What is a VPN? We’re looking forward to explaining that! VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. VPN is essentially a technology that creates a secure connection with a potentially unsafe network. This can be the network of a company or school, but also a public network such as the global web. Originally, VPN technology was used primarily in businesses so that, for example, all employees could get secure access to business data from anywhere.
Nowadays, however, a VPN is also popular with individuals who fear hackers, the government or other risks associated with internet usage. They become clients of a VPN provider whose login credentials they receive to use the VPN service. How does a VPN service provide a secure (and anonymous) internet?
A VPN server, two connections
As a VPN provider (Read also: What is a VPN or Virtual Private Network) you can connect to many different VPN servers. To do this, you need to use a username and password. The VPN server then creates a connection to the Internet. The VPN server therefore has two connections: one with the customer and one with the global web. As a VPN user, you are only indirectly connected to the Internet. This guarantees anonymity, as for example, it seems like the VPN server is the visitor, so not you. In addition, data traffic between your computer and the VPN server is encrypted. Encrypting, also called encryption, means that all data is distorted so that a third party (e.g., hacker) can not find out the contents of the data. Only the recipient of the data has a so-called decoder that can undo the encryption. In addition to anonymity, a VPN service also offers security.
Encryption key and protocols for safe internet
For encoding, a VPN service uses an encryption key and protocols. The encryption key is the algorithm (“the formula”) that is used to encode the data. The length of this key is expressed in bits. Most modern VPN providers use 256-bit encryption technology, but there are also VPN providers that use 128-bit keys. Moreover, most VPN providers let their customers choose between different protocols. VPN protocols are different in the way the data is protected. The differences are technical, but even as a common VPN user, you notice the difference. For example, not all protocols are as safe, fast or easy to use. Generally, the OpenVPN protocol is recommended for computers and laptops. If you want to use the VPN service on your smartphone, IKEv2 is usually a more appropriate choice. IKEv2 is not only safe, but this protocol can also quickly restore a connection to a VPN server when an internet connection is temporarily lost. This happens, for example, when you drive through a tunnel or leave your home and switch from your Wi-Fi network to your mobile data usage.
VPN service is easy to use
A VPN service is a sophisticated piece of technology, but VPN providers make sure you can easily use it here. The exact user experience differs per VPN provider, but the first step is always that a customer enrolls for a VPN service and pays for the VPN subscription. After that, you will receive login credentials and you can download the VPN app. Once the app has started, you choose a VPN server to connect to. This is a matter of simply a few mouse clicks. There is therefore no need for technical knowledge to use a VPN service.
Advantages of VPN services are for everyone
Because the use of a VPN service does not require technological knowledge, even a beginner can use it. This is beneficial as beginners also benefit from a VPN service. A VPN service is an effective protection against online hazards, where not everyone is aware of. For example, many people use public Wi-Fi networks care free, while hackers and other cybercriminals can simply misuse the publicity of these networks to intercept data traffic from others. Also the downloading of torrents or streaming via Popcorn Time is not without risks. Since 2014, it is forbidden to download from an illegal source. This means any online place where copyrighted material is shared without the permission of the proprietors. Thanks to the security and anonymity of a VPN service, you will prevent both hacks and fines. Do you also want to take advantage of a VPN service? We have made a list of the best VPN services for you.