certain content on the network.
- Another of the great benefits offered by a VPN is that the Internet provider that the user has cannot know the activities that are carried out on the network. This can be very interesting, especially in countries where network censorship and surveillance is common. The only detail is that some VPNs do keep a record of browsing, so it is worth looking at the policies of the company where you want to use this service.
Frequently Asked Questions About What is a VPN
What is a VPN, is a Virtual Private Network, and is a virtual service that offers a greater degree of security and privacy when surfing the Internet, whether the service is used from the user’s home or from a public Internet access network.
What is a VPN works according to a data encryption system that allows connection to servers located in different parts of the world, being able to access content that is restricted or censored.
Basically, what a VPN is is an encryption and privacy of data when surfing the internet.
When using what is a VPN, in general terms it is as follows:
- User registration for VPN service.
- Software download.
- onfiguration of the VPN.
- Server selection.
- Internet browsing.
The protection offered by a VPN is in the aspect of maintaining privacy when surfing the Internet, as well as maintaining a system of data encryption when entering public networks that prevents hackers from taking over the data of users who access these types of networks.
The degree of protection, although not infallible, is quite high, which makes it very difficult to access both the browsing behavior of users, as well as data that can be entered on the Internet.
Among the features offered by what is a VPN, are the following:
- Allows you to unlock content that is regionally locked. The clearest example of this is that you can view content such as that offered by the Netflix, Amazon and Hulu platforms which is not available in certain countries for various reasons. Having a proper VPN can fool the server into thinking that the user is in the country of origin or, alternatively, in a country where the content is not blocked.
- It has a higher degree of protection when using a what is a VPN in a public Internet connection network, such as the one found in hotels, airports, cafes, plazas and so on. One of the great benefits of using a what is a VPN is that it minimizes the risk of data being taken over by hackers.
- Also what is a VPN, offers within its benefits, which gives a very high degree of anonymity when surfing the Internet. The fact that a VPN can hide the network activity of its users from both the service provider and the government increases both privacy and protection.
- You can access Internet content that is censored in some country, especially if the user visits one of the countries where this type of information is blocked.
- Although what is a VPN can influence a little bit the speed of internet connection, in other cases it can improve it. The Virtual Private Network by encrypting the content, prevent the data from being seen, which generates a better connection in general terms.
Among the reasons why a VPN is used, the following can be found:
- Torrents can be downloaded. What is a VPN allows access to this type of pages, keeping the browsing history hidden.
- Streaming services are significantly improved by using what is a VPN. As mentioned above, this service allows you to browse the network safely, avoiding threats that are present on the Internet, such as malware and spyware.
- The internet network present in universities and workplaces can be accessed without restrictions. Generally, certain content and pages are blocked in these places because they are considered to cause distractions and lower productivity. By using what is a VPN, this is avoided and users can enter without any problems.
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