How does a VPN connection work?
A VPN connection hides your IP address by letting the network traffic redirect through a specially configured remote server (VPN server) run by a VPN service provider. This means that when you browse or use online services with a VPN connection, the VPN server becomes the source of your data. Also, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and other third parties cannot see which websites you visit or what data you send and receive online. A VPN connection works like a filter that turns all your transmitted data into “gibberish” for any other third parties. Even if someone were to get their hands on your data, it would be useless.
Benefits of a VPN connection
A VPN connection disguises your data traffic online and protects it from external access by using encryption. Unencrypted data can be viewed by anyone who has network access and wants to see it. With a VPN, hackers and cyber criminals can’t decipher this data.
Encryption uses algorithms to scramble your information. This information is then transmitted to the receiving party, who is able to decode the message with an encryption key. Without one, it would take millions of years for anyone else to decipher the code in the event of an unwanted actor that takes hold of those messages. With the help of a VPN, your online activities are encrypted, meaning they are hidden even on public networks.
Learn more about Encryption here.
Keeping your location private
VPN servers essentially act as traffic-encrypted proxies on the internet. For your online destination, your actual/real location cannot be determined, because the geographic location data originates from the VPN server, located (usually) in another country. In addition, most VPN services do not store logs of your activities. Some providers, on the other hand, record or are required to record these activities. Because of this, you should carefully consider this aspect when choosing a VPN service provider.
Learn more about Internet Surveillance here.
Access to region-locked content
Services and websites often contain content that can only be accessed from certain parts of the world. Standard internet service provider connections use their own local servers in the country where they operate, which exposes the region/location of their users. This means that you cannot access some content at home or even while traveling. Sometimes, even things you can normally access from home might be unavailable from abroad for this reason. By redirecting your traffic through the VPN server location, you can effectively switch your access origin location to another country.
Learn more about Internet Censorship here.
If you work remotely, you may need to access important files on your company’s network. For security reasons, this kind of network traffic requires a secure connection. To gain access to the network, a VPN connection is often required. VPN services connect to private servers and use encryption methods to mitigate the risk of data leakage.
Learn more about security in communications here.
The speed of the connection varies and depends on the location of the VPN server. Because of this, it is always recommended to run a speed test after connecting to a VPN server, to determine the quality of the connection.
A few countries have local laws and regulations that prohibit the use of VPN services. In this case, please respect your local law regulations and don’t engage in illegal activities such as using a VPN connection.
Some online services have started efforts to identify server IP addresses of VPN service providers and denying them access to their content outright. This is an important reason for you to check out reviews and inform yourself before subscribing to any VPN service.
Learn more about Speed Testing here.
While VPN connection is a great tool for privacy and freedom, some people use them with malicious intent to cover illegal online activities.
Instead of that, you should always keep your actions within legal boundaries. You will contribute to a safer internet (and for that matter, society at large), if not for the other many billions of people using it, then at least for yourself.