What is VPN? A brief explanation



What is VPN?

For many people who are starting a career in the area of ​​technology, or are starting a regular office job, it is common to hear the term VPN, but exactly what is VPN? What does this mean? Is it not the same to access the internet than to say access to the VPN? Well no, there is a big difference that we will explain below.

What does VPN mean?

The term VPN, stands for Virtual Private Network, which consists of a virtual private network, which has the ability to offer greater protection to its users.

Even so, there are those who will wonder, if there are already firewalls, antivirus and many other tools to protect the information we work on our computers when using the internet, why use a VPN.

Well, we could compare a VPN‌ as if it were a tunnel or hole that opened inside the internet, to connect our computer directly to a server, where no one else can observe the activities or the information that is sent and received between both points.

Let's compare it as a wormhole between the computer you drive and the server or other computers, which apart from offering high security and privacy in the handling of information, also provides you with better performance in your activities by increasing the speed of communication, expediting the transfer of files and documents.

Virtual private network on Wikipedia
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How does VPN work?

There is something else that should be clarified when asking the question what is VPN: the virtual part. For many years, we are used to listening to the virtual term, which is defined as something that does not really exist, and that if it seems to exist, it would be temporary.

Well, VPN networks use the internet that we all commonly use. They are not made of any special wiring or any optical fiber that apart from our usual internet service, as is the case with intranets, it is then that VPNs, by opening a hole (figuratively) through the internet, simulates a space comparable to intranet networks that we can find in many offices today, as if it were a private network, created specifically for us and our needs.

Well, let's think for a moment. A network that can create this effect, which is actually sharing the same space where an ocean of bits of all kinds of information from millions of users is being mobilized, without being able to alter, interact, affect or violate the security of our information by a certain period of time, since most VPNs‌ are used during specific periods in which the user requires to send or receive or manipulate information, once concluded, the link is terminated until the next occasion.

This is how it is then possible to use a network that was actually always part of the internet, although it did not seem so, because it was merely virtual.

Keep your personal information safe online

VPN general use


Another important aspect of VPNs, is that by circulating information directly through servers, which encrypt the data, they keep the information and all activity related to data transfer hidden, for this reason VPNs‌ are widely used by banks, insurers, stockbrokers and even educational institutions to protect the data information of their students.

Additionally, VPNs‌ also offer the user the ability to evade firewalls, restrictions and censures of certain networks that are connected to the internet.

For example, in China, where the public internet has strict firewalls that do not allow users to freely access websites censored by the government, many users use VPNs‌ daily to be able to simply access internet pages that for the people of the West are Common access, such as Netflix or Yahoo.

The web is really not worldwide: each country has a different access

But is the VPN an application?

What is VPN, goes far beyond the image of a simple application, it is rather an interface that allows the user to use all the components of his computer, as we normally do when using the operating system of our devices.

Currently there are a wide variety of VPNs‌ with functions that specifically fit each user and their activities, be it work, entertainment or leisure.

So finally, after having clear what is VPN, you will have to ask yourself exactly what other additional functions can provide the user, to find the one that suits your needs.

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International Business Consulting
About the author - International Business Consulting
Yoann is an International Business Consultant, facilitator and coordinator. He worked more than 10 years in global business, supply chain, financial, SAP ERP projects, Web and SEO optimization for various industries, such as logistics, cosmetics, consumer goods, beauty care, or fashion, in more than 30 countries around the globe.
 




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