VPN is the acronym for Virtual Private Network. A VPN allows you to create a communication channel with higher security and privacy than a “normal” connection.
By accessing the internet through a VPN service, all data traffic will be encrypted, guaranteeing the user to protect their information and online identity. VPNs can be used and configured on both smartphones and desktops.
So let’s see what a VPN is, how it works, and the advantages of using Virtual Private Network services.
What is a VPN
First, let’s try to understand what a VPN is, its applications, and why it is used in certain cases. As already mentioned, the acronym VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Basically, through a VPN, you can create your private network within the internet and locate it as you wish worldwide, masking your address IP and your current location. In other words, you can become invisible on the web and locate yourself anywhere.
Why use a VPN
There are many reasons for using a Virtual Private Network, as it can help in many areas. It can be used simply to look at the US Netflix catalog, for example, to access services not present in your country or to remain invisible when certain, perhaps delicate, operations are carried out.
One of the main reasons it uses a VPN is to protect your communications. In fact, especially thanks to secure VPNs, our data is almost inaccessible and encrypted with various protocols, as we will see later. Also, if someone wants to access our data, they should find the server in the world we are connected to and intercept our communications, which is almost impossible.
Avoid tracking and logging browsing sessions.
Since when we use a VPN, thus connecting to a dedicated server, our IP address disappears and remains that of the server, our browsing sessions are not recordable or traceable. When we are normally connected to the network, we have our own IP address that is activated and records our geographical position (often approximate). Since our IP address is not there and we are connected through the VPN server, the possibility that someone can track or record our sessions disappears.
Bypass the blocks of any censored sites or DNS
At this point, another feature of VPNs comes into play: the server we will connect to can be anywhere in the world. This means that if a site or DNS is blocked in the country of origin for any reason, it can still be accessed by simply connecting to the VPN server of a country in which that site is allowed.
Maximum security when using public WiFi
When exchanging data with the network using public WiFi, security is minimal, as other devices can access the same network and, therefore, the data can be exchanged. In cases like these, connecting to the network via a VPN exponentially increases security since the data exchanged via the VPN is encrypted and therefore difficult to access. As for the limitation of network speeds, one of the cons of VPNs, it is good to know that with public WiFi networks, it can affect even more, given the proverbial slowness of the latter.
No more geo-restrictions using streaming services
As we already know, our IP address also includes information about our geographical location; hence, the sites and applications we browse easily decipher where we are. Consequently, when you access a streaming platform (for example, Netflix or Amazon Prime Video ), you will see your country catalog made available by these services, which may have limitations on the contents present. By accessing a VPN server, for example, in the USA, you will have the entire catalog of films and TV series present in the United States, much wider and more varied than in your country.
What does a VPN do?
In general, we have already said what a VPN does, it is a sort of protection from the rest of the internet, it is as if we were in a protected bunker where we are invisible, but we can still exchange information with the outside without being tracked.
Encryption of data entering and coming out from your device
Since the data on the network travels in packets that anyone can see, most networks and websites now have their own encryption; the most common is the HTTPS protocol, which you will often see in your browser’s address bar.
This encryption is used to make the data inside each packet unreadable unless you have the reading key. Virtual Private Networks add a further step of security; in turn, the data traveling to the VPN server uses very advanced cryptographic protocols, so it is even more difficult to access the data that originate from our PC and those that arrive from the net.
It will cover up your IP address and replace it with a VPN server’s IP address.
As we have already said, one of the greatest advantages of the VPN is that it hides our IP address, which will no longer be visible on the internet as long as the connection with the VPN server is present. In fact, all the data we need is transmitted and received via the server’s IP address, making it practically impossible for anyone to trace us or our network activities. This happens thanks to the tunneling technique explained above, through which our computer is in direct contact only with the VPN server, which then communicates with the world’s internet network.
How to choose the best VPN
There are many VPN services on the Internet, with different prices. Still, they basically offer the same service, a secure connection with the IP address we choose at our convenience among the many available worldwide. Some services say they have more regard for security, others for network speed, so you will have to choose only the one you like best since the services offered is very similar.
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