What is a VPN and how does it work?
What is a VPN and how does it work?
Surely many of us have used VPNs because we want privacy that remains safe. A VPN does offer a layer of privacy that is unattainable if you access the web directly through your ISP's servers. However, even though many people use it, not many people know what a VPN is and how it works.
What are VPNs?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. VPNs are often thought of as tunnels or secure tunnels between two parts of the web. That way no one else on the web can see what's going on in your private VPN tunnel. On a more technical level, a VPN is a connection method that brings many additional security benefits, especially for anyone using a public connection. VPNs can also be installed on certain browsers, desktops or laptops, smartphones, and routers.
How Do VPNs Work
When you connect to the web without a VPN, your traffic flows freely in unencrypted form from your machine to the ISP's servers. From there, the connection goes to servers around the world. It is vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks, snooping, and other security threats.
If you use a VPN, your traffic will be encrypted by the VPN app on your computer or smartphone before it even leaves your device. From there, the connection goes to your ISP's server, and then to your VPN server. When it reaches the VPN server, traffic is decrypted and forwarded to the wider web. Here you also use the VPN IP address. In most cases, users can choose the physical location of the VPN server they use.
Types of VPN Protocol Types
There are several types of VPN protocols. Not all providers support all protocols. Some of the most popular VPN protocols include:
* IPsec: Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) was created for use with IPv6. It encrypts traffic by encapsulating IP packets inside IPsec packets.
* SSL / TLS: Transport Layer Security (SSL / TLS) can route all traffic on a network through a VPN connection. It is used in the OpenVPN project.
* SSH: Secure Shell (SSH) VPNs use tunneling to add security to intra-network links.
* SSTP: Microsoft Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP) uses Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) tunnels to send traffic over SSL 3.0 channels.
VPNs first appeared because of the need for people to access networks remotely and securely. The first few users are businesses with multiple branches or off-site employees. Those original benefits still exist today. Millions of people use company-provided VPNs to access internal networks and servers.
2. Online Privacy and Security
Because of the way VPNs work, users quickly realized that this technology also had huge privacy and security benefits. Not all VPNs offer the same features. However, if you use a paid VPN service, you will get the following features:
* Encryption: Almost all commercial VPN services encrypt your web traffic data. This means that your information cannot be read by hackers or any malicious applications that snoop on your network data.
* Hidden IP Address: To outsiders, your computer appears to have the IP address of the VPN server. Many companies collect large amounts of data based on IP address, so removing your own address drastically increases your anonymity.
* No Logging: Some VPNs will not log your browsing data. This means that if the government comes looking for information, there is nothing to turn over. Be warned, however, that not all VPNs dump logs, and some have deliberately obfuscated privacy policies.
3. Circumnavigate Blocked Sites
Websites are often blocked on certain networks. For example, Indonesia may not allow people to enter Reddit. A VPN will allow you to access blocked sites. The tunnels we talked about earlier give your machine a way to bypass network restrictions and freely access the internet from your VPN server location.
4. Geographically Blocked Content
The last VPN function is that a VPN can open geo-blocked content, usually a VPN will have hundreds of servers in dozens of countries around the world to provide flexibility to users. This is useful when you want to watch video content from their country of origin. But some of the leading streaming services theoretically limit access from VPNs by blocking known VPN IP addresses.
Things a VPN Can't Do
1. Block Cookies
2. Make You Completely Anonymous
VPN is not a guarantee of online anonymity. First, they can go offline unexpectedly or suffer DNS leaks, both of which can expose your data to snoopers, ISPs, and governments without warning. Second, even though your ISP no longer has a copy of your browsing data, your VPN provider now has a copy. Thus, you put a lot of trust in the provider not to use it for unwanted purposes. For a greater level of online anonymity, you should consider using the Tor network.
3. Protects Against Malware Threats
VPN connections do not have anti-virus properties. You still need to be running one of the anti-virus suites to protect yourself from the threats you are sure to encounter while surfing the web. And you need to know, some malware has the ability to turn off the VPN without your permission.
So what are VPNs? In simple terms a VPN connects your device to another computer called a server somewhere on the internet, and allows you to browse the internet using that computer's internet connection.
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