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What is a Virtual Private Network?

If you are reading this page, you are likely trying to discover just what a virtual private network (VPN) is and what it can do for you.

While a Web proxy can protect your privacy and ensure a secure connection to the Internet, they are less desirable than a VPN.

defining-virtual-private-network

What is a VPN?

No matter what you do online, your traffic is generated on a common network. Whether you are browsing sites, sending Emails or streaming videos, you are doing so in a way that leaves a trace. The information that you send and receive is easy to intercept.

vpn-diagram

The first thing that a VPN does for you is encrypt the information leaving and entering your computer. No one, including your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or website owners, can trace your activity. The type of encryption is conducted via different protocols (L2TP, IPSec, PPTP, OpenVPN and more) depending on the VPN service provider.

A VPN also gives you a sort of private tunnel between your computer or network and the VPN server. You are literally invisible no matter what you are doing online.

How Does a VPN Work?

When you use a VPN, you are given a secure Internet connection; even your ISP can’t see what you are doing! The only thing visible to prying eyes is the location of the VPN server you are connected to and the encrypted data being sent back and forth.

virtual-private-network-diagram

Each time you sign on to the Internet, your VPN provider gives you a new IP address. Because your anonymous IP address is transmitted from your VPN server, you appear to be surfing from somewhere else.

VPN Advantages

You are given many advantages when using a VPN instead of a typical connection.

  • Anonymity
  • IP addresses available from almost any country, depending on the location of the VPN’s servers
  • Closed network providing secure exchanges of information

VPN Disadvantages

  • None

We recommend that you carefully research the VPN service providers available to you. While many offer similar features, some offer more than others. We personally like HideMyAss. Other popular providers include VyprVPN, OverPlay, ExpressVPN and StrongVPN.

Take a look at several VPN websites to spend time reading FAQs and forums. Make sure that the subscription price is within your budget and pick the best option available to you. The moment you install your VPN client and sign on to the Internet, you are protected and anonymous; no matter what you do online.

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About Oliver Renand

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