Keeping your anonymity intact while using the internet has never been as important as it is today. A VPN helps you maintain your online anonymity and privacy by creating a private network while using a public wifi network. Also, there are various contents on the internet that you may not be able to access because of geo-blocking; VPN allows users to access them by masking the IP addresses. Basically, VPN hides your IP address and your online footprints and makes your online actions virtually untraceable.
With digitization worldwide, the internet has become one of the essential parts of our life. From your ISP, government agencies, to hackers online we don't really know who has actually got access to our data. That's why using a VPN while being online has become the need of the hour.
If you are not aware of the things that a Virtual Private Network can do to help you protect your online security and privacy, you have come to the right place. Here in this article, we are going to discuss all the nitty-gritty of a VPN. Check out now to know more on 'what is a VPN?' and how does it work?
What is a VPN?
A VPN or Virtual Private Network connects to the internet (or private network) that provides security and privacy. Normally VPNs are used by organizations to protect their sensitive data against possible online threats. However, due to news of data breaches, ISP throttling, and geo-blocking, more people are concerned about their privacy. That's the reason behind VPN getting extremely popular to use amongst personal users. When using a Virtual Private Network, the system will replace your IP address with an IP address of the VPN service provider situated in a whole different location than yours.
How does a VPN work?
Knowing how a VPN connection works will eventually help you to decide whether using a VPN while using the internet is actually important or not. Here is how a VPN works:
While you use a VPN network, the data gets transmitted from the client's system to a specific point in the VPN network and then forwarded to you. After that, the VPN point encrypts your data, and in a similar manner, sends it to the internet. Whereas at another point on your VPN network server, the same data gets decrypted and sent to the appropriate internet resources, e.g., an email server or a web server. The process does not end here.
Now, the decrypted data sent to the internet resources come back to the VPN Network server point and gets encrypted again. Now the data undergoes another decryption process, and only after that is it sent back to the client machine. This way, the source of the actual data remains anonymous.
What kind of VPNs are there?
Depending on the encryption technology, there are several types of VPNs available. However, three are the most popular types that you must know about.
The most common benefit of using an SSL VPN is that it offers data security and privacy. You may require to use an SSL VPN if you need to access something out of a company network. The SSL VPN offers remote access to several enterprise applications without installing or maintaining a separate client software on every users' computer.
A site-to-site Virtual Private Network is referred to as a connection in between multiple networks. These connections can be between a corporate network and its branch office network. There are organizations that use site-to-site VPNs to create an internet space to pass through private traffic. Companies mostly use it with remote offices to communicate and share content through a single secured network.
Client to Server or VPN Client
This is the most popular type of VPN that we use for personal internet surfing needs. A VPN client is software that can establish a secured connection with the users and its own server. In the case of a client to a server VPN connection, the user is not connected to the network through his/her own internet service provider server. Rather, the client system establishes a direct connection with the VPN server.
Advantages of Using a VPN
VPS offers many advantages when connecting to the internet. So here is the list of top advantages of VPN:
All the traffic going from your computer is encrypted, passing through the VPN server. This encryption prevents any interception of the message from being meaningless, which prevents hackers, ISPs (Internet Service Providers), or Government organizations from keeping track or stealing your online activities.
While using a VPN, the data passes through the VPN server while encryptions, resulting in a slightly slower connection. However, this decrease in speed is barely noticeable. Note that using a VPN will speed up your connection if you're suffering from ISP throttling or network congestions.
Compatible with Most Devices
Everybody wants to be secure and anonymous online without prying eyes. The best VPN providers will provide VPNs for the most common systems. If you have a Windows or Linux or Mac or Android or iOS operating system, there's a VPN for you. There is also VPN software that you can install in your routers.
Ease of Use
When it comes to the inner workings of a VPN is a bit technical and complicated but to use a VPN is super easy. First, you will need to register to a VPN provider > Download the VPN software > select the country you would like to be connected to. That's it! Simple as that, which doesn't require any technical skills or previous knowledge.
When accessing the internet through a VPN, you will appear as you appear from the country that you chose. In addition, your original IP will be masked with the new location IP address server giving you restriction-free access to sites and streaming services like social media and Netflix.
Disadvantages of a VPN
Now let's get down to the drawbacks of using a VPN. Even though VPNs provide security, there can be situations where your privacy can be compromised.
For the VPN to protect your data and provide anonymity, the client software should function. If the software fails, then the data from your device will no longer be secure, and you won't be anonymous. This will lead to your ISP or hackers having access to spy on your activities. However, some VPN software comes with a kill switch that shuts down the internet connection if the software malfunctions.
Payment is Higher
Many VPNs are free, but the free VPNs don't come with the full benefits of having a VPN, and to get the complete package; usually, there is a subscription fee even though they are usually affordable.
Most top-tier VPN providers use 256-bit encryption, which is almost impossible to break. With this military-grade encryption technique, it is possible to keep the data encrypted and safe. However, some VPN providers use weaker encryption techniques which don't guarantee complete security.
Logs Kept by the VPN Provider
The whole point of using a VPN Is to be anonymous when surfing the internet, including the VPN providers. When choosing a VPN provider, you have to trust them since you will be using their software and servers. Most VPN companies keep logs of their users either because of their use or for government regulations. These users' logs are categorized under
- Logs relating to the usage: This type of log can include where you were online and what you were doing while using the VPN. The number of logs kept depends on the VPN provider, where some keep complete logs while others keep logs so that it's impossible to identify the individual users.
- Logs related to the connectivity: These types of logs include the number of times you were using the VPN services, including your IP address.
Why Do You Need to Use a VPN?
There are multiple factors that require a VPN connection, so here are some of the reasons to have and use a VPN in your system:
- If you're worried about your private information being used by third parties, then a VPN is a must-have.
- When using a public wifi network, you want to be safe from prying eyes and keep your data secured, and then only a VPN can offer you the right solution.
- VPN can ensure that you need to have complete freedom online without anyone snooping in and spying on you.
- When surfing online, if you want to be completely anonymous without anyone knowing what you do, get a VPN.
- If the country you're living in has many online restrictions or is censored and you would like to have complete access without any surveillance, choose VPN.
- Often or not, there are situations when we need to access a company file on the server, but we can't because of the ever-changing locations while travelling. In such situations, a VPN can offer you the right solution by hiding your location.
- If you are looking to bypass network firewalls or prevent network admins from keeping track of your browsing activities, choose a reliable VPN.
VPN offers the utmost privacy and security while surfing the internet. We have included every possible detail to understand what a Virtual Private network actually is and how it works. While concluding, we would like to mention that you need to be much careful while choosing your client. A VPN service provider that collects user data and stores them for future use can not serve your purpose as a VPN client. If you want to ensure complete privacy protection against data breaches and online threats when using the internet, you may consider using VPN Surf.
Do you value your privacy online?
Use VPN Surf and surf safely and securely in the open waters of the internet.