VPN stands for Virtual Private Network.
It basically encrypts the connection and makes the user’s IP address hidden by using various tunneling protocols. It is used to bypass geo-blocks and for security purposes. It is secure and private means for file sharing, communication and remotely accessing data without any risk of a hack.
VPN tunneling ensures encryption at the user’s end and decryption at the receiver’s end, for this to happen the device should be connected to a VPN client software application.VPN acts as an intermediator between user and connection to the internet. It hides user IP address and makes a connection from VPN’s private network rather than the user’s ISP(Internet Service Provider).
History of VPN
In 1996 a Microsoft’s employee started working on Peer to Peer Tunnelling Protocol(PPTP) from where the idea of VPN originated. In 1999 the first VPN was published.
Characteristics of VPN
- It maintains confidentiality of user’s data.
- It maintains the integrity of the user’s data that is the data cannot be changed in between the transmission.
- It ensures non-repudation that is a sender cannot deny that he/she had not sended the data.
- Data authentication is also ensured by VPN, it verifies the source and destination’s authencity.
Working Principle of VPN
When you sign up with a VPN provider, you first log onto that service before you connect to the internet. Once you are connected, others can’t see your activity. Your VPN provider will encrypt your data, scrambling it so that hackers, government agencies, and businesses can’t see what websites you visit, messages you send, social media sites you use, or files you download.
Advantages of VPN
- A VPN is very helpful in hiding the user’s identity as it hides the IP address and make connection through VPN’s private network.
- It improves the security as VPN protects user’s data from hackers and surveillance.
- It allows remote access to the information which will increase the productivity of organisation as large data can be accessed remotely.
- The cost of VPN service packages are less in comparison the kind of features they provide.
Disadvantages of VPN
- The time taken to fetch the data sometimes increases when fetched through VPN, so there might be a performance issue with respect to time.
- VPN allows you to hide your identity but sometimes your VPN provider company itself steals your data, which can cause security issues.
- Whenever VPN disconnection occurs there is a possibility of IP address get revealed to the network from which connection was made.
- It is always not possible to bypass restrictions applied by a website by using a VPN.
Types of VPN
There are mainly two types of VPN. They are –
- Client-based VPN : A client-based VPN is a virtual private network created between a single user and a remote network. There’s often an application involved to make the VPN connection.
- Network-based VPN : Network-based VPNs are virtual private networks that securely connect two networks together across an untrusted network.
A VPN can hide a lot of information that can put your privacy at risk. Here are five of them.
- Your browsing history
- Your location for streaming
- Your IP address and location
- Your devices
- Your web activity — to maintain internet freedom