VPN Beginner's Guide: What is A VPN And How Does It Work

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VPN  Beginner's Guide: What is A VPN And How Does It Work

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is an easy and efficient solution which offers you three essential things when using the internet: more security, privacy, and freedom. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of a VPN, it can seem quite daunting. No worries! This page will explain to you how a VPN works and why people use it. VPN is an important part of the CCIE RS lab certification exam, and you can know some basic knowledge of the exam.

Getting started with VPN is very easy and takes only 5 minutes. Just follow these 3 steps:

1. Subscribe to a trustworthy VPN provider. For beginners, we highly recommend ExpressVPN, NordVPN or CyberGhost. We tested these providers extensively and found them to be very affordable, easy to understand and fast. These VPN providers also allow you to secure multiple devices with a single subscription and offer a minimum of 30 days money-back guarantee. This way you can try them for at least a full month without any risk. Furthermore, using the links and buttons on our website will get you an interesting discount with these providers. You can check out their extensive reviews on our review page.

2. Download the VPN app of your preferred VPN provider on your smartphone, tablet or computer.

3. Activate the VPN app and start browsing the internet in god mode. When the VPN app is enabled (usually by the press of a single button), the VPN connection will be established. Generally, you won’t even notice it’s running, since it just runs in the background. But when it’s enabled, you will be browsing the web far more securely, privately and freely.

That’s all there is to it! Exactly how a VPN offers you more security, privacy, and freedom, we will explain below.

How a VPN offers online security

A VPN can provide security because it heavily encrypts all your internet traffic. This prevents others, such as governments and hackers, from intercepting your data. Even with the fastest supercomputer on earth, it would literally take tens of thousands of years to crack the heavy 256-bit encryption VPN providers offer these days. This is the reason it is highly recommended to use a VPN when using dangerous public wifi networks. But also at work or at home this extra layer of security can be very important.

How a VPN offers online anonymity and privacy

With a VPN you can browse the internet anonymously because your personal IP address will be hidden for everyone else as soon as you connect with a VPN server. Typically, someone else can associate your online operations with your identity and location based on your IP address. For instance, your internet service provider, the websites you visit and many governments can generally see everything you do online. However, when you use a VPN, your online actions can only be traced to the VPN server, but no longer to you. Most VPN providers do not disclose or even monitor what you go through their servers. You’ve thus become anonymous on the internet since you can’t be identified or traced through your IP address.

How a VPN offers online freedom

A VPN can offer you more freedom online. It allows you to connect to servers all over the world. When you connect to a VPN server in a country, you will be able to access the Internet as if it were a country. This may be useful because the Internet is not freely accessible in all countries. Some countries review some of the Internet or impose restrictions on social media sites or online streaming services. If you are on holiday or have migrated you will sometimes be unable to view streaming services of your home country. Through VPN, you can connect to the Internet through your home server. This makes it possible for you to watch your favorite show or access your favorite website. It also works the other way around. If you want to gain access to websites or streaming services from a different country, you can do so via a VPN connection.

How Does a VPN Work Technically?

When you find a reliable VPN provider, you can download and install their software. Then you select your preferred security settings and set up a safe connection with your desired VPN server. When the connection has been established the following will happen to your data traffic:

1. The VPN software on your computer encrypts your data and sends it to the VPN server through a secure connection.

2. The encrypted data from your computer is decrypted by the VPN server.

3. The VPN server will go on the internet with the decrypted data and will receive all traffic sent back, that is meant for the user.

Then, after the VPN server encrypts it, the traffic is sent back to you (user)

4. The VPN connection will encrypt your data traffic, making it virtually impossible for hackers or governments to intercept it. The secure connection also provides the user with anonymity because your internet traffic is rerouted through an external VPN server. 

Because you are surfing the web via the IP address of the VPN server your own IP address will stay hidden. Normally your location and even your identity could be revealed through your IP address because it is unique to your internet connection. By using a different IP address on the VPN server none of your actions online are traceable to you and you can now cruise the web anonymously.

The VPN application will run in the background of your computer, tablet, or smartphone. You can access the internet as you normally do and you won’t notice anything different.

How to Set up Your own VPN in a Few Simple Steps

Setting up your own VPN connection is simple. The VPN providers will do most of the work for you. First, you will need to find a VPN provider that you like (on our site you can find reviews of the different providers and recommendations on what to look for). When you find one that fits your needs, you subscribe to their service and download and install the software they provide. It will only take a couple of minutes before you can go online via the VPN servers. Now you can connect to the internet in a safe and anonymous manner, free from any restrictions or censorship that your geographical location might impose!

Most VPN providers offer software for all types of devices and operating systems (Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android)

Why Would you Use a VPN?

There are many reasons why people use a VPN, some of the most common are as follows:

1.Anonymity on the internet: A VPN connection hides your IP address and location. With a VPN connection, you use an IP address that belongs to the VPN server. This way your own IP address stays hidden. Websites and other parties won’t be able to trace your online actions back to your location and identity. All they will see, when you are using a VPN, is a strange IP address that has nothing to do with you. With a VPN, you can browse the Internet anonymously.

Protection against hackers and governments: People are becoming more and more aware of their vulnerability on the internet. Without a secure VPN connection, it is easy for others to intercept the data that you, sometimes unknowingly, spread when you are online. Without knowing it, others could tap your devices and use your personal information. You can prevent this with a VPN because it encrypts all your internet traffic.

Secure internet access on public networks: Using a public network can be very risky. Other users on the same network can easily tap into your data and personal information. Because you don’t undefined want others to access your email login or credit card information, it may be wise to use a VPN connection. The VPN encrypts all of your internet traffic. A hacker will only see encrypted matter and won’t be able to see or use your personal information.

Bypassing censorship and geographical restrictions: 

For a normal internet user, there can be many restrictions as to what you can and cannot access online. For instance, you cannot watch all the content available on BBC iPlayer if you are not accessing the internet via a British IP address. Also, some services like Netflix offer different content in different geographical zones. Some governments (e.g. China and Turkey) block access to certain internet services, such as WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook, or Twitter. By changing your geographical location with a VPN, you can bypass these different restrictions.

Downloading and uploading anonymously: 

Downloading is illegal in most countries and more than ever before downloaders are tracked down and sometimes even prosecuted. To make sure nobody knows what you are downloading or uploading you can use a VPN connection. Because of the encrypted traffic and the rerouted IP address you can download anonymously with a VPN.

Prevent companies from building a file on you: Advertising networks such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter are constantly collecting information about you through your online traffic. With this information, they can show you tailored adds but more importantly they are free to sell this information to a third party. By encrypting your data using a VPN these networks won’t be able to collect information on you and they will have less influence on what you see online.

Access to your company’s network: More and more companies are giving people the possibility of working from home. Some people use a VPN connection to access the company network at home. This enables people to efficiently work from home.




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