Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A virtual private network which is also referred to as VPN, is a technique that secures your internet connection. This technology is becoming popular in large organisations where the global internet is used for intra and inter-organisation communication.

The VPN creates a secure connection over the internet from your device to the network and disguises your IP address to hide your identity. Let’s learn more about this technology in the content ahead.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

  1. What is Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
  2. Why do we use VPN?
  3. How does VPN Work?
  4. Types of VPN
  5. Advantages and Disadvantages

What is Virtual Private Network (VPN)?

Microsoft initially developed VPN in 1996 so employees could securely access the company’s internal network. It was a huge success, and other companies later adopted this technology.

Virtual Private Network

VPN is primarily meant to secure your privacy over the public network. To achieve the service, creates an encrypted connection between your communicating device and the network. This provides a private tunnel for your data to travel on a public network.

Why do we use VPN?

The main reason behind using VPN is to hide your online activity from the snoopers and hackers that might spy on the data traffic emerging from your system. Let’s have a closer look at why computer users need VPNs.

VPN

  • Using public Wi-Fi for connectivity always comes with a threat to security. VPN provides you security over public Wi-Fi.
  • VPN also secures your data from your Internet service provider. As your ISP can always see your online activities
  • VPN prevents the apps or websites you visit from attributing your behaviour to your system’s IP address. It also hides your location and your browsing history.
  • It allows accessing the geographically blocked content.
  • It lets you access your office network from your remote area. You can even access your system at the office and securely access sensitive information from your device.
  • Several devices can adopt VPN service.

How does VPN work?

Let us discuss the working of VPN step-by-step.

  1. Initially, you have to subscribe to a VPN service provider. Now install VPN software on your system.
  2. Open the VPN app and select the VPN server you want to connect to. Here your work ends, and the VPN will do the rest.
  3. The VPN software on your system will encrypt your data traffic and send it to your selected VPN server through a secure tunnel.
  4. The data goes through your internet service provider; as the data is encrypted, your ISP won’t be able to snoop on this data.
  5. When it reaches the VPN server, the encrypted data is decrypted.
  6. Now VPN server will forward your request to the internet with its own IP, making it appear like the request is sent from the VPN server and not from your device.
  7. When the VPN server receives the reply, it encrypts it and sends it to a secured tunnel.
  8. When data reaches your system, the VPN software on your system will decrypt the data and make it available to you.

Types of VPN

There are for main types of VPN services, as discussed below:

  1. Remote Access VPNs
  2. Personal VPN Services
  3. Mobile VPNs
  4. Site-to-site VPNs

Remote Access VPNs

The remote access VPN service enables the office employees to securely access the private office network and even access sensitive information from your office system.

Personal VPN Services

It enables you to create a secure connection to the open internet. Due to this, you can access the geographically blocked contents, and it also bypasses the firewall.

Mobile VPNs

It is used in the case when the user does not have a consistent and stable connection.

Site-to-site VPNs

It joins two or more networks that together form a single large network.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Benefits of VPN

  • VPN services secure the connection between your computer and the internet.
  • Hide your browsing history and logging credential to the financial apps and prevent the apps and website attributing your behaviour to your system IP address.
  • Prevent your ISP from performing data throttling, i.e., slowing down your internet speed when you consume a specific amount of data.
  • Allow you to access geo-blocked content.

Drawbacks of VPN

  • Using a VPN service may slow down your internet speed as the data traffic from your computer takes a longer route to the internet via your selected VPN server.
  • An untrustworthy VPN service can put your security at stake.
  • It is even illegal to use VPN services in some countries.
  • Data consumption will increase due to encryption and decryption of the data traffic at the computer.
  • VPN service won’t protect you from malware attacks.

In this way, the VPN service plays an important role in establishing a secure connection that prevents your data traffic from external attacks.

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