What is a VPN? What does a VPN do? Understanding VPN Connections

VPN or Virtual Private Network; what is it? What is a VPN client? What is a VPN proxy? What is a VPN gateway and what is a VPN hotspot? The truth is that many people don’t know. Or at the very least, if they do know, they don’t really truly know and understand the more important details of them. The goal of this website is to help you get your bearings in the VPN world. Today is the first lesson of the VPN class: what is a VPN? Through a concise and precise article, you will know what a Virtual Private Network is at the end of your reading.

While you may not know how it exactly works, you will get the broad outline and have VPN explained. OK now stop talking to your neighbour, look this way please, and let’s start to understand what is VPN program, what is a VPN client (what is VPN client) and what does a VPN do?

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What does VPN mean? VPN connection what is it?

Understanding VPN connections might seem hard but the truth is, it isn’t. First of all, the definition of VPN: What is a VPN connection? According to Wikipedia (yes, even teachers use Wikipedia, what do you guys think?), a virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, such as the Internet. It enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.

Well, that didn’t help much, did it? The problem with sites such as Wikipedia, is that it relies on the reader on already having some knowledge on the topic they are researching. In this case, a lot of prior technical knowledge. Though after reading this article, if you’re still interested and wish to learn the intricacies of how virtual private networks work, then I would suggest you ready yourself for a deep dive, and sites such as that wikipedia page will go into routing, User-visible PPVPN services, layering services, so on and so fourth. But for now, let’s continue with this 101 class.

So, let’s find a better way to put it. It is basically a network. And this network is virtual in that it establishes a virtual bridge between VPN users (you, for example) and a server (located anywhere on earth). Finally, these network connections are private because to get access, you need to have an account with login credentials (username and password). It also differs from a leased line since it offers encryption and authentication.

What is VPN client? So you connect to a server and then this server connects to the Internet for you and makes sure that you have a secure connection. That’s it. The client itself is basically just the app and setting up a vpn is even simpler.

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VPN and security

If you are missing the point and you’re still somewhat confused about what is a VPN client or what is a VPN proxy. Don’t worry, it is just the beginning. And you will soon have a better understanding and knowledge of what a VPN is and have VPN explained. Now let’s take a tiny look into a bit of internet history. Does anyone know why virtual private networks were created in the first place? No? Here’s a clue: it has something to do with business…Okay, still nobody?

Originally, companies created VPNs to protect their communications from industrial espionage. Because there are increasingly simple ways to intercept data travelling to a network. Have you heard of MAC spoofing and Firesheep for example? Two solutions to hack information.

That’s why a VPN offers an encrypted connection from point A to point B. A VPN client uses an encrypted data transmission and a tunneling system to securely route the data between these two points. Back and forth. As a result, your data is encrypted and protected. It’s almost like that secret tunnel at the back of your castle that leads you safely away through the secret mountain passage, and only you and your fellow knights know about it. VPN explained yet?

what is a vpn

VPN and privacy

Security sounds good, right? What about privacy? Good news: a VPN also means better privacy! Besides, security and privacy typically come hand in hand anyways. Now indeed, the VPN replaces the IP address of your internet connection with the IP address from the server where you are connected. And you can connect to any server that the VPN provider has for you to choose from. Therefore, you can have several different IP addresses. For instance, you may live in London and appear to be in New York with the help of the VPN (or vice versa). So at least when somebody asks you what exactly is a VPN and what is it used for, you can mention that privacy is certainly one of the main reasons as to why they are highly sought after.

To summarize, when you are using a VPN: first, nobody can intercept and use your data. Second, nobody can know which websites you are visiting. That’s all there is to it. Simple and easy on the surface, just as technology should be.

VPN and censorship (geo-restricted content)

Understanding VPN connections and censorship is very important when it comes to learning about geo-restricted content and using VPNs to get around them. After all, what is VPN program or what is a VPN gateway, if not able to help you bypass these restrictions.

