Virtual Private Network

Virtual Private Network

VPN or Virtual Private Network – What is a VPN and what does it do?

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet. VPNs can be used to access region-restricted websites, shield your browsing activity from prying eyes on public Wi-Fi, and more.

Virtual Private Network
Virtual Private Network

These days VPNs are really popular, but not for the reasons they were originally created. They originally were just a way to connect business networks together securely over the internet or allow you to access a business network from home.

VPNs essentially forward all your network traffic to the network, which is where the benefits — like accessing local network resources remotely and bypassing Internet censorship — all come from. Most operating systems have integrated VPN support.

Virtual Private Network


What does VPN stand for?

It stands for a Virtual Private Network, which extends your private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. 

Our three favourite VPN Providers

What Is a VPN and How Does It Help Me?

In very simple terms, a VPN connects your PC, smartphone, or tablet to another computer somewhere on the internet, and allows you to browse the internet using that computer’s internet connection. So if that server is in a different country, it will appear as if you are coming from that country, and you can potentially access things that you couldn’t normally.

Virtual Private Network

So how does this help you? Good question! You can use a VPN to:

  • Bypass geographic restrictions on websites or streaming audio and video.
  • Watch streaming media like Netflix and Hulu.
  • Protect yourself from snooping on untrustworthy Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • Gain at least some anonymity online by hiding your true location.
  • Protect yourself from being logged while torrenting.
  • Many people these days are using a VPN for torrenting or bypassing geographic restrictions to watch content in a different country. They are still very useful for protecting yourself while working at a coffee shop, but that’s hardly the only use anymore.

Virtual Private Network

How Do You Get a VPN, and Which One Should You Choose?

Depending on your needs, you can either use a VPN from your workplace, create a VPN server yourself, or sometimes host one out of your house, but realistically the vast majority of people are just looking for something to protect them while torrenting or helping them watch some media online that they can’t seem to access from their country.

The easiest thing to do is simply head to one of these sites, sign up, and download the VPN client for your Windows PC, Mac, Android, iPhone, or iPad. It’s as easy as that, download the app and then install it on your device and you are all set.

Not quite as easy to use as the others, but you can definitely use them for torrenting and streaming media.

Virtual Private Network

How does a VPN work?

A VPN hides your IP address by letting the network redirect it through a specially configured remote server run by a VPN host. This means that if you surf online with a VPN, the VPN server becomes the source of your data. This means 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 works like a filter that turns all your data into “gibberish“. Even if someone were to get their hands on your data, it would be useless.

Virtual Private Network

What are the benefits of a VPN connection?

A VPN connection disguises your data traffic online and protects it from external access. Unencrypted data can be viewed by anyone who has network access and wants to see it. With a VPN, hackers and cybercriminals can’t decipher this data.

Types of Virtual Private Network (VPN) Protocols:

  • Internet Protocol Security (IPSec)
  • Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)
  • Point–to–Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)
  • SSL and TLS
  • OpenVPN
  • Secure Shell (SSH)

Do VPNs Protect Against Malware?

Several VPNs say that they include some protection against malicious files. The idea is that the VPN company scans files passing through its systems before they can reach your machine. 

I don’t typically test the malware detecting abilities of VPNs, since I view VPNs primarily as a privacy product. To address the threat of malware, I believe that standalone antimalware software, whether it’s one you buy or the one that ships with your computer, does a better job. Also, as a privacy product, I believe VPNs should be paying as little attention to your web traffic as possible.

Can You Trust a VPN?

The biggest problem with VPNs isn’t an issue of technology, but one of trust. Because all your traffic is passing through its systems, a VPN company is in the same position as an ISP. It could, if it wished, see everything you do online and sell that data. It could inject ads into the websites you view. It could keep unnecessary amounts of data that it could then be compelled to hand over to law enforcement. 

Virtual Private Network