What is a VPN?

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Updated January 18, 2023

Looking for the best VPN providers is no joke, especially when you have maximum security in mind. The first step is asking, “What is a VPN?” so you can begin researching this valuable service. We’ll discuss what a VPN is and what it does in the article below.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • A VPN is a service that ensures online security no matter where you use the internet. It does this through different protocols and methods of encryption.
  • The most common way a VPN works is by diverting all of your internet traffic through a specially configured remote server.
  • There are many reasons why using VPNs is such a good idea. The biggest is better online privacy since they hide your IP address.

What is a VPN Service?

VPN providers offer peace of mind to those they serve. Their goal is to ensure your internet connection is as secure as possible. A VPN service is simply the software you choose to act as your VPN provider. There are multiple options out there that you should research thoroughly before investing in the program of your choice, as each one offers various features. Of course, there are options for mobile devices available, too. Don’t be afraid to ask, “What is a VPN on my phone?” or “What is a VPN for Android?”

Insider Tip

Using a VPN can help disguise your network traffic from your internet service provider.

How Does a VPN Connection Work?

The most common way a VPN connection works is that it hides your information by diverting internet traffic from your internet service provider through a remote server. However, there are a few different ways a VPN might work depending on the VPN protocols being used. This remote server uses encryption processes to ensure online security. You might now ask, “Well, what is a secure VPN?” Or you might wonder what to do with a VPN once you have one.

Why You Should Use a VPN Connection

Learning how to use a VPN is a powerful tool against those with malicious intent when you’re engaging in online activities. There are many reasons why you should use one at all times when you aren’t using private networks and even sometimes when you are. Read more about that below.

Warning

Not using the security offered by VPN providers while on a public network puts your data at risk.

Online Privacy

Using any internet connection comes with risks that can compromise your privacy, and your internet service provider doesn’t provide built-in protection from these types of attacks. However, it isn’t just malicious hackers you have to worry about. Marketing companies are constantly trying to siphon your information, too. A good VPN service keeps them at bay.

Unsafe Public Wi-Fi

If you’re using public networks, it’s time to invest in a VPN. Public Wi-Fi can wreak havoc if your online activities are wide open because hackers can easily access your personal data and account information on your phone. A VPN will add the extra layer of security you need when connecting to public Wi-Fi. To learn more, read up on what is a tunnel in networking for a more thorough answer.

STAT: The global smart grid cyber security market was forecast at 4.73 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. (source)

Hides IP Addresses

Aside from protecting you while you’re on public wi-fi networks through encryption protocol, your VPN will also hide your IP address. This makes it hard to determine your actual location, keeping your whereabouts under wraps.

What is a VPN FAQs

What does VPN stand for?

VPN stands for “virtual private network.” It is called this because a VPN sets up private networks virtually through the use of encryption and servers.

How do I know if I have a secure connection?

The best way to ensure a secure connection is to use a VPN whenever you have internet access. This will ensure that the connection is always secure.

Will a VPN slow down my internet speed?

The short answer is that it does. Unfortunately, information transfer takes a little longer due to the encryption process. It also has to travel a little further because of the distance to the server.

Why is it necessary to hide my internet activity?

There are tons of reasons to hide what you’re doing online. One of the biggest is that it keeps your data safe from those who would want to steal or purchase it.
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