But that’s not all! Indeed, there is another good point related to the privacy method described above. For example, connecting to an IP address from any country means that you can unblock all the geo-restricted content from the country you connect to. Imagine that you want to watch American Netflix from your home in Leeds. Without a VPN, the thought of doing so is virtually impossible. But with a VPN however, you can quickly connect to an American server and easily access US Netflix! American shows from the comfort of your own home with just a few clicks of a button, simple and easy

And it is the same thing the other way round. If you are on a trip to China, with a VPN you can watch UK Netflix from abroad or watch the BBC iPlayer. Furthermore, you can unblock content and get access to censored websites like Facebook or Twitter. So, really, no matter how you look at it and no matter how you intend on using it, you can see how beneficial it would be to your online activity by having a vpn client. With all that being said, it should pretty much answer the question – what is VPN client and what is VPN program

vpn definition

What is a VPN hotspot? Here’s a fun little fact; most journalists connect to a VPN and use virtual connections to bypass restrictions and censorship when they’re away. That way they can stay free on the internet and make sure that their only activity has a secure connection for their work. Online security is doubly important when you’re a traveling journalist. And when you’re traveling, sometimes you are forced to use public wi-fi in order to get online. This is another area where having access to a virtual private network is extremely beneficial.

To summarize, with a VPN you can protect your data and privacy and access websites and content that are usually restricted. Exercise that freedom!

VPN Service what is it: the protocols

Several protocols are available today for secure tunnels. The most common ones are:

  • PPTP: one of the first point-to-point tunneling protocols (approx. since Windows 95)
  • L2TP/IPsec: one of the most secure protocols with a tunnel
  • OpenVPN SSL: the most flexible and popular open source protocol

VPN providers

More and more people all over the world, and people in all manners of jobs and positions are using a personal VPN of some sort, as time and technology advances, more and more interactions (buying, selling, dating etc.) appear on the Internet. That’s why you have so many choices when it comes to VPN providers. However, VPN solutions depend on your needs.

Some companies offer free VPNs, while most of them require a subscription. All their networks are different. Each network has specific characteristics (speed, simultaneous connections, firewall, cost, server location…). This is the part where you would have to do a little research and see which VPN service provider would benefit you and your needs the most. Luckily a lot of the websites out there will help explain to you; what is a VPN client, what is a VPN proxy, what is a VPN gateway and what is a VPN hotspot.

BE CAREFUL WITH FREE VPNs! Indeed, as we all know, nothing is ever really free in this world… Unscrupulous companies might collect your data and browsing habits for commercial purposes or worse. Also, they might sell your bandwidth. Or use you as a botnet. Using a free VPN will cause you a lot of problems. But now you are informed: use a free VPN at your own risk.

If you need a VPN for business or professional use, you might consider a site-to-site VPN. Above all, the purpose of site-to-site VPNs is to create a safe connection between an enterprise’s internal networks via a public network such as public wi-fi. Thus, it is important that you have reliable internet service as well as a VPN server that you have chosen.

On this website, we hope that you will be able to find all the information you need to choose the best VPNIndeed, all VPNs are tested, reviewed, and compared. Just read and select the one that best matches your needs. You can find the 3 best VPNs below for most usages. Because they have robust servers, proven security, free software, and unmatched speed.

Now you know what is a VPN and what is it used for.. You can get started right away! Happy browsing, happy streaming and stay safe and secure!

For those that are still interested in learning the deep mechanics of virtual private networks, I would suggest browsing the wikipedia pages as well as some of the more reputable geek and tech websites such as howtogeek. Hopefully that will help you get VPN explained.

Sara M.

As an author of this website, I love to spend my free time writing about data security and encrypted connections. I don’t have the time to write daily. But I keep up to date with the latest tech. And I enjoy putting things to the test. My goal is to find the best technology for a secure and anonymous browsing experience. When I find something good, I write about it in an informative and entertaining way.

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