What Is VPN? Know the Basic 8 Facts about VPN
What is a VPN? VPN is short for “Virtual Private Network”, creating a private network connection between you and the internet. This way, you can send and receive data across the public networks. Furthermore, VPN secures the connection.
How does a VPN secure your connection? How many types of VPNs are there? Is VPN safe? Why should you use a VPN? Is VPN illegal? There are 7 facts about VPN introduced. Just keep reading to figure out these questions.
How does a VPN work? VPN acts as a virtual tunnel between you and the public network, where your identities and data sent and received by your device are well encrypted. Even if the VPN is invaded, no one can know what exactly inside the tunnel is.
Although the government agencies know that you are using a VPN, they cannot know the data flowing in this tunnel. Your traffic still passes through your ISP, but your ISP can no longer read it or see its final destination.
Other third parties like the websites you visit can’t track down your real IP address. What they can see is the IP address of the VPN server.
See Also: What is a VPN used for? >
VPN has 2 basic types to offer, remote access VPN and site-to-site VPN. (You may want to know: What’s the difference between VPS and VPN?)
A remote-access VPN connects your device to the internet or your company’s internal system through a remote server. The data you send and receive is masked in a private encryption tunnel. This is ideal for personal use.
While site-to-site VPN, also called router-to-router VPN, creates a private network where several different locations can all connect. This is mostly used within corporate environments, especially when a large company with different branches in different places.
Is VPN safe really? How does a VPN keep you safe online? VPN is based on security protocols.
VPN protocols use encryption techniques to shield data security. Usually, a VPN has several security protocols. Common VPN protocols include OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, IKEv2, and PPTP. OpenVPN strikes a good balance between security and speed, which is the top choice for most VPN providers.
VPN increases your security in public Wi-Fi where you are at risk from hackers. Remote workers who don’t want to experience the disclosure of important company documents and resources need a VPN. Travelers who are on a trip and all other kinds of on-the-go individuals also should use VPN whenever you’re on an untrusted network.
Why do you need a VPN? Using a VPN has many advantages. First of all, VPN helps to hide your IP address.
What is an IP address? An IP address is your ID card in the cyber world. Through IP address, you are traceable. Your ISP and the websites and apps you visit have access to where and who you are.
A VPN helps to change your IP address. When connecting to the network via a VPN, your real IP address will change to one of the hundreds of servers offered by the VPN service provider. This way, you can surf the internet anonymously.
With a new IP address, you can browse the internet as if you were in the US, UK, Japan, Korea, Singapore, HK, or any other country, if the VPN service provider you choose has servers there.
By hiding your IP address, VPN protects your online privacy from government agencies, ISP, websites, and apps.
They can’t track down your identity and location. Furthermore, VPN gives you more privacy and prevents potential information collectors interested in your browser history and online cookies, including personal account and financial information.
See Also: 3 Tips to Stop ISP Tracking >
However, a VPN doesn’t protect you from insecure websites. If you submit information to an insecure site or accidentally download malware, VPN doesn’t work to shield your privacy. In short, a VPN secures you in transit from one site to the next, but can’t protect you from any actions you take at your destination site.
VPN also benefits you from unblocking the geographical or copyright restrictions over the world.
Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, YouTube, Netflix, or other sites and services that you use every day may not be allowed to access in some countries with strict Internet censorship. And vice versa, some websites, and services from other countries are also inaccessible to you.
For those who want to bypass the firewalls between countries, you need a VPN. VPN can unblock geographical or copyright restrictions in different countries/regions. Take Netflix as an example. Netflix has geo-blocking for non-US people. Using a VPN enables you to watch movies and TV series on Netflix that are only available to US residents.
More importantly, a VPN works when you want to save money.
Depending on your IP address, websites usually change prices on air tickets and hotel deals. You can change your virtual location with a VPN to save money. To alter locations, you need to be in private mode or clear your browser cookies.
In different countries/regions, the subscription prices to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc., vary. You can use a VPN to change your location to get a lower price for a subscription.
On shopping sites, using a VPN to alter your IP address can cut the price of online goods. The price of the same item is often different in different countries/regions. With a VPN, you can switch servers deployed in different countries to get the cheapest price.
Is VPN illegal? Using a VPN is legal in most countries. A VPN helps to shield your online privacy, but it doesn’t protect you from any actions you take at your destination site.
That means any unlawful online activities covering illegal file-sharing, hacking, cyberstalking, buying, selling, or downloading on the dark web, etc., are not protected by VPNs.
Also, note that VPNs are banned in certain countries with strict network censorship. For example, VPNs are illegal to use in Iraq, Belarus, and North Korea. And in some countries, the usage of VPN is heavily restricted, including China, Russia, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. Now there is one more Myanmar on this list.
Now you know what is a VPN and how does a VPN work. In short, VPN is a private and secure virtual tunnel between you and the internet. Here your online privacy and network data are safe due to the encryption technology.
You can also use VPN to break the geographical restrictions in different countries so that you can enjoy streaming services worldwide. Using a VPN can even help to save your budget on air tickets and hotel deals!