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How do VPNs Actually Work?

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With holiday travel around the corner, you want to make sure you are protected when waiting in airports or train stations on your laptop, phone or tablet. A VPN can help you achieve that, in addition to accessing uninterrupted streaming of any content without any buffering. You can learn more about how exactly it works by reading further.

What does a VPN do?

When you connect to a VPN (Virtual Private Network), the software establishes a connection to a different server. To keep your connection private and secure, a VPN uses protocols, which ensure that the data you send online is encrypted and your IP address is hidden and replaced by a VPN’s address.

This technology was first developed to allow remote employees to access their corporate networks. The practical use of this meant simply connecting to a company server and using it to access shared files such as spreadsheets and documents. VPNs have since transformed to become useful tools that all Internet users can benefit from when doing everyday activities online.

How does a VPN work?

To avoid your data being accessed by hackers when you are connected to public networks or to make sure that nobody can receive your activity history, a VPN app will encrypt the data. Therefore, browsing various websites, uploading pictures, talking to friends, or making purchases online – all of that will be turned into “trash” (encrypted data) that cannot be read by anyone who might have intercepted it. This data is then sent to the server of your VPN provider.

The server then decodes the information and forwards it to the destination, while also replacing your device’s IP address with the server’s. This makes sure that the services you use will see that your physical address is that of the server location, protecting your true address.

When the service or website is bouncing data back to your device, the server now is in charge of delivering the information back to you. The VPN server is the only one knowing your real IP, and it will make sure to send the encrypted data your way. Once it arrives at your device, it will be decrypted for you to use.

Even though this process might seem complicated, it all happens in a matter of nanoseconds, so you do not need to worry about your connection speed being affected.

Personal accountability

VPNs are a legal and safe tool to use in order to protect yourself on the Internet. However, you need to keep in mind that anything that is generally illegal stays illegal, so you should not use VPN services for illegitimate purposes or for breaking any laws.

In addition, you still need to make sure that you are being as safe as possible when being online. For example, a VPN cannot really protect you from phishing or unwanted calls. While some of them are able to spot a fake website and alarm you about that, these websites are only one of the many sides of phishing. No VPN will protect you from a good crafted phishing email, so always be cautious of new websites.

Conclusion

Unencrypted data can be accessed by anyone who has network access and bad intentions. A VPN app prevents that from happening, by encrypting your browsing history and online data and protecting it from hackers and cybercriminals.

 

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