Let us answer quite a common question: what is VPN and why VPN is needed and sometimes even required for you? The abbreviation VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Your connection is much more secure when you use a VPN to browse the Internet. The initial purpose of creating this software was different from the way these programs are used nowadays. VPN was a development for the secure connection of business networks, especially for those who wanted to access their workplace from home or other locations.
These days, VPN uses have been diversified. You can use it to reach websites restricted in specific locations. Or you can hide your Internet activity from third parties, especially when you are surfing the web using a public Wi-Fi connection. Most modern operating systems always have VPN support for their clients.
What Is VPN and How Does It Work?
To understand how VPN works, we need to know what it is all about. To explain it in the simplest terms, it is a virtually created private system that can connect you to any server via a PC, tablet, or smartphone. You can use this connection for browsing the Internet without being identified by your device’s IP. For instance, if the server you need to reach is located in another country and the access is restricted for people located in other regions, using a VPN client can help you access it as if you were connecting to the server from that specific location.
So, what do VPNs do? In a few words, they hide your real computer IP and substitute it for a virtual one. This can allow you to do the following things:
- overcome any geographic limitations for streaming or using websites;
- secure your devices against malicious and fake Wi-Fi hotspots;
- be protected against logging when you use torrents;
- watch content on the most popular foreign streaming websites, for example, Hulu or Netflix;
- protect your online anonymity by concealing your true activity and location.
Thus, if you prefer to use your laptop from a cozy cafe or airport while travelling, you definitely need to use a VPN. If you want to stay safe and secure anywhere you go, you will definitely need it for your peace of mind.
What Is a VPN Used For?
Therefore, the main purpose of using a VPN is protection. But why should you use a VPN if there are a lot of anti-virus programs and specialized software on the market? VPN is a much simpler tool that can be utilized for a variety of purposes. Let us consider just some of them:
- Get secure access to your business network while on the move. Your company’s resources will be much more secure when they are not exposed to third-party influences on the Internet when you travel on business and use public Wi-Fi.
- Access your home network securely during your trips. You will be able to use a Windows Remote Desktop for your PC, share files, work on them, or play games as if you were using your LAN.
- Conceal your online operations from the ISP and local networks. Using VPN is quite helpful when you need to browse the Internet from a public Wi-FI connection. When you use websites that is not protected with an HTTPS protocol using such a connection, all your activities are visible. With a VPN client, your local provider will only see a secure connection that cannot be monitored.
- Reach websites that are geo-restricted or blocked. Some streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Pandora may not allow you to reach them when you are an American located in a different another country. What can a VPN do here? If its server is located in the USA, it will provide you with full access to your Netflix account no matter where you are at the moment.
- Overcome censorship on the Internet. This is especially important for China, many countries in the Middle East, and other locations where certain content, for example, gaming websites, is completely forbidden. In China, they have even developed a special software called the Great Firewall of China to implement such restrictions, so a VPN is irreplaceable in these locations.
- Download any files you need from sources around the world. It is essential for using torrents. Even if the torrents you are using are fully legal, the downloading process can be extremely slow. To speed it up, use a VPN client.
So, here are just some answers to your questions regarding VPN usage.
FAQ on How to Use a VPN
Is using a VPN client legal?
You can utilize a VPN in many countries absolutely legally. However, if you want to do something illegal on the Internet without a VPN, the artion will still be illegal even if you use a VPN. For example, breaking copyright laws is fully illegal in any event.
Which countries prohobit the use of VPN?
At the moment, there are some nations and jurisdictions that do not allow VPN use or restrict it to some extent. They are North Korea, China, Russia, the U.A.E., Iraq, and Belarus. There may be other countried on this list, so check carefully if you are planning to travel to a new destination.
Can I download and use a free VPN?
Sure. You just need to find a website with a free VPN client and download the software to your computer. Then install and run the app according to the preferred protocol. Choose the location of your VPN server and start using it.