What is a VPN and How a VPN Works?

Cyber risks are increasing with each passing day and people are becoming more aware of them as well. The need for network data to be encrypted is at its peak for every internet user. This is where VPN services can come to your aid.

A VPN service is a smart way that helps the users secure internet traffic no matter if it is from encrypted or unencrypted user ports.

Since VPN use is on the rise for consumers and industries, you must understand what it is and how it works. A proper understanding of VPN will not only provide you security but functionality as well. So, let’s get started!

What is a VPN?

Your device, such as a laptop or smartphone, keeps on exchanging data with other parties available on the web when you are using the internet. A Virtual Private Network or a VPN establishes a secure network connection between your device and the internet.

It disguises your online identity and encrypts your internet traffic by sending it to the VPN server first. As a result, it becomes difficult for third parties to steal your data and track your online activities.

Thus, forming a secure connection with a VPN server helps you secure your data and hide your actual IP address. You can use the internet more freely as well.

How Does a VPN Work?

A VPN works by hiding your IP address and redirecting it to your VPN network. The VPN network then encrypts your data and sends it on the internet. So, when your data is sent on the internet, it comes from a VPN network and not your device.

To put it in simple words, it acts as an intermediary source in helping you access the internet by concealing your IP address and protecting your identity.

This means that your Internet Service Provider and third parties cannot see the websites you visit and the data you send and receive online.

Even if your data is stolen somehow, no one will be able to read it until it reaches its destination.

Types of VPN?

Although there are many different VPNs out there, the three main types are mentioned below for you.

  1. Site-to-Site VPN

It is an excellent private network if you are working with multiple locations in your company, and each location has its own LAN connected to the WAN.

  1. SSL VPN

When the employees need to work from home and the company does not have enough equipment, it restores the employees’ personal devices. In these circumstances, the company uses the SSL VPN, which it implements through a hardware box.

  1. Client-to-Server VPN

The client-to-server VPN helps the employees dial into their company network from their homes through a secure connection. But, a VPN client must first be installed and configured on the computers.

Qualities of a Good VPN Network

While the main task of a VPN network is to provide privacy and security, your VPN network itself should be protected against compromises. A comprehensive VPN solution should offer the following features to its users.

  1. Encryption of Protocols

Apart from encrypting your IP address, a VPN network must also be capable enough to avert you from leaving traces on the web in the form of your history and cookies.

It’s important because it keeps the third parties from gaining access to your personal and financial data and other content that you access on the websites.

  1. Two-Factor Authentication

A strong VPN network uses different authentication methods. It keeps track and checks everyone that tries to log in before granting them access.

For example, you might be prompted to enter a code sent to your mobile phone after you enter the password. Thus, it becomes difficult for uninvited parties to get a hold of your secure information.

  1. Kill Switch

In case your VPN network is suddenly interrupted, there is a considerable chance that your secure connection might also be interrupted. But, a good VPN will detect this sudden interruption beforehand. It will then terminate the preselected programs. This will reduce the chances of your data being compromised.

Benefits of a VPN Connection

Apart from privacy and security, there are many other benefits of a VPN connection as well. Let’s check them out below.

  1. Hides Your Private Information

Working online means websites and apps tracking your online activity and analyzing the data they collect constantly. But, when you work with a VPN network, it prevents the web browsers and other apps from reaching your connection.

Some VPN networks out there offer 256-bit encryption of your data, which is military-grade security. Thus, you can keep your information safe by sending and receiving data anonymously.

  1. Offers Network Scalability

The cost of building a private network keeps on increasing as the organization grows. But when businesses use internet-based VPNs, they can tap into network capabilities and network lines already available. As a result, both international and remote locations can get a better reach and quality service.

  1. No More Bandwidth Throttling

You might have experienced slow internet speed on certain websites at a particular time. This is what bandwidth-throttling is. The person responsible for the bandwidth throttling is the Internet Service Provider (ISP) or anyone else with administrative control on your network.

You can now avoid bandwidth throttling by using a VPN network. Since it encrypts the internet traffic of your device, it can thwart sluggishness. Moreover, it also prevents the people on the same network from seeing your content of internet traffic.

  1. Avoid Data Throttling

When you use a specific amount of data provided by your Internet Service Provider, your internet slows down; this is known as data throttling. But, the good news is that it can be avoided with a VPN network.

Moreover, some ISPs put caps on their data to offer maximum internet speed to some of their clients. Thus, with a good VPN network, you cannot only avoid the prying eyes of your ISPs, but you will not be subjected to a data cap.

  1. Lower Support Cost and Cheaper Long-Distance Telephone Charges

Apart from all the benefits mentioned above, a VPN network also helps a business reduce its support cost of maintaining servers. That’s because the companies can now outsource the support to third-party service providers that offer a low-cost structure.

In addition to this, a VPN also reduces the charges of a long-distance phone call. It helps you in connecting to the local ISP access point instead of remote access servers. Thus, your long-distance telephone charges reduce drastically.

Final Thoughts

The use of a VPN network is essential these days because it provides online security, privacy, and freedom to users. You can set up a VPN connection in many different ways, but the most common method is to subscribe to a VPN service.

There are many service providers out there that will give you access to the VPN servers out there. You must remember that it will not always cover all your online activities. Some methods can reveal your online identity. But, a VPN network will take care of your privacy and security in most cases.

Enthusiastic Cybersecurity Journalist, A creative team leader, editor of privacycrypts.com.

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