What is a VPN? How to Use it and Why It Can Be Useful?

You’ve probably noticed that nowadays people often mention a VPN when they’re talking about data privacy and online security in general. But what is really a VPN, and what effect does it have on our online activities?

Before we get any further, let’s take a step back and define the term “VPN”

What is a VPN?

VPN is the abbreviation for Virtual Private Network. Simply put, a VPN is a service that allows you access to the world wide web in a safe and private manner by routing your connection through a particular server, therefore protecting and hiding your online activities. It can be used for something as simple as opening up a region-restricted website, or as important as to protect your browsing activity on public WiFi.

Whatever the reason may be, a VPN is a synonym for security for Internet users, and as such it has gained popularity in recent years. Now that we know that a VPN can be utilized to stop the leaking of vulnerable information, naturally, our next question is – How does a VPN work?

How does a VPN work?

From a user standpoint, here’s how a VPN works. Once you start the VPN software, it begins encrypting data, way before your local coffee shop or even an ISP such as WISP sees it. Data is then sent to the VPN, and then to the worldwide web. The website you’re visiting will recognize your data as coming from the VPN server and its particular location, and not from your personal computer and your location.

 

How does it look when you’re connecting to the web without a VPN?

When there is no VPN connection, your data is practically out there in the open, and any interested party can take a look at what you are sending. Going online is no different than taking a flight. There’s a ticket agent, security personnel, flight attendants, etc, and they all require a chunk of data to get you routed between cities. A similar exchange of information occurs on the web.

Of course, you could say that it doesn’t matter if someone’s looking at your data if you’re just browsing for puppy photos, and we agree to some extent. However, if we’re talking about online banking, business emails, or anything else that’s considered sensitive — it’s a different story.

Now, here’s how the same connection looks with a VPN enabled:

When you use a VPN service, your encrypted data goes to your Internet Service Provider, and then to the VPN server, which practically acts as a third-party that connects to the web on your behalf.

Why You Need a VPN?

With everything said, it’s easy to conclude that a VPN is a simple tool, yet a very important one when discussing one’s online privacy. Originally VPNs were created to secure business networks and to allow consumers to connect to their home/business network while traveling, but today we see VPN being used in so many different ways. Here we listed just a few ways it helps with security concerns:

  • The destination site sees the VPN server as the traffic origin, not you.
  • No one can (easily) identify you or your computer as the source of the data, nor what you’re doing (what websites you’re visiting, what data you’re transferring, etc.).
  • Your data is encrypted, so even if someone does look at what you’re sending, they only see encrypted information and not raw data.

Where to Find VPN and Which One to Choose?

VPN is usually purchased as a subscription-based product, and you may find that there are different versions of it. Which one you’ll opt for depends on your specific needs. Of course, to get the best out of any web-based software, including VPN, you need to access to a reliable, high-speed internet connection. 

 

If you want to know more about the best VPN software for you and reliable internet solutions, feel free to contact us at 1877-955-9477 or via email wispsales@wisponline.ca.