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VPN 101: What is VPN?

What is VPN

Everyone would have come across the term VPN at least once in their lives as a novel tech solution to protect your privacy on the internet, to watch your favorite show that’s only available in a certain geographic location, to defeat censorships, and to protect your data from getting leaked on the web. But with the advancement of technology, a VPN is no longer a novel-tech solution but a necessity to stay safe on the web.

Not sure how? We are here to guide you.

In this article, we have mentioned everything you need to know about VPN, their uses, types, and how it works comprehensively to help you easily integrate VPNs into your regular internet uses.

So, let’s begin.

What is a VPN?

A VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is a service that protects your privacy and internet connection online by creating an encrypted tunnel for your data, masking your IP address to protect your digital footprint, and allowing you to surf the internet freely and safely. That’s the generic definition of VPN available throughout the web, but what is a VPN?

Let’s understand this term with a real-life example.

Imagine the internet world as a highway where you’re traveling on a motorcycle, stopping at your favorite spots on your way (websites), making purchases in your favorite shops, reading the billboards (news), and more.

Without realizing that you’re completely visible, anyone can follow you around, peek into your purchases and the spots (websites) you’ve been visiting, and follow you home in the worst scenario.

This is what happens when you surf the internet without using a VPN. A VPN serves as a helmet for motorcycle drivers protecting them from the accidents (cyber threats) that can occur while riding on the highway (internet).

Why do I need a VPN?

A VPN (a virtual private network) is necessary for accessing information and protecting your data when using public WiFi or your home network. A VPN’s primary function is to mask your internet activity. VPNs can help hide your IP address, browsing history, and other personal information on any WiFi network, even at home, even though they are commonly used to guard against hackers and snoopers on public networks.

As our lives become more computerized, our privacy is more at risk. Everyone, from your ISP to companies collecting data to monetize or sell to hackers trying to steal your details for malicious purposes, might be watching or recording your online actions every time you browse the web.

A VPN supports safe and secure browsing by encrypting your connection and hiding your location.

You can quickly watch all of the shows broadcast internationally if you use a VPN.

Here are some of the most common use cases of a VPN:


Do you know that the shows you can watch in the country you’re living in are not the only shows available on the streaming services you’re paying for?

No? Well, then, you’re missing out on many shows that are available worldwide. You can quickly and easily view all of the shows that are broadcast globally with a VPN.

All the main streaming services, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and HBO Max, have geo-blocked content as a standard feature because of the differences in license agreements worldwide. This implies that there will be TV series, movies, and sporting events that you cannot see if you stream content from other countries.

Accessing Blocked Content

VPNs were made to be used for connection security and online privacy. So nobody could track your virtual location, even your ISP, hackers, or governmental organizations, whenever you used a VPN to access the internet.

A VPN creates a secure connection between you and the internet. It supports a broad range of security protocols and enables remote access to a private connection.

As a result, even if you are connected to the private network via a public connection, all of your traffic stays on the private network.

Consider your Internet connection a glass tube where data can flow freely between your computer and the servers at your destination. By operating a tiny, opaque tunnel within the larger one and directing all of your traffic via it, using a VPN is analogous to doing so.

When Using Public WiFi

A VPN can protect you even if you are not connected to a secure WiFi network. A VPN secures your online activities by enabling you to connect to a private network over a public network and transmit all of your data through an encrypted tunnel. Your actual IP address is concealed, and next-generation encryption is used to obfuscate your activities by routing your internet connection through another private internet server.

Hackers constantly seek a means to access your private data, but a VPN will make it much more difficult for them to do so. Anyone attempting to monitor your web activity or get access to your device would have to defeat a layer of next-generation encryption. For this reason, we always advise WiFi users to utilize a VPN.

For Privacy & Anonymity

Your online privacy is increased with a VPN since it hides your IP address. By utilizing a VPN, every website or service you access online will show an IP address belonging to a VPN server that is shared by thousands of users rather than your IP address. Therefore, identifying who can not be simple, even if a website knows someone visited.

