In the digital era, Virtual Private Network (or VPN) is an important thing for internet users. As the name suggests, a VPV service allows the users to send or receive data while staying anonymous. It helps you stay secure while online, as you can keep anything private. Simply defined, a VPN refers to a secure connection between your device (computer) and another device over the internet.
Defining VPN Service and the Way It Works
As mentioned above, a VPN is creating a secure network throughout the network transport (internet), which may be less secure. It connects two nodes or more within the network. In other words, it is used to connect machines operated by individual users to sites or to connect sites to sites. You can connect to other users on the internet by means of a VPN.
In the internet era, most operating systems now have an integrated VPN support. You can connect your PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone to another computer (called server) on the internet. With a VPN, you can browse the internet by using the server’s internet connection. When your computer is connected to internet, it will act as if it is at the same location as the VPN. As your computer acts as if it is on the network, you can access local network resources while you are actually in a different country. The following are few instances on how VPN works:
- Take an example that the VPN is located in Australia. When your device is connected to the VPN, it will appear as if you were from Australia. In case that you actually live in Canada, you will potentially have access to things, which other Canadian cannot normally access.
- Imagine that your use the internet to access Netflix. If the VPN is located in the USA, Netflix will see that your connection is from within the United States. A VPN enables you to access geo-blocked sites like Netflix, Pandora, or Hulu.
Is securing connection over the internet the only use of VPN service? The answer is NO. The following are example uses of VPNs:
Crossing Geographic Boundaries
Take an example that the government in your country blocks a site, while it is not blocked in Singapore. Then, if you want to visit the blocked site, you can use a Singapore-based VPN to access the site. The server in Singapore will see you as coming from within the country.
In other words, VPNs enable you to bypass geographic boundaries while browsing internet. This is actually the most common use of VPN. Internet users benefit from its cross-boundary system to watch media contents from a different country.
There may be some circumstances, in which you need to stay anonymous while being connected to internet. A VPN service helps hiding your true location. For instance, you may be working on internet in a coffee shop, but nobody in the coffee shop recognizes you since you stay anonymous.
This is particularly helpful when you are using a public Wi-Fi connection. You can hide your browsing activity from the local network by connecting to a VPN. All the traffic will be sent safely oven the VPN connection.
Imagine that you want to access your office’s network while traveling. A VPN allows you to do. That is VPNs are popular among business travelers. They can still access the local network in their office, including all the resources in it, while they are away. The good thing is that the local networks do not need to be exposed to internet. So, travelers can access the local network’s resources in a secured way.
Just like using a VPN for connecting to your office’s network, you can use it to connect to your home network. For instance, you can play games over the internet or access local file shares on your home network while you are in a business traveling.
How to Get a VPN Service
Actually, you can choose to either use a VPN from your office or get one for yourself. However, most people use a VPN service to cross the geographic boundaries, protect them while Torrenting, or watching online media, which are only available at a different country.
A number of sites are now offering VPN service. Just visit a trusted VPN provider and download the VPN client, which is suitable for your device. The process of installing VPN client is simple, but finding a trusted VPN provider can be a challenge. Therefore, make sure to choose one after studying all the relevant information.