Understanding VPN (Virtual Private Networking)

We’ve been mentioning about why you should use a VPN service and why you should avoid free VPNs but haven’t really mentioned what is it all about. So we’ve created this article to help you understand what VPN really is. By understanding what it is and how it works, it will help you make a sound decision as to whether or not VPN is applicable for you.

VPN or Virtual Private Network is a connection method that adds a layer of security and privacy to computer networks, whether private or public, like Wi-Fi hotspots.

VPNs are most commonly used in corporate environments to secure data connections between local and remote computers, especially those who have remote offices. Employees who work remotely often use VPNs to access company data in the comfort of their homes.

The use of VPNs is becoming increasingly popular together with the rise of cloud services. Access to the Internet is now a way of life. The used-to-be dial-ups are now connected thru fibre at amazing speeds.

Anonymity and bypassing restricted contents

In other applications, Internet users may secure their connections with a VPN, to circumvent geo-restrictions and censorship, or to connect to proxy servers to protect personal identity and location to stay anonymous on the Internet.

How it works

VPN’s network connection is established using an encrypted layered tunneling protocol. Then, VPN users use authentication methods, including passwords or certificates, to gain access to ensure security.

About security against malware & viruses

You need to understand that VPN only encrypts your Internet connection from snooping and secures your connection from end-to-end. It does not protect, nor prevent you from getting infected with malware and viruses.

You’ll need an Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware software for that.

Using VPN

Before you finally start using a VPN service, you may want to check with your local laws first. Some countries are sketchy about this and have applicable laws prohibiting its use.

The video below from Karspersky illustrates how VPNs work. Take some time to watch it (only 2 minutes):

Are you ready to subscribe to a VPN service? We’ve recommended top VPNs to use in this article.

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