How do VPNs Work?

How do VPNs Work?
Photo by Ilya Pavlov / Unsplash

A virtual private network (VPN) is a technology that allows you to create a secure connection over a less-secure network between your computer and the internet. VPNs establish an encrypted tunnel between your device and the VPN server.

Key Points:

A VPN creates a secure connection over a less-secure network between a device and the internet.
There are two main types of VPNs: remote access and site-to-site.
Remote-access VPNs are for individuals connecting to a remote network from a remote location. In contrast, site-to-site VPNs connect multiple networks securely.
Several protocols can establish a VPN connection, including PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, and SSTP.
When choosing a VPN, consider security, speed, reliability, and whether it has a no-log policy.
A VPN can protect online privacy and security for individuals and businesses.

When you connect to a VPN, your internet traffic routes through the VPN server, meaning that any data you send or receive is encrypted, secure, and private. VPNs are handy when using a public Wi-Fi network, as it helps protect your data from being intercepted by hackers.

What types of VPNs are there?

There are two main types of VPNs: remote-access VPNs and site-to-site VPNs. Remote access VPNs are designed for individuals who need to connect to a remote network from a remote location. An example is a remote employee who needs to access the company’s network from home or a traveler who wants to access their home network while abroad. To use a remote access VPN, you must install VPN software on your device and then connect to the VPN server. Once connected, you can access the resources on the remote network as if you were physically connected.

On the other hand, site-to-site VPNs are better for organizations connecting multiple networks securely. They require specialized hardware or software installed at both ends of the connection. For example, two offices in different locations, a company’s network, and a cloud service provider’s network could use these VPNs. This method creates a secure tunnel between the two networks, allowing them to communicate as if they were on the same network.

What should I consider when looking for a VPN?

Several protocols can establish a VPN connection. Some of the most common ones include PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol), L2TP/IPSec (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol/Internet Protocol Security), OpenVPN, and SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol). When choosing a VPN, it’s essential to consider the level of security it provides, as well as its speed and reliability. You should also consider if the VPN has a no-log policy, which means it does not keep any records of your online activity.

In conclusion, a VPN is a valuable tool for anyone who wants to protect their online privacy and security. If you want to keep your online data safe, then a VPN is right for you, regardless of your background or who you represent.