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Virtual Private Network (VPN) | An Introduction

  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 05 Oct, 2017

VPN stands for virtual private network. A virtual private network (VPN) is a technology that creates a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network, such as the internet. Virtual Private network is a way to extend a private network using a public network such as internet. The name only suggests that it is Virtual “private network” i.e. user can be the part of local network sitting at a remote location. It makes use of tunneling protocols to establish a secure connection.

Lets understand VPN by an example:

Think of a situation where corporate office of a bank is situated in Washington,USA.This office has a local network consisting of say 100 computers. Suppose another branches of bank are in Mumbai, India and Tokyo, Japan. The traditional method of establishing a secure connection between head office and branch was to have a leased line between the branches and head office which was very costly as well as troublesome job. VPN let us overcome this issue in an effective manner.

The situation is described below:

  • All 100 hundred computers of corporate office at Washington are connected to the VPN server(which is a well configured server containing a public IP address and a switch to connect all computers present in the local network i.e. in US head office).
  • The person sitting in the Mumbai office connects to The VPN server using dial up window and VPN server return an IP address which belongs to the series of IP addresses belonging to local network of corporate office.
  • Thus person from Mumbai branch becomes local to the head office and information can be shared securely over the public internet.
  • So this is the intuitive way of extending local network even across the geographical borders of the country.

Client Inheriting IP address of another country

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VPN is well exploited all across the globe

I will explain you with an example that i use regularly in my smartphone. Spotify-a swedish music app which is not active in India But I am making full use of it sitting in india . so how ?? VPN can be  used to camouflage our geo location. Let me explain you step by step.

  • My Ip address is which belongs to india. That’s why my device is not able to access spotify music app.
  • But the magic begins when i used Psiphon app which is an android app and is used to change the my device ip address to the ip address of the location i want(say US where spotify works in a seamless manner).
  • The IP address is changed using VPN technology. Basically what happens is that your device will connect to a VPN server of respective country that you have entered in your location textbox of psiphon app and now you will inherit a new IP from this server.

image source

Now i typed “what is my ip address”? Amazingly my ip address changed to which belongs to USA And since spotify works well in US, so i can use it now being in India (virtually in USA). Is not that good? obviously, it is very useful.

IP address chaned to an IP address belonging to USA

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This is not only a single reason I should choose to use VPN. It also provide some amazing features which are listed below:-

  1. VPN also ensures security by providing an encrypted tunnel between client and vpn server.
  2. VPN is used to bypass many blocked sites.
  3. VPN facilitates Anonymous browsing by hiding your ip address.
  4. Also most appropriate Search engine optimization(SEO) is done by analyzing the data from VPN providers which provide country wise stats of browsing a particular product . This method of SEO is used widely my many internet marketing managers to form new strategies.

VPN and its legality 

Using VPN  is legal in most of the countries,. The legality of using a VPN service depends on the country and its geopolitical relations with another country as well. A reliable and secure VPN is always legal if you are not intended to use for any illegal activities like to commit a fraud online, cyber theft, or in some countries to download copyrighted content.

China has decided to block all VPN(Virtual private network)s by next year, as per report of Bloomberg. Many Chinese Internet users use VPNs to privately access websites that are blocked under China’s so called “great firewall”. This is done to avoid any information leakage to rival countries and so as to tighten the information security.

image source

This article is contributed by Shivam Shukla. If you like GeeksforGeeks and would like to contribute, you can also write an article using or mail your article to See your article appearing on the GeeksforGeeks main page and help other Geeks.

Please write comments if you find anything incorrect, or you want to share more information about the topic discussed above.

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