Everything you need to know about Virtual Private Networks

In 2021, VPN downloads increased by 184% to 785 million. As a result, people get access to prohibited sites and applications, encrypt bank card data, and make purchases on the dark Web – why a VPN is needed already clear. So, this article is more about its functionality.

The prospect of using a VPN

Before discussing vulnerabilities, it is necessary to understand how this technology is gaining more and more popularity daily. A VPN (a virtual private network) is a so-called “encrypted tunnel” between a user and a server. The server authorizes the user, granting the right to perform certain actions, such as reading mail, surfing the Internet, etc. Your device has an IP address provided by your ISP, the VPN server changes your IP to its own, and from the VPN server, all data is transferred to external resources that you are interested in.

So, VPN is a tool that provides a secure, encrypted online connection. It is mainly used to guarantee privacy and anonymity on the Internet, to avoid geographic blocking and censorship.

Everyone knows that corporations like Google and Facebook use search terms for advertising purposes. Of course, if you don’t like it, you can delete your Facebook account at any time and miss out on your relative’s next political tirade, but giving up an ISP isn’t that easy, especially if the choice of providers in your city is small. A VPN solves both problems, allowing you to mask your traffic from your ISP and hide your location from the all-seeing Google or Facebook.

Types of VPN technology

There are currently two types of VPNs:

  • Secure Gateways create an encrypted data tunnel when users connect to the Web. It is available to anyone with Internet access and the necessary software.
  • Intranet – internal networks of large corporations or government organizations. The intranet works on the same principle as the Internet, but only authorized personnel can access the network. It creates a reliable connection that allows remote employees to work efficiently.

An intranet is also called a site-to-site or router-to-router VPN. It creates a closed internal network where users from different locations can securely connect without the risk of being hacked.

The advantages of VPN services

The advantages of using VPN technology include the following:

    • The ability to hide your identity on the Internet. IP masking and internet traffic encryption ensure that no one can spy on you on the Internet.
    • Bypass geo-blocking. Sometimes the site cannot be entered because it is blocked in a particular country.
    • Geoblocking. You can select the country or region where the site is not blocked using a VPN service. It will allow you to open the web page freely.
    • Network connection protection. The service encrypts all online communications and ensures no one can track your online activities.
How to choose a VPN provider?

Many service vendors try to gain users’ trust, but this is extremely difficult. So before choosing a free VPN for Android, it is recommended to read the privacy policy to understand the company’s efforts to protect it. Also, follow these tips for selecting a VPN provider:

      • study the characteristics (Internet speed, type of encryption, anonymity, etc.);
      • check compatible devices;
      • find a service with a friendly user interface to make it easier to install and set up a VPN;
      • make sure you can work with servers in the regions you need (each company has a limited list of servers in different parts of the world);
      • decide if the tariff plan is suitable.

The free versions have fewer server locations and less bandwidth. Therefore, data is often tracked and transferred to third-party companies.