What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to create a secure connection to another network, using the internet. You can connect remote sites or users together with a main site. Most businesses have shared drives, some of which you can’t access unless you are on the network. VPN allows for you to access these files remotely and securely.
VPN’s were created to allow a business to connect their networks together securely over the internet or allow you to access a business network from home.
Advantages of VPN
VPNs can be used to access region-restricted websites, shield your browsing activity from prying eyes on public Wi-Fi, and more.
- Bypass geographic restrictions on websites or streaming audio and video.
- Protect yourself from snooping on untrustworthy Wi-Fi hotspots.
- Gain at least some anonymity online by hiding your true location.
How Does a VPN Work?
When you connect your computer (or another device, such as a smartphone or tablet) to a VPN, the computer acts as if it’s on the same local network as the VPN. When you browse the web while connected to a VPN, your computer accesses the website through the encrypted VPN connection. The VPN forwards the request for you and forwards the response from the website back through the secure connection. This is done, seamlessly so you experience no delay.
Other Example Uses for VPNs
VPNs are a fairly simple tool, but they can be used to do a wide variety of things:
- Access a Business Network whilst Traveling: VPNs are frequently used by business travellers who need to access the business’s network whilst travelling.
- Hide your Browsing Activity from your local network: If you’re using a public Wi-Fi connection, your browsing activity on non-HTTPS websites is accessible by anyone with the technical know-how. Using VPN, you can hide your browsing activity and the local network will only see a single, secure VPN connection. All the other traffic will travel over the VPN connection.
- Access Geo-Blocked Websites: When you travel to different countries but still wish to access region-restricted services such as your Amazon or Netflix accounts, you can do so via VPN.