Virtual Private Network (VPN) Explained

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) is a network of servers that help users maintain their privacy and security online. Typically, robust communication protocols and encryption are used to connect between servers and its users.

VPN in deconstructed terms can be seen as:

  • Virtual – Connections created exist only in cyberspace.
  • Private – Servers involved are all private and not open to everyone.
  • Network – Various devices are being linked together.

How does a VPN works?

With and Without VPN

In simple terms, a VPN service connects your device to a secure server at a location of your choice (as long as the service you are using has a server there). From there, your connection is routed on to whichever website you are heading for.

The connection between your computer and the server you connect to is encrypted. This helps safeguard any data that is being sent or received from your device to the VPN server. This segment is the security portion of the VPN.

Aside from that, using a VPN server also means you borrow a temporary IP Address. The IP is what is used to identify each device that’s connected to a network. The temporary IP is what any website you’re connecting to sees. Because of this, your real IP remains hidden.

Some websites don’t like users who use VPN connections. While they can’t usually tell who those are, a red flag may be multiple users all originating from the same IP address. That’s why the best VPN service providers regularly update their IP addresses to avoid getting blacklisted.

Looking for the best VPN to protect your privacy? Different VPN suits different varieties of use cases. We recognize this need for flexibility and want to help you identify the best solution that fits your unique use for a VPN > See our Best VPN picks.

But There’s More in Today’s VPN

Although the core features of VPNs are mainly fixed, many VPNs today come with extras. Each of these features exist for a specific purpose – but the VPN can technically function without some of them.

Let’s take the VPN Kill Switch as a case in study.

As the name implies, it can be turned on or off, but what exactly does it do? If you knew that this feature could cut off all access to the Internet on your device, would you enable it?

Rather than enabling them all and possibly causing your connection to slow down or be otherwise affected considerably, you have options. If you knew what each of them was for, you could tailor them to suit your specific needs.

To learn more, read: Double VPNKill Switches, Split Tunneling.

In-Depth VPN Guide

Looking for a VPN?

The questions of which VPN is best has been asked hundreds of times and answered just as many. Yet not many address it in a way that suits different varieties of use cases.

Just because a VPN is labelled the best, doesn’t mean it is the best at what you need it for.

We recognize this need for flexibility and want to help you identify the best solution that fits your unique use for a VPN. Not only do we examine the capabilities of VPNs themselves, but also explore various usage scenarios.

See Best VPN Providers List that are more targeted for various categories of users.