The VPN server establishes a secure connection, or “tunnel,” to the internet by serving as a middleman between you and the internet. Since your address is hidden and your IP address is displayed instead, this helps to maintain some anonymity.

For Online Gaming

A VPN is highly advised because of its improved security, privacy, and anonymity. However, using a VPN for gaming has a lot of additional benefits.

1.    Protection Against Swatting

While it doesn’t happen frequently, there have been some documented instances of players being so enraged that they begin stalking other players, especially in online games.

An angry gamer could hack into your social media accounts or even locate and stalk you offline if they discover your IP address.

In severe circumstances, they could even employ a tactic known as swatting. Although it doesn’t happen often, this type of harassment calls in a false hostage situation, bomb threat, or other emergencies to have emergency services rushed to someone else’s home. This has occasionally become fatal.

2.    Avoid DDoS Attacks

A DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack takes a system offline by flooding it with requests from infected machines.

DDoS attacks were once mostly used against websites and sporadically against online games. However, DDoS software is now widely accessible, making it possible for nearly anybody to launch a DDoS assault against a website or other users. This implies that a player you are competing with might attempt to DDoS you.

Anyone attempting to DDoS you won’t be able to locate your connection to flood it with useless data since a VPN hides your IP address.

What does a VPN do?

A VPN connection hides the traffic sent through your computer to the internet and protects it from getting accessed by cybercriminals and hackers. Anyone with network access can easily view the data not encrypted by a VPN. If you use a VPN, cybercriminals and hackers can not decipher the traffic transferred through your device.

Here are some of the things that a VPN can do:

Spoofing your IP

The first use of a VPN is that it fakes your location, enabling you to view content that’s otherwise inaccessible in your current location. It enhances your network security by encrypting your internet traffic and hiding your real IP location and address. Using a VPN can easily enjoy improved anonymity, privacy, and online freedom.

You can easily spoof your location using Ivacy VPN by following the steps below:

Data Encryption

A VPN encrypts your data to encode and secure your data from cyber threats. Anyone accessing your network will see the encrypted message as complete gibberish unless they have a shared key to decipher it. When you initially connect to a VPN, a VPN client and server produce and exchange this key. Using this key, your data is scrambled and unscrambled every time it passes over the encrypted tunnel.

The US government, the NSA, and the most trustworthy VPN service providers, such as Ivacy VPN, are all said to employ the AES 256-bit cipher, which is regarded as the finest encryption algorithm.


Protection Against Cyber Threats

By now, we have learned how a VPN spoofs your location and encrypts your data, but how does a VPN protect you against cyber threats?

A VPN protects against cyberattacks by encrypting your internet traffic and routing it through a secure tunnel (a VPN server). This hides your IP address and helps prevent third parties and snoopers from tracking you.

With a VPN connection on your system, any cyberattack in which the hackers need to know your IP address will be less likely since they’ll only see the IP associated with your VPN server making your online life more secure and keeping the hackers at bay.

How does a VPN work?

Every 39 seconds, someone is attacked by a hacker who tries to steal their important data. These attacks can result in severe stress and financial loss for individuals impacted. Identity theft affects 33% of US individuals and results in a new victim every 2 seconds. Of those victims, 77.3% report experiencing mental stress.

Those are some huge numbers! The effective use of VPNs can drastically reduce that number. VPNs can shield users from hackers trying to steal their information while in transit, but they cannot stop viruses or malware from assaulting networks. This accounts for a large portion of all threats and attacks that are perpetrated on a national and worldwide level.

A VPN initially passes your traffic through a VPN server before transmitting your internet traffic—such as your online searches, uploads, and downloads—directly to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). In this manner, your data looks to have originated from the VPN server and not your device when it is eventually delivered to the internet.

