If you are wondering about what is VPN and the way it works, welcome to BeingOptimist. Today we will talk about VPN, the abbreviated form of Virtual Private Networking.
If you aren’t sure what that is, VPN is the service responsible for creating a secure and encrypted connection between a device and a network. It makes sure your network is protected from people who are willing to eavesdrop on your traffic.
Let’s learn more about VPNs now.
What Is VPN & How does a VPN work?
Before understanding how it does what it does, VPN has a few key components which are important for you to understand. The significant key components are a VPN Client, VPN Server, Encryption Protocols, Authentication and a Secure Tunnel.
We would like to break down the connection procedure in a simplified manner.
- Open the VPN: You turn on the VPN app on your device (like a computer or phone).
- Encrypt Data: The VPN makes your internet data secret so others can’t read it.
- Send to VPN Server: Your hidden data is sent safely to a VPN server.
- Change IP Address: The VPN server gives your data a different IP address, hiding your real one.
- Browse the Internet: With the new IP address, you use the Internet privately through the VPN server.
- Receive Data: When data comes back to you, it goes through the VPN and stays private and secure.
That’s it. That is how a VPN works.
The Common Types of VPNs You Need To Know
Now, there are tons of options to choose your VPN from. Each VPN serves different needs and scenarios. Here are the most common ones you should know about:
Remote Access VPN
This is absolutely ideal for individual users or telecommuters. This is used when you need to access a corporate network securely from a location which is remote. The way it works is simple. The user connects to a VPN server and then in return, you get provided with a secure access to the organisation’s network.
Used mostly in large companies that have several offices scattered across many geographic locations, this VPN allows them to connect their network resources over the Internet. We will tell you about the two types of Site-to-Site VPNs that are commonly used. One is Intranet-based and the other is Extranet-based. The former connects the Local Area Networks in different locations to each other while the latter allows different organizations to securely connect their LANs, useful for business partnerships.
This is quite similar to Remote access VPNs, but a Client-to-Site VPN is often used for connecting a client to a company’s internal network. Once connected, the user can access the network’s resources as if they were physically present and working at the company’s office.
Designed for users who need a reliable connection and a consistent internet connection, this VPN works as the user moves between networks like moving g from Wi-Fi to cellular data. This VPN maintains a stable and secure connection and helps in similar transitioning between networks.
Used in a corporate environment a hardware VPN provides secure network connections to the users by creating an encrypted tunnel for data to travel securely over the internet. This device handles every aspect of the VPN connection including authentication, traffic management, and encryption. Since this is embedded in a heart war this VPN offers enhanced security for features and is less susceptible to vulnerability compared to the ones that are software based. Hardware VPNs are mostly used when there is a chance of handling a higher volume of connections making this VPN one of the basic requirements for larger organizations with substantial security needs.
The abbreviated form of Internal Protocol Security, IPsec VPN used for securing internet communication across an IP network. It encrypts and authenticates each IP packet in a data stream. This VPN operates in two particular modes-transport mode and tunnel mode.
Transport mode keeps the message in a data packet while tunnel mode encrypts the entire data packet. This dual approach provides a security of a higher level making this VPN the ideal one for creating secure connections between different networks like Side-to-Side VPNs. This includes protocols that establish mutual authentication between agents at the beginning of a session.
The VPN Benefits You Can Avail of
Now that you have already learned about the most common types of VPN that are being used, let’s talk about the benefits that you get from that:
The primary benefit and function of the VPN is to provide you with increased security. Besides encrypting your internet connection, VPN protects data from being hacked, especially on unsecured public Wi-Fi networks.
VPN masks your IP address making sure that your online actions are virtually untraceable. This is very important for protecting your privacy especially when you are using the internet in public areas. You get to be anonymous while browsing.
Access in Censored Areas
With VPN you can bypass geographical restrictions on certain websites and streaming devices which allows you access to content that might be restricted in your particular region. This is how VPN helps you to access restricted content while being secure. You can also get provided with access to free internet without restrictions in countries where internet access is censored.
Protection from Cyber Attacks
By securing your internet connection the job of a VPN is complete by reducing the risk of cyber attacks like malware, ransomware and phishing. You get to have protection of your internet connection and at the same time receive privacy.
VPN is an affordable way to bolster your online security without expenses for hardware or software solutions. You can remotely share your data and connect with a network without restrictions and at the same time, you get to be anonymous while browsing.
What should I look for when choosing a VPN?
While choosing a VPN unit consider the factors that ensure that it meets your needs. You should look at the security features in the first place. Look for strong encryptions, secure protocols, and features like a kill switch which cuts your internet connection if the VPN drops to prevent data leaks. The next thing is choosing a strict no-logs policy. This would ensure that your online activities aren’t recorded or stored anywhere in the network. Using a friendly interface is quite important, especially if you are not easy on technology. Choose a VPN that supports all the devices and platforms that you use. Some VPNs exclude the service of Apple devices. Lastly, make sure that reliable customer service is present.
And that is how to exactly look for a VPN that would fulfill your needs.
The Best VPNs of 2024
While choosing a VPN you need to look out for a fact that is mentioned in the previous section. Now that you already know what to look for, it’s time that you judge for yourself which one suits you. There are thousands of VPNs already existing on the internet and thousands more on their way. But these VPNs mentioned below are tried and tested and then talked about:
ExpressVPN is one of the highly regarded ones when it comes to Chrome Extensions. This provides fast speeds and strong privacy features, protecting you from random cyber attacks. It has a 30 money-back guarantee and thus, emerges as a risk-free option for short-term usage. In a country like Saudi Arabia with strict internet controls, this might be your guilty pleasure. Besides being the best VPN for Saudi Arabia, it is also the best VPN for Nigeria.
iTOP VPN is designed to hide the IP address, encrypt the internet traffic, and allow content that is banned in a certain geographical location. This is one of the best VPNs for iPhones and can be installed from the Apple store. Make sure to read the policy and regulations before you use this VPN, which can be restricted in China.
Do you have Windows? Windscribe will be the right option to choose. This VPN offers a generous free plan with high-quality security features and 10 GB of data per month. This is what makes it the best free VPN for Windows.
If you are looking for the best VPN for Ethiopia free, ProtonVPN is what you should go for. Offering a free tier with unlimited data, strong encryption, and a no-logs policy, this VPN would be the best for bypassing your local restrictions seemingly and maintaining your privacy.
One of the best VPN for Portugal, NordVPN is recommended to offices due to its extensive server network. It has a very strong encryption and comes along with fast speeds which makes it ideal for streaming and secure browsing in Portugal.
If you are located in South America, Surfshark. Tagged as the best VPN for South America, this offers an impressive balance of speed, security, and a wide range of server locations, including several in South American countries.
Cyber Ghost VPN
CyberGhost VPN is the best VPN for UK and it’s a top choice, with a large server network, strong privacy policies, and reliable speeds. It is absolutely suitable for streaming UK content and ensuring privacy.
Final Thoughts on VPN Encryption Protocols
The fact that VPN encryption protocol plays a pivotal role in shaping the security issues of a VPN service, describes that it is important that a user has a VPN with the best encryption protocols. With the growing number of security threats each user is facing nowadays, it’s important that you choose a VPN that suits you, rather than purchasing one that’s cheap enough won’t do that job.
So, before choosing a VPN for your device, be cautious about what security negligence comes with. Don’t forget to let us know about what VPN you chose!