What is a VPN and how does VPN work

In this article, we will be answering the question of what is a VPN? And we will also explain how does a VPN work.

What is a VPN

what is vpn, how does vpn work

For starters, the acronym VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, which is a technique of connecting to the internet privately. VPN achieves this by masking your true IP address and sending your internet traffic and data over a private and securely encrypted tunnel.

The main purpose of VPN is to give you privacy and security online. Originally VPNs were used only by large companies or governments when they wanted to secure their data.

These days VPNs are used by millions of people all over the world. Many people started working remotely and this required them to be on a secure connection. By having a secure connection by using a VPN they were then able to avoid data breaches and prevent hacking.

VPNs have grown in popularity because it gives the average person privacy while using the internet for a relatively low price, whilst keeping their data anonymous and encrypted.

How does typical internet connection work

When you are browsing the internet and you visit a website, e.g. Amazon, you type in their domain name (amazon.com) into your browser.

That domain name is basically a nickname for an IP address. An IP address can be thought of as your home address, but instead of using street and city, it uses a string of numbers.

Domain names are easier to remember than a string of random numbers. This is why it’s amazon.com that you are entering, instead of every time you want to make a purchase from their website.

The typical internet connection dilemma

Simplified Internet Connection Diagram
Simplified Internet Connection Diagram

Our devices are all connected to an IP address. When you use your mobile phone, tablet, or computer to access a website, your device sends data into the internet, until it reaches the server of the website you are trying to access. That server then translates that data and sends you back the information that you requested.

However, when you send your request, you’re also sending that server other data and information like your IP address.

This is how many hackers intercept data such as banking details, emails, and more. This is especially common when you’re using a public WIFI, that hackers have access to as well.

How does a connection via VPN work

simplified diagram of internet connection via VPN
Simplified Diagram Of Internet Connection Via VPN

A VPN encrypts the data you transmit over the internet, routes it through its own servers, and sends it to its intended destination. These are some of the most important features that VPN offers:

  • VPN encrypts your data, this way even if someone ever got access to your data, they wouldn’t be able to read it, which makes it very safe from being hacked
  • Most VPN providers these days use 256-bit encryption, which Techopedia explains as:

256-bit encryption is refers to the length of the encryption key used to encrypt a data stream or file. A hacker or cracker will require 2256 different combinations to break a 256-bit encrypted message, which is virtually impossible to be broken by even the fastest computers.

  • No logs policy, which prevents governments from accessing your browsing history
  • Extra servers for additional security. One way to add security is by connecting to the internet from a server in a different location from yours

Overall VPNs are perfect for people who want to use the internet privately, securely, and via an encrypted connection from various locations.

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