Since the advent of the internet, the world has become a global society with almost every individual, Country and establishment having an online presence. This creates the obvious need to protect and encrypt internet data.
VPN stands for virtual private networks. This application gives the user a unique opportunity to establish a secure internet network, especially when using public internet sources.
Virtual private networks achieve the above via real-time automatic encryption of the users’ internet traffic and hide the user’s online identity.
This grossly limits the ability of third parties and hackers to track or monitor your activities online.
How does a VPN work?
Virtual private networks mimic a private internet source from an apparent public network and give the user the freedom to use data on the public network as if their devices were connected to a private network.
Virtual private networks create a virtual point-to-point internet connection through the use of dedicated circuits or tunnelling protocols over existing internet sources.
Consequently, all Internet traffic and communication generated by the user is passed through this secure tunnel. The user’s internet protocol (IP) address is also hidden from the public eye.
The implication of the above is that while using any virtual private network, the virtual private network server becomes the user’s source of data.
This limits the ability of your internet service provider (ISP) and other third parties from getting meaningful information about your activities online.
Types of VPN
There are two main types of virtual private networks, namely Remote access VPN and Site to Site VPN.
1. Remote Access Virtual Private Network
Remote Access VPN permits a user to connect to a private internet network securely from a remote location.
Remote Access VPN is useful for both domestic and official use. A staff of an institution can securely access the institution’s private network remotely.
In the same vein, a private user can bypass local restrictions on the internet and access blocked websites.
Furthermore, Internet users can use virtual private networks to increase their internet security and privacy.
2. Site to Site Virtual Private Network
A Site-to-Site virtual private network is also referred to as Router-to-Router VPN and is mostly used by large establishments.
These companies with different offices can effectively use Site-to-Site VPN to securely interconnect the network of one office location to another.
The Site-to-Site virtual private networks usually use routers, one router acts as the virtual private networks Client and the other router as a virtual private networks server.
When the communication between the two servers is validated communication starts between the routers.
There are two basic types of Site to Site VPN
This is the secure connection of the same establishment or company using the Site-to-Site VPN type.
This is the use of a Site-to-Site VPN to connect offices of different establishments or companies.
Benefits of VPN connection
The advantages of using a VPN are enumerated below
- Secure encryption
While using a virtual private network on a public network, your online activities are encrypted, thus hackers, cybercriminals and third parties will need an encryption code to interpret the generated data.
- Secure location
Your internet service provider usually provides you with an internet network, through which you connect to the internet.
Your network traffic is routed through your Internet service provider’s servers, which keep a record of all your online activities and also locate your location using your IP address.
Hackers and third parties can easily access your, IP address, personal data, passwords and other information via the above mechanism.
While using virtual private networks their servers serve as the user’s internet location, this makes it difficult for prying eyes to easily locate the user’s actual location.
- Access to locally restricted contents
Some web contents and social media have regional restrictions which prevent online users from accessing certain web content from their country or locale.
This restriction can be bypassed by using virtual private networks location spoofing to switch to another server or effectively change your location.
- Secure data transfer
Another unique feature of virtual private networks is the ability to allow the user to securely transfer files on the office network remotely.
This feature allows the user to work remotely and also transfer sensitive data securely and privately with minimal risk of data leakage.
Having stated the numerous advantage of using virtual private networks on your devices, it is worth mentioning that we should use a trustworthy VPN.
This is because your virtual private network provider has access to your data which can be comprised if the virtual private network is hacked.
Virtual private networks can be used on computers and smartphones. There are a number of reputable VPN connections for smartphones. You can find certified providers on the Google Play Store or App Store.
It is pertinent to know that a virtual private network does not protect your system from malware, viruses and hackers.
To protect your systems from being hacked you need a current Windows that still receive security updates from Microsoft, alternatively, you can install a reliable antivirus if you are using an old widow which is not supported by Microsoft.
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