A VPN hides your IP address by serving as an intermediary and rerouting your traffic. As you join, it also adds encryption or a tunnel around your identity. The VPN server and encryption tunnel work together to prevent your ISP, governments, hackers, and anybody else from watching how you use the internet.

What is a VPN server?

Providing hosting and delivery of VPN services is possible with a VPN server.

A secure and private network, or the VPN, is made accessible to VPN clients by a mix of hardware and software solutions.

A VPN server is normally a regular server with VPN server software installed and set up accordingly. It typically has more physical and logical communication ports, though. The VPN server offers local and/or remote VPN customers VPN connections and services. For connectivity and communications, the VPN server often uses one or more protocols, such as the point-to-point protocol (PPP). Before being given access to the VPN, the VPN client must first establish a connection to the VPN server and verify.

What is VPN Tunneling?

A virtual private network, or simply VPN, is an encrypted connection between your computer or mobile device and the worldwide internet. No one along the VPN tunnel can intercept, monitor, or change your communications since your connection is encrypted.

When you use a VPN, a procedure known as tunneling is used to send your online activity and data through the internet.

As it travels via a VPN tunnel, data is broken into “packets,” which are then encapsulated inside other data packets. “Encapsulation” is the term for this procedure. Then, all of this information is encrypted, shielding it from prying eyes.

Your internet service provider (ISP) and other parties cannot see your IP address when using a VPN tunnel; instead, they see an IP address that belongs to the VPN provider and is shared by many other customers. This implies that no one will be able to identify your behavior as your own.

What is IP Address?

A device on the local network or the internet can be identified by its IP address, which is a special address. The rules defining the data format delivered over the internet or a local network are known as “Internet Protocol,” or IP.

IP addresses, which carry location information and make devices reachable for communication, are essentially identifier that permits information to be exchanged between devices on a network. There must be a means for computers, routers, and webpages to be distinguished on the internet. A method for achieving this is provided by IP addresses, which are crucial to the operation of the internet.

An IP address comprises a series of digits separated by periods. Four digits represent IP addresses; for instance, can be one such address. The range of each integer in the set is 0 to 255. Therefore, the complete IP addressing range is to

Types of VPN

Remote access and site-to-site VPN are the two basic types of VPNs. In contrast to large enterprises, which frequently utilize site-to-site VPNs for corporate purposes, individual consumers are more likely to encounter remote access VPNs.

Let’s learn about each type of VPN in detail below:

Remote Access VPN

Have you ever utilized a VPN for personal needs? If so, you are already aware of remote access VPNs, which are now the most used VPN.

Using a secure remote server to connect to a private network is possible with remote access VPNs. A secure connection is made possible by additional encryption.

Remote access VPNs’ ease of use and convenience of setup are their key advantages. With the right VPN software, novice and experienced users can easily use this type of VPN, which is great for personal usage. For the needs of large-scale enterprises, it might not be suitable (and possibly incompatible).

Site to Site VPN

Site-to-site VPNs operate differently; their major objective is to enable numerous users in separate fixed places to access each other’s resources.

Large-scale corporate environments, where secure communication between departments worldwide is essential, frequently use site-to-site VPNs. Having said that, they are difficult to implement since they call both specialized tools and substantial funding. Additionally, because this VPN technology was developed for a specific purpose, it lacks the flexibility offered by commercial VPN services.

Alternatives to VPN

You can enhance your online privacy and security using virtual private networks (VPNs). Additionally, they should enable you to do more, including getting around geo-blocks and other types of censorship. Not everyone needs or wants a full-fledged VPN experience. A VPN could occasionally not be accessible. For example, if your VPN doesn’t have an app that can be installed on your smart TV, which reminds us that Ivacy VPN has multi-device compatibility and can easily be downloaded on your Smart TV by clicking here.

Here are some of the best alternatives to VPN:

1.    Smart DNS

SmartDNS is a system that reroutes your DNS requests to a proxy server so you can access geo-restricted material. Although it is quicker and less expensive than a VPN, it is not as secure.

