Want To Know What a VPN Is? Read This Article.
If you want to know what a VPN is you’re in the right place. We’ll help guide you to the understanding you’re looking for.
Chances are, if you’ve watched any videos on YouTube in the last few years you’ve probably seen an advertisement for a VPN service. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. In broad terms, a VPN is an easy and affordable way to secure your privacy online.
To further understand what that means, we need to know what an IP address is. Think of an IP address like the return address on a package. No matter where that package is shipped throughout the world anyone can look at the return address and know where it came from. A VPN masks your IP address which essentially erases that return address, so that your browsing data can’t be traced back to you.
How Does a VPN Work?
To connect to a VPN your device needs to connect to a VPN client, the VPN client then connects to a VPN server through a secure tunnel, and finally to the Internet. The secure tunnel encrypts all of your data and hides your IP address, keeping you safe from prying eyes.
As illustrated below, without a VPN your connection to the Internet through your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is open and unsecure. However, through the use of a VPN your IP Address and browsing data are encrypted and secured.
Why Do I Need to Keep My Browsing Data Private?
There are many entities on the web that create unique profiles specific to your IP address to track everywhere you go online. Some companies then sell this information to other companies that serve you very specific targeted ads. Remember that ad you got on Instagram for those shoes you looked at that one time? That’s just exactly what we’re talking about. There are also malicious actors that use that same data for nefarious purposes, such as identity theft and cyber attacks.
What is a VPN?
In conclusion, VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. A VPN works by creating a secure tunnel from your device to their VPN server which encrypts your browsing data and masks your IP address keeping your online privacy secure.
It’s worth mentioning that everything we’ve talked about is also true for mobile devices, like smart phones and tablets. VPN services are widely available on these devices making Internet security easier than ever.