What is VPN?

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, protect your searches on public Wi-Fi, and more. Originally used only as a way to securely connect business networks over the internet or allow you to access a business network from home in the past, VPNs are now very popular as they offer many advantages such as bypassing internet censorship. Most operating systems have integrated VPN support.

How can it help people?

In very simple terms, a VPN connects your computer, smartphone or tablet to another computer on the internet (called a server) and allows you to surf the web using that computer's internet connection. So, if that server is in a different country, it will appear as if you're from that country, potentially giving you access to things you wouldn't normally be able to access.

You can use a VPN to:

  • Bypass geo-restrictions on websites or streaming audio and video.
  • Protecting from browsing on unreliable Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • Being anonymous while surfing online by hiding your real location.
  • Bypass geo-restrictions or using torrents to watch content in a different country.

How does it work?

When you connect your computer (or another device such as a smartphone or tablet) to a VPN, the computer behaves as if it were on the same local network as the VPN. All your network traffic is sent over a secure VPN connection. Because your computer pretends to be on the network, this allows you to securely access local network resources even when you're on the other side of the world. You can also use the internet as if you were at the VPN location. This provides some advantages if you are using public Wi-Fi or want to access geo-blocked websites. When you surf the Internet while connected to a VPN, your computer communicates with the website over the encrypted VPN connection. The VPN forwards the request for you and forwards the response back from the website over the secure connection. If you use a Europe-based VPN to access Netflix, Netflix will see your connection come from a country in Europe. Therefore, you will be able to access content in this country.

What Are the Types of VPNs?

There are basically 2 types of VPN:

1. Remote Access VPN

Remote Access VPNs are user-to-LAN connections that are used when employees of a company in remote locations need to connect to the company's private network. The connection between the user and the private network takes place over the internet and the connection is secure and private.

2. Site-to-Site VPN

Companies with branches in different locations use Site-to-Site VPN to connect the network of one office location to the network at another office location. Site-to-site VPN requires large-scale encryption and specialized equipment

What Are the Problems and Risks in Using a VPN?

As with any type of technology, there are some downsides to using a VPN. Let's list these disadvantages:

1. Potentially Slower

When you connect to the Internet with a VPN, your web traffic goes through more steps than usual, so your speed will be noticeably slower. This is always the #1 complaint about VPNs.

2. No Cookie Protection

While the VPN does its job of keeping you private and encrypted, it is not possible for a VPN to block cookies.

3. Does Not Provide Complete Confidentiality

While blocking your ISP, governments, hackers, and other snoopers, the VPN provider itself can see your internet activity if it wants to.

Despite the disadvantages above, VPNs are definitely worth it if you care about online privacy. 

How to choose VPN?

There are many VPN providers out there, so which one will you choose? The first thing to keep in mind is that free VPN services are of poor quality and should be avoided. Free VPN contains many problems, including: weak security, unwanted ads, download limits, etc.

In summary, you can run into many problems with free VPNs. Many well-paid VPN services, on the other hand, offer a free trial that lets you try before you buy. But how will you know which provider to choose? There are many factors to keep in mind when choosing a good VPN app: speed, shared IP addresses, servers, encryption, protocol, customer support, etc.

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