VPN connections are not a new thing, but it is the time when it started drawing attention among the common public. While it was traditionally used more in businesses, the vast versatility of these connections and their multiple uses make them frequently recommended.
Now what do you mean by VPN (Virtual Private Network) and what advantages does it have? Specifically, that versatility we were talking about is the reason behind doubts about it, as some of its applications involve the bypass of the Geographical restrictions, greater anonymity on the Web or even blocking advertising. In this piece, we will find out how does it work and what extraordinary can it do for us. The word used here is virtual because it is this feature that creates the need for the VPN, as well as the one that allows VPN connections to extend you the multiple uses.
How Does VPN work?????
You may have modem or router provided by your internet provider. It will have the connection to your computer via ethernet cable or your mobile/laptop through wifi. When you work locally on your computer/mobile etc. without the internet, it stays inside the house. But once you connected to the web, it travels through your ISP to your internet provider. It moves across the internet till it makes to the server. The server then replies with information that will bounce back through the web into your local ISP onto your PC/Android phone. Now, while all that data is running through the internet, where it is going? It needed to know. They need an address. It is the same just like postal service. It is the same with data on the internet. Your mobile/laptop interact with the router/modem that connects your home to your Internet provider, wire/wirelessly. Several devices may attach to the same router. Mobiles, computers, laptops, tablets. In this case, each will have an individual IP address, which is not visible on the Internet. This is a local network, a set of devices connected in such a way that they can share files and printers without having passed through the Internet.
A VPN connection that allows you to create a local network without the necessity for its members to be physically connected to each other, but over the web. It is the “virtual” ingredient. You get the advantages of the local network, with greater versatility, because the connection is online and can be from one end of the world to the other.
Nonetheless, There the unique characteristic of VPN that is making it so hot today: Data Tunnels. Commonly, while using the Internet, your device contacts your Internet provider, which is the one that connects to different web services to give you, for example, YouTube videos.
When you connect through VPN, this changes. All your data traffic moves from your device to your ISP, but from ISP, it travels straight to the VPN server, from where it goes to the address. This connection is encrypted, and your ISP can not detect what you are accessing.
Why we use VPN Connection:
Apparently, with the given explanations, you have already envisioned a few circumstances where VPN could be helpful. That’s not all:
1. Remote network:
The most apparent use of a VPN is the interconnection of networks that are not connected physically. e.g. workers who are out of the office with branches all over the country in different cities that require access to a single individual network to connect all. For security, allowing random access to a company’s network from the Internet is nothing short of absurd. Nonetheless, the password protects the access; a wicked observer could hack it. On the contrast, the risk reduces if the company use VPN connection to connect its workers.
2. P2P Downloads:
Another modern use of VPN is in P2P (P stands for peer) downloads, which means downloading from Torrent. VPN connections also have employed in P2P even if you download the legitimate torrent file. Unfortunately, it is frequently common for ISPs to spy behind our backs that how we send/receive the zeros and ones on the internet. Some ISPs completely block P2P downloads, while others just blacklist it to make it fail. VPN is the solution. Just like you avoid censorship in your country, you can hide your P2P activity from your service provider.
3. Bypass censorship and geographical blocking of online content:
With the advancement of Internet and both content providers and users, many other evil uses of VPN are popular now. Many of them related to a straightforward notion: Hide your real location. When you connect to VPN, your device interacts with the VPN server, that further connect to your ISP on your behalf. Consider you are in India and the VPN server is in the USA. The web servers will believe that you are browsing from the USA, granting you access to the contents available only in the US like Netflix. Furthermore, the same logic can be used to access blocked content in your country. Now you know millions of Chinese people still using Facebook and other blocked sites in their country.
4. VPN for Extra Security Cover:
Though it is not necessary, There is nothing to worry about the recommendation that if you need to connect to a free public Wi-Fi access point, connect using VPN. VPN connections come with encryption of the packets for extra security. If you want to login to your bank account using public wifi, it is better to use VPN. It is comparatively easy for a hacker to hack unencrypted connection and get your user accounts/passwords. You can get the extra layer of protection using a VPN connection.
However, there is a small hand in this, because while you are suspicious of the public Wi-Fi network, you are placing all your trust in the VPN server, which can equally keep records of what you do or may record all your activities online. A VPN is as safe and useful as your provider. But if you trust your ISP and feels like no use of VPN at all, do not use it. simple :)))
Advantages of VPN:
Now as you have a good idea about VPN connection and what it does, it’s time to review a list of the pros and disadvantages of using it.
It runs in all applications, as it routes all web traffic, unlike proxy servers, which can be utilized only in web browsers, and allow few set of applications.
It connects/disconnects quickly. Once connected, you can activate/deactivate the connection at your ease.
Extra security in WiFi access points, as long as the connection is encrypted.
Hide your location, as we know now, a VPN connection is an effective way to avoid restriction or access content limited to a particular range.
It helps to hide your activity on the internet from ISP. You do not wish your ISP to find out that you spend hours watching porn or watching videos of making bombs ;)))? Using it, they will not know what you are doing. But yeah, it could be tracked through the company of VPN.
Things to keep in mind:
So far all very nice: security, enhanced privacy, geographical blocks bypass, p2p access. But let’s take a look about some downsides too:
The price. Although there are many free services, you know well not expect much from them, as they will be very slow or not very powerful.
The speed suffers. If your server is far away, you will encounter slow connection speed when surfing the internet. In addition to latency, it is reasonable for the maximum download, and upload speed will be limited.
Your security is not perfect. Just because the connection symbol has a padlock does not mean that the connection is safe, particularly if we are talking about links based on the PPTP protocol.
They may not hide your location always . Especially in mobile, there are much more techniques by which you can approximate your position beyond your IP address.
They do not give you ultimate anonymity. Using it does not mean that navigation is completely unidentified.