How Does a VPN Work?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a powerful tool but not everyone understands how it works; here, we'll try to demystify it...

How Does a VPN Work

If you’re first time visiting VPN Reports, you may not be sure what a VPN is all about and how it works. Don’t worry, that’s what this article is all about — we’ll try to explain the basics without harassing you with technical details and at the end, we hope, you’ll join our tribe and get a VPN for yourself. Heck, we hope you’ll suggest it to anyone you know.

How VPN works

As you probably already know, VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and it is a technology that extends a private network across a public network to enable users to send and receive data across public networks as if their devices were directly connected to the private network. All this happens under the hood, with users not even knowing they’re connected to a VPN — all they have to do is press or tap the “connect” button after which they’re good to go.

A VPN was originally invented to allow users to connect to their home or office network while they’re on a different location and then appear like they are connected to a local network.

VPN uses special protocols to encrypt all communication between your device(s) and the rest of the world, ensuring that no one can snoop into your data as it passes through the network.

To put it differently, a VPN establishes a virtual point-to-point connection using so-called tunneling protocols over existing networks. In that sense, there are two ways of how a VPN protects users on the Internet…

1. VPN protects user’s privacy

This is arguably the most important reason why more and more people are getting a VPN. With its ability to encrypt data coming to and from your devices and the rest of the Internet, a VPN makes sure that even if your data is intercepted — the malicious actor wouldn’t be able to do anything with it.

In a different scenario, a VPN protects your privacy by hiding your web browsing from the Big Tech companies like Google and Facebook — both of which are known for keeping track of every move we make online. And, obviously, we don’t like that.

Just remember the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal and you’ll realize where this tracking could lead. No one likes to be tracked online and with a VPN, you get to keep what you’re doing on the Internet under the radar.

Adding to that are various government agencies looking to build our digital profiles by analyzing what and when we do on the Internet. And again, a VPN will protect you.

2. VPN protects users when using public Wi-Fi

It is common sense that all of us should avoid using public Wi-Fi networks, but sometimes that is not an option — you gotta connect to get something done online.

In those cases, you better have a VPN running on (all) your devices to stay safe from malicious actors trying to snoop into your data. The number of these so-called “man in the middle” attacks has been growing in recent years — so you better protect yourself on a public Wi-Fi hotspot. And by that, we mean to get a VPN.

VPN has much more to offer…

Keeping users protected on the Internet alone is a good reason to get a VPN, but there are also other benefits you’ll get as part of the deal.

For instance, you can use a VPN for accessing video streaming services from all across the world. This is especially important when visiting other countries when a service like Netflix could block you from accessing your own account. That’s just the way these services work – they have content rights to deal with.

But, with a VPN – you will be able to trick Netflix’s servers into “thinking” that you’re in the U.S. (or wherever), while in reality – you could be on the opposite side of the planet.

Another popular use case for VPNs is to bypass various restrictions that could be imposed in schools and universities, workplaces, and let’s not forget high-censorship countries. Again, with a VPN, you get to select the (server) location and roam the Internet like it’s nobody’s business.

It is our belief that everyone should have a VPN these days, and the easiest way to get started is to visit our page with Best of the Best VPNs. We did the hard work of testing a few dozen different services and out of that bunch, we selected those that are worth your time. And money. So, check out that page and never look back.