How Do VPNs Work?
A Virtual Private Network, most commonly abbreviated to VPN, allows a user to create a more secure internet connection by connecting to a different network, typically in a different location to where the user actually is. You can also use a VPN to access content on the internet that is normally blocked in your area or on the internet network you’re accessing the web from.
How Does a VPN Work?
When you connect to a VPN server using your computer, or even smartphone, all of your data is transferred to that server via a secure connection, and your internet searches will, as a result, appear to be coming from that location as opposed to where you actually are. It’s more secure and it allows you to do things online that may typically be restricted for you. VPNs were originally created so that businesses could access their business networks whilst away from the office – allowing office work to become more portable. However, it has since evolved in function to people using it so they are more secure online with prying eyes being kept away from their data, right through to those streaming the Netflix catalogue of a different country.
When you’re trying to access a website whilst connected to a VPN, the website will be accessed as though you’re from the location of the VPN server, as opposed to your home server, and the response from the website is then sent back to you via the secure connection to the VPN server. Many VPN services will even come with what’s known as a “kill switch”, whereby if your connection to the server is interrupted or stops being secure, then the service will kill your internet connection completely. This ensures that your data remains secure until you can reconnect to the VPN server and restore that extra layer of security. As you can see, a VPN can be a pretty handy tool to have.
How Do I Get a VPN?
This is relatively straight forward. All you need to do is find a provider that you like the look of and purchase the software subscription (or take out a free trial, if that’s offered) and follow the setup instructions that they will provide. There are many VPN service providers out there, all with their own advantages and drawbacks. Shopping around and finding the service that best meets your needs is what we’d recommend.
For instance, if you’re simply seeking a more secure internet experience then the fastest speeds won’t necessarily be a major issue for you, compared to wanting the best levels of security and highest encryption levels for your data. If you’re looking to bypass the geo-blocks of Netflix and watch the content of another country, then you’ll need a service that’s fast and has the right servers to do this. There are some good all-rounders out there and you can even get free VPN services from the likes of TunnelBear and others – although experts are a little skeptical when it comes to free VPN offerings.