Once set up, SmartDNS enables your device to watch channels from anywhere globally and unblock websites. All you need to do is use a network cable or WiFi connection to connect your chosen device, depending on how your home network was set up.

2.    Proxy Server

Proxy servers were the primary method for internet users to conceal their IP addresses and stay protected online until VPNs were widely available.

Proxy servers provide your connection to the internet’s intermediaries or gateways. The server receives your internet traffic through its IP. Therefore, if someone were to attempt to discover your IP while you are using this intermediate, they could only discover the proxy server’s address.

3.    Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)

ZTNA, also known as zero trust network access, offers mediated access to data and applications inside a network. Users must prove their identity or place of employment to access material and software, which focuses on security and privacy.

This technology operates under the zero-trust concept and offers fundamental VPN services. ZTNAs are better appropriate for major organizations with a huge user base since they prevent hackers from breaking into a whole network. They are only allowed access to what their verification allows them.

Therefore, zero-trust security means that after an attacker has gained access to a network, more obstacles must be overcome before they can access other regions.

When utilizing ZTNA, access is granted over an encrypted tunnel, whose IP address is concealed, much like a VPN.

What is VPN Connection?

You start by connecting to your neighborhood ISP when you log on to your internet (Internet Service Provider). You can now access the online world, thanks to this. However, the ISP’s servers can log every website and application you use while connected to them.

Your data is protected from your laptop, tablet, or phone when you connect using a VPN. Your ISP can no longer spy on your history or data since the data is encrypted over a “VPN tunnel.” Your internet activity is routed through VPN servers, so they cannot see it.

Anyone attempting to snoop over a compromised WiFi will only be able to see that you are connecting through a VPN rather than your ISP and will not be able to access your data. If they can obtain any data, it will be incomprehensible.

VPN Encryption Protocols

VPNs encrypt the data that passes over the connection by using protocols to connect your device to a VPN server securely. VPN protocols are the rules describing how to create a secure connection between your device and a VPN server.

There are six common types of VPN encryption protocols:

1.    PPTP

One of the first VPN protocols was PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol). It was initially created in the 1990s by Microsoft and 3Com for dial-up networks. However, PPTP is no longer widely utilized due to recurring protocol flaws. An investigation by well-known security expert Bruce Schneier exposed various security issues in 1998.

2.    L2TP/IPSec

L2TP, or Layer 2 Tunnel Protocol, is typically used in conjunction with IPSec since it cannot provide encryption or authentication on its own. In this configuration, L2TP is regarded as being extremely secure. Data can be exchanged securely via public networks, for example, using the IPSec suite of protocols, consisting of several individual protocols rather than a single one. L2TP lacks the encryption and authentication that IPSec offers.

3.    OpenVPN

Free software called OpenVPN can be used to create VPN connections. It commonly connects to TLS or OpenSSL to encrypt the transferred data. Despite having several tested security features, OpenVPN is only utilized by a few businesses. However, the procedure is rather common in the private sector.

4.    SSTP

Secure Socket Tunnelling Protocol, sometimes known as SSTP, is a protocol that was created by Microsoft and made its debut with Windows Vista. However, its close integration with the Windows environment is both a benefit and a problem. While it works nearly solely with Windows PCs and servers, on the one hand, its incorporation within Windows makes it reasonably simple to use.

5.    IKE or IKEv2 with IPSec

The Internet Key Exchange encryption protocol is particularly popular in businesses, offered in versions 1 and 2. IKE and IPSec complement each other extremely well since IKE is built on IPSec. It is almost exclusively used in conjunction with IPSec, like L2TP. In addition to IPSec, HCD Consulting chooses IKE or IKEv2. They have complete support from Juniper Networks, Cisco, and Cisco Meraki VPN-compatible products.

