What is a VPN?

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A VPN is a low cost but yet incredible way to take the internet and add an extra element of security to it to not only deal with problems as you come across them, in the same way that anti-virus software does, but it helps to stop you from coming across those problems in the first place.

What is a VPN?

Standing for a Virtual Private Network, a VPN is basically a barrier between yourself and the internet with all of your information given an extra barrier before getting to its destination.

No matter how often we use used the internet, more and more of our sensitive information is inputted and stored on our computers and by websites but just how secure is that information.

Unfortunately, the answer to that is not very.

For a Virtual Private Network to do what it does, it takes a lot of things to be working on your behalf but thankfully there are a number of services out there that take all of the worry and effort off of your hands and do everything for you.

The process of keeping you extra safe and extra secure is a complicated one that can best be summarised into the following steps.

A VPN starts by making a DNS request to find an IP address to use instead of using your own.

A key that is kept secret is then created to be used to make a secure channel

This protocol then encrypts your data to give you an encrypted connection, which goes by the name of a tunnel to connect your device with the internet.

How a VPN Works
How a vpn works

Difference Between a VPN and a Proxy

Difference Between a VPN and a Proxy

What is the difference between a proxy and a VPN? Read our guide

Difference Between a VPN and a Firewall

Difference Between a VPN and a Firewall

What is the difference between a Firewall and a VPN? Read our guide

What is a VPN is Simple Terms

Whilst using a VPN is a relatively straight forward process, the actual what it does is actually quite complex and that can lead to explanations, probably also including this one!, to become rather more complex than they need to be.

In the simples terms we can do, a VPN basically keep all of the information you put into your phone, tablet, laptop, or computer private and not public.

Many people simply do not realise that everything they input onto a internet connected device can be viewed by others and whilst sometime sit is for legitimate reasons that are still annoying, such as advertisers tracking us to promote products they think we would like, to governments keeping tabs on us to much more nefarious reasons normally involving criminals trying to gather our important information and data such as banking details, credit/debit card numbers or just our personnel info.

It is on that lack of knowledge that others look to take advantage of and it is a VPN that plays a crucial part in keeping the majority of us safer in every day life and more and more of us are using connected devices for more and more parts of our life.

OK, That Makes Sense, Tell Me More

To go more in-depth, a Virtual Private Network creates what is known as a data tunnel between your local network (or basically your home set up including your computer and router, or your phone/tablet and wi-fi/mobile network on the move) and an exit node found elsewhere.

This can be down the road or more likely in a completely different location and that allows you to access your favourite websites and apps whilst appearing to be from somewhere completely different than you are.

Aside from the great safety aspects that come with that, it can also allow you to access restricted content made available to those outside of your location and you can also often receive cheaper prices on the things you buy.

The data that goes between your set up and the new location that you choose is fully encrypted, which makes that data unreadable to looking to access your data and maybe to steal your personal information.

Whilst this is a huge plus at home it is simply essential if you use public or open wi-fi networks, where the same network you are passing information over, can be accessed by anybody else with range of the network, which could be thousands of people in crowded areas such as airports, shopping centres and train stations.

A VPN also blocks your search history and usage history from been passed onto internet service providers (ISP’s), who can often do what they want with that info, including selling it on to advertisers, marketing agencies, governments, pollsters and worse.

Ok, you’ve sold me on getting a VPN, but which one should I get?

Unfortunately, that is not actually a straight forward question to answer. Know that you know what a VPN is, the next thing that you need to understand is that there are a lot of options out there, all offering great Virtual Private Networks, but with so many functions offered by the best services, the one that is right for you really comes down to what you will be wanting to use your VPN for and how you intend to use it.

With so many options out there, this can actually seem like a confusing and somewhat overwhelming decision to make but the great news is that we make it as simple as possible to make your decision.

If you were unsure of what a VPN is and that is why ended up on this page, the chances are that you will only want the key functionalities of a VPN, including keeping you safe online and that is what the vast majority do.

With that in mind we would recommend starting with our list of the Top 10 VPN’s that are on the currently on the market as these are all well-established, safe and secure services that offer all that you will likely need from a VPN and best of all, the best rated service son this site all constantly evolved to make sure that you are not just safe and secure now but you will be in the future.

Thorn VPN
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