A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a virtual communication network that enables mobile access to various networks. Encryption and authentication processes protect the transmission of sensitive data from unauthorized access.
- Via VPN it is possible to connect to certain networks from anywhere in the world for private and professional purposes
- VPN is based on an encrypted internet connection. The transmitted data and information cannot be viewed by third parties
- A VPN connection cannot be established via all internet-enabled devices. Most smart TVs, game consoles and IoT devices do not support this technology by default
What is VPN
According to abbreviationfinder, VPN means “Virtual Private Network” and describes a technology with which users can access the resources of a private or local network while on the move. This can be very useful for both personal and professional purposes.
VPN is an encrypted Internet connection: Since the encryption is always carried out in real time, the transmitted information is protected against recordings or eavesdropping. It does not matter whether the connection to the network is made via modem, UMTS, LTE, cable or WLAN. The location and the choice of device are also irrelevant – VPN always creates an encrypted Internet connection.
Set up VPN
To use VPN, VPN software is required that is connected to the network router and installed on the computer. This software is the so-called VPN client. Before the user can set up a virtual private network, he needs a user account with a commercial VPN provider. Only then will VPN clients, which are available for all common operating systems, be available for download. After logging in to the VPN provider, a configuration file must be downloaded. With this file, the user determines via which server of the provider the VPN connection is to be established and then loads the file into the VPN client. Now the user only has to establish a connection to the server of the VPN provider with the VPN software.
How does VPN work?
Participants in a virtual private network connect to a login server using a VPN protocol. This type of server can be accessed by users around the world. After an encrypted connection has been established, the user receives a new IP address. Thanks to the encrypted connection, computers outside the network are not able to read or change the communication between the client computer and the customer’s computer.
The reason for this is the virtual network card in the customer’s computer. This network card functions as a normal Ethernet adapter – with the difference that the transferred data is highly encrypted. An Ethernet adapter is a type of connector that allows you to connect to the Internet or a home network. In addition, the settings of the VPN login server ensure that each customer receives their own transport channel and encryption. At the same time, the corresponding login server assigns the same IP to the customers. That ensures anonymity. Because without a VPN connection, every computer with its worldwide unique IP can be identified beyond doubt.
Benefits of a VPN connection
A VPN connection makes it possible to use all services in a private or professional network and also to access them from another computer. After all, there are now many companies that use programs on the intranet – that is, in a computer network that is not publicly accessible. In addition, a VPN offers anonymity by disguising the IP address. Since users are free to choose the IP country code, they can also bypass the blocking of certain content in their country (geoblocking).
Disadvantages of a VPN connection
A VPN connection cannot be established with all devices. Most smart TVs, game consoles and IoT devices, for example, are not VPN-compatible – or special software or technical modifications are required. In addition, VPN connections are sometimes comparatively slow. Customers should also be careful when choosing a VPN provider, because not every provider is trustworthy and is careful with their data. In order to install and set up a VPN client, users also need appropriate technical knowledge.