6.    WireGuard

WireGuard is free software created under an open-source license, just like OpenVPN. It is still going through a quick development cycle, though. Every day, new versions are released. The extremely compact codebase of WireGuard is one of the main advantages. For example, this makes it considerably simpler to detect security-related flaws compared to OpenVPN. WireGuard allows for a handover across different networks, just like IKEv2. This makes the protocol appealing for deployment when used in conjunction with mobile endpoints, as does its high level of the energy economy.

Benefits of Using a VPN

Your internet data transmission is concealed by a VPN connection, shielding it from prying eyes. Anyone with network access who wants to can read unencrypted data. Hackers and online criminals cannot decode this data when using a VPN.

Secure encryption

You require an encryption key to read the data. Without one, a brute-force attack on a computer to crack the encryption would take millions of years to complete. Your internet actions are concealed using a VPN, even on public networks.

Disguising your whereabouts

Virtual private network servers effectively function as your online proxies. Your precise location cannot be identified since the demographic location data originates from a server located in another nation. Additionally, most VPN providers don’t keep records of your actions. However, some providers keep track of your behavior without disclosing it to outside parties. This implies that any possible record of your user behavior is kept secret forever.

Access to regional content

Not every location has access to restricted online content. Services and websites frequently include material only available in specific regions. Standard connections use national and local servers to pinpoint your location. Thus, you cannot view domestic content while away from home and foreign content while at home. You can “alter” your location by switching to a server in a different nation using VPN location spoofing.

Secure data transfer

You must access important files on your company’s network if you work remotely. For security purposes, this kind of information requires a secure connection. To connect to the network, a VPN connection is usually required. VPN services use encryption methods and private servers to reduce the likelihood of data loss.

This is it! Now that you know everything about a VPN, why not try one? Ivacy VPN is the best VPN in town, with millions of satisfied regular users worldwide. Subscribe to Ivacy VPN and protect your privacy and security online and avoid falling prey to the prying eyes of cybercriminals.


Frequently Asked Questions

What does VPN stand for?

A VPN stands for Virtual Private Network.

What is VPN used for?

A VPN is used to stay private online, defeat censorship or avoid DDoS or cyberattacks while playing online or simply browsing the web.

What is my IP address VPN?

Your city, region, nation, ISP, and position on a map are all revealed by your IP address information. Using a VPN to spoof your IP address will prevent you from getting tracked on the internet.

What is a VPN connection?

Establishing a private and secure link or channel between one or more local and remote network devices is a VPN connection. Although more private and secure than a WAN connection, a VPN connection is similar.

What is a VPN app?

A VPN app is a software program enabling you to connect to a distant VPN server when you input your login information. This can seem like a PC virtual client or a mobile application. Your device will remain protected by VPN as long as the client or app is active. Users of smartphones who want security and protection when traveling will find this extremely helpful.

What is IPSec?

IPsec is a collection of protocols used to establish secure communications between devices.

What is VPN in mobile?

Ivacy VPN has designated VPN apps for mobiles to protect your privacy on Android and iOS mobile devices.

What is a Virtual Private Network?

A Virtual Private Network is simply the name given to an encrypted connection over the internet from a device to a network.

What is the meaning of VPN?

VPN is simply an arrangement whereby a secure, apparently private network is achieved using encryption over a public network, typically the internet.

What is VPN on my phone?

VPNs are basic arrangements that use encryption to create a safe, seeming private network over a public network, usually the internet.

What is VPN in Android?

A VPN in Android helps protect you on public networks while accessing the internet from your Android device. It secures your IP address and browsing history, protecting you from the digital world’s threats. Ivacy VPN also has a designated app for Android; click here to download it.

What is VPN on my iPhone?

A VPN on my iPhone will help you defeat censorship and browse restricted websites while providing complete anonymity and encryption. If you’re looking for a VPN on your iPhone, feel free to download Ivacy VPN for your iPhone.

Is using a VPN legal?

Using a VPN in the United States is lawful as long as you aren’t engaging in any criminal activity. Downloading one of the top VPNs for privacy is crucial if you’re using a VPN in a nation where it’s not permitted.

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