What is a VPN? | Enterprise Networking Planet

A VPN, or virtual private network, is a private network that extends across a public network or the internet. When traffic is connected to a VPN, the resulting data flow is encrypted, so third parties can’t intercept it. This makes it an ideal solution for online privacy and security.

A VPN can also be used to bypass geo-restrictions and censorship measures. They provide an extra layer of privacy and security to internet connections and are an excellent tool to increase online security and privacy.

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How does a VPN work?

A VPN hides an IP address from outside observers. By routing your internet connection through an encrypted tunnel, you can pretend to be in another country. For example, if you’re in the U.S. but connect to a VPN server in Canada, websites will think you’re logging on from there. It also makes it much harder for ISPs (internet service providers) to monitor what you do online and you can get around geoblocks that restrict content based on location.

A VPN uses encryption to scramble all traffic until it reaches the VPN server, where that data is unscrambled and sent off to its destination. That means an ISP—or any other party—has no idea what’s going on inside the encrypted tunnel.

When used with HTTPS websites, like banks or other sensitive sites, this can help protect data like passwords or banking information as they go across public networks. VPNs are also useful when traveling abroad, allowing users to avoid connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots.

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​​What does a VPN do?

A VPN connection encrypts all internet traffic and routes it through the VPN provider’s servers. The upside to this service is that it provides privacy by keeping user activity out of prying eyes. VPN offers the following benefits:

Secure data transfer

A VPN ensures no one can track you. Data shared while connected to public Wi-Fi networks like cafes, airports, and hotels are not encrypted. Using a VPN service with robust encryption protocols, you can securely browse public Wi-Fi without worrying about anyone intercepting your personal information. With a VPN, all data sent to and from the device is protected by military-grade 256-bit AES-GCM cipher encryption.

Encrypts your data

Whether it’s email, instant messages, social media apps, banking apps or browsing history—all sensitive content will be protected against interception when running over a secure VPN connection. With a VPN, data is encrypted before it leaves the device. Once it reaches the server, it gets decrypted, which means anyone who intercepts the data will only see gibberish. In summary: Your data stays safe and private because you’re the only person with access to it.

Hides your IP address and location

When using a VPN for private browsing, you’re assigned an anonymous IP address instead of a real one. VPN allows you to maintain online privacy and security. As mentioned above, as long as you’re connecting to a VPN server in another country, everything you do online will appear to come from the country where the VPN server is located.

Protects your devices

VPN connections allow you to take control of their digital privacy and safety, whether at home or traveling. Connecting to a VPN server stops people from snooping on your activities between other devices (PCs and laptops) and public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Allows you to stream from anywhere

Some movie and TV streaming services put geographical restrictions on what programs you can watch based on your IP address. To avoid this problem, some users connect to a VPN server outside of their country. However, streaming services often try to block VPNs due to licensing agreements. To bypass these limitations subscribe to a provider that offers dedicated IP addresses.

Hides your web activities and avoids censorship

VPNs provide an extra layer of protection by keeping your web activities anonymous and helping you maintain internet freedom. VPNs help protect your data, identity, and location. If you’re using a VPN to protect your data, you don’t have to worry about your ISP tracking your activity. VPNs also enable citizens of repressive countries to evade government surveillance and geo-blocking.

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Why do you need a VPN?

A VPN helps you stay safe online by encrypting your data, browsing history, passwords, etc. All of this information is encrypted and sent to the server you choose. Your IP address will also be masked, so it cannot be traced back to you. VPN encrypts your internet connection, secures data transfer, protects your identity online, bypasses geo-restrictions, unblocks websites, and much more.

A VPN provides security and privacy and has many uses, such as staying anonymous while surfing the web or downloading torrents, hiding from firewalls, getting around content restrictions, protecting yourself from cybercrime, and more. If you want an unrestricted internet experience with complete safety, then a VPN service can give you that.

What is VPN encryption?

VPN encryption is a process of transforming readable data into an unreadable format. This is done using algorithms, which makes it impossible for anyone who does not have the key to decoding the information. When you connect to a VPN, your computer sends a request to the VPN server to establish a connection.

Once the connection is made, your traffic is routed through the secure tunnel between your computer and the VPN server. This ensures your data is protected from eavesdroppers and anyone else who might try to snoop on your traffic. This process helps to protect sensitive information, like financial details or personal data, from being accessed by unauthorized individuals.

What are VPN Protocols?

VPN protocols are rules governing how information is exchanged between two or more networks. The most common types of VPN protocols are OpenVPN, Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP), and Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2).

These protocols can create encrypted tunnels to connect remote computers as if they were on the same local network. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s essential to find one that suits your needs for security and usability:

  • PPTP has the lowest latency with the broadest compatibility, but it has some data encryption limitations.
  • L2TP/IPsec has better data encryption capabilities than PPTP but with higher latency.
  • SSTP provides the best data encryption available but may be limited by lack of support in some applications.
  • IKEv2 offers strong security while keeping the connection very stable, which makes it suitable for mobile devices.
  • OpenVPN was developed as an open-source alternative that functions well on both wireless and wired connections and supports multiple forms of authentication, including via a pre-shared key, certificate, or username/password combination method.
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