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What is VPN and How It Works?

VPN is a mechanism of employing encryption, authentication, and integrity protection so that we can use a public network as if it is a private network. It offers a high amount of security and allows users to remotely access private networks. In this article, we will cover every point about virtual private networks.

What is a VPN?

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

History of VPNs

ARPANET introduced the idea of connecting distant computers in the 1960s. The foundation for current internet connectivity was established by ensuring the development of protocols like TCP/IP in the 1980s. Particular VPN technologies first appeared in the 1990s in response to the growing concerns about online privacy and security.

How Does a VPN Work?

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

The situation is described below

VPN is well Exploited all Across the Globe

We will explain to you with an example. Suppose we are using smartphones regularly. Spotify Swedish music app that is not active in India But we are making full use of it sitting in India. So how ?? VPN can be used to camouflage our geolocation.

Now we typed “What is my IP address”? Amazingly the IP address changed to which belongs to the USA And since Spotify works well in the US, we can use it now being in India (virtually in the USA). Is not that good? obviously, it is very useful. 

Types of VPN

There are several types of VPN and these are vary from specific requirement in computer network. Some of the VPN are as follows:

  1. Remote Access VPN
  2. Site to Site VPN
  3. Cloud VPN
  4. Mobile VPN
  5. SSL VPN

For more details you can refer Types of VPN published article.

VPN Protocols

Why Should Use VPN?

Are VPNs legal or illegal?

Using a VPN  is legal in most 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 do not intend to use it for any illegal activities like committing fraud online, cyber theft, or in some countries downloading copyrighted content. China has decided to block all VPNs (Virtual private network) by next year, as per the 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 to tighten the information security.

What to Look for When Choosing a VPN?

Benefits of VPN

Limitations of VPN

Frequently Asked Question on VPN – FAQs

Can a VPN Be Traced?

While VPNs enhance privacy, it’s not entirely foolproof. In some cases, determined adversaries, such as government agencies, may employ advanced techniques to trace VPN usage. However, for typical online privacy needs, a VPN provides a high level of protection.

Do VPNs Slow Down Internet Speed?

VPNs can introduce some degree of latency due to the encryption and routing processes. The extent of the speed reduction depends on various factors, including the VPN provider’s infrastructure, server location, and your internet connection. In many cases, the impact on speed is minimal, and modern VPN services strive to provide fast connections.

Are There Free VPNs?

Yes, there are free VPN services available. However, they often come with limitations such as data caps, slower speeds, and less robust security features. Paid VPN services generally offer more reliable performance and better security.

Where are VPNs illegal?

Despite being heavily used in major parts of the worlds, VPNs are strictly prohibited in few countries that includes:

  • Russia
  • China
  • Belarus
  • North Korea
  • Iraq, etc.

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