What is VPN (Virtual Private Network)?
This article contains:
- What is VPN?
- The History of VPNs
- How does VPN work?
- Why use a VPN?
- What should a good Virtual Private Network do?
- How to choose a good VPN?
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What is VPN?
A virtual private network, or VPN makes your public web connection private making sure your web surfing stays secure and private. A VPN will hide your IP address, making it nearly impossible for anyone to trace your online actions.
Your online surfing behaviour, links you click and the files you view, is hidden by a VPN so that hackers, organisations, governmental bodies, or other spies don’t see it.
The History of VPNs
A movement to safeguard and protect browsing data has existed since people started accessing the internet. In the 1960s, the US Defence Department began to participate in programs focusing on encrypting online communication data. Their work resulted in the development of the packet switching network known as ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), which in turn produced the Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).
The first VPNs started rolling out in the early 2000s and were only used by companies. But after a wave of privacy breaches, particularly during the early 2010s, the consumer VPN market began to grow.
The major surge in VPN users was seen during 2016-2018 when the number of users was nearly fourfold. One in five web users used a VPN in nations like Thailand, Indonesia, and China where access to the internet is restricted. The percentage of Virtual Private Network (VPN) Users was lower in the USA, UK, and Germany, at roughly 5%.
How does VPN work?
A VPN routes your device’s internet connection through a VPN’s private server chosen by you rather than routing directly from your internet service provider (ISP) resulting in your data coming through a VPN instead of your device.
Your ISP provides your device an IP address, which is a string of numbers, and the VPN functions as a type of middleman as you access the internet, masking your IP address and safeguarding your identity. Additionally, until the data reaches its targeted location, your data will be unreadable if it is somehow intercepted.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) uses encryption to build a secure “tunnel” between your device and the internet and conceal your personal data.
Why use a VPN?
You are at risk of exposing your personal information if you browse the internet on an unprotected Wi-Fi network. For everyone concerned about their internet security and privacy, a VPN must be a necessity.
Public Wi-Fi networks: Found at airports, coffee shops, and other public places are extremely dangerous. One hacker connects to the same network and he can easily monitor all of your online activity. A VPN makes all of your online activity on a computer or phone invisible, similar to an invisibility cloak.
In order to prevent snoopers from discovering who is accessing the internet, downloading files, and leaving comments on Instagram, a VPN can also mask your IP address. How does that function? Whether you’re using a phone, laptop, tablet, or another device, a VPN encrypts the information you send and receive. Your data is transmitted to a VPN service provider’s servers through a secure tunnel. Your information is encrypted and forwarded to the website you’re trying to reach.
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What should a good Virtual Private Network do?
Your VPN should be utilized to complete multiple tasks and must be secured against hacking. You should look for the following characteristics in a good VPN solution:
- Encryption of your IP address: Hiding your IP address from your ISP and other 3rd parties is the primary function of your VPN. This gives us peace of mind while sending and receiving data online that only you and your VPN provider will be having access to it
- Encryption of protocols: A VPN should also prohibit users from leaving traces, such as cookies, search histories, and web histories. Because it prevents unauthorized parties from accessing private data, including personal information, financial information, and other website content, cookie encryption is extremely vital.
- Kill Switch: Your connection will break if your VPN is abruptly terminated. A strong VPN will be able to identify this brief downtime and put particular processes on hold, minimising the risk of data compromise.
- 2-factor authentication: A strong VPN verifies each user who attempts to log in by applying multiple authentication techniques. For instance, you might be asked for a password before a code is sent to your smartphone. As a result, it becomes difficult for unauthorized people to access your encrypted connection.
How to choose a good VPN?
A VPN is a fantastic tool for protecting your online privacy. Your internet connection uses it as a tunnel. With VPN enabled, nobody but your VPN provider has access to what you do. VPN providers play a crucial role in your online privacy because they have access to all of your browsing data.
How can you choose a trustworthy VPN among the many options available?
Here are a few things to consider while choosing your VPN service.
- Privacy and Logging
- Technical Features
- Client Features
- Payment Options
- Customer Support
You can visit the VPN Community page to get your doubts resolved!
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A VPN is responsible for secure connection of your device while accessing the Internet by sending your whole data traffic over encrypted virtual bridge. It also hides your IP address preventing online scammers from getting access to your location. Another big feature of VPN is that you can access all streaming services or say websites that might be blocked for your location.