What is VPN? Definition for Dummies!

VPN Definition

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) guarantees your privacy and anonymity on the Internet by creating a private network with a public Internet connection. VPNs mask your Internet Protocol (IP) address so that your online activities are virtually untraceable. More importantly, VPN services establish secure and encrypted connections to provide more privacy than a secure Wi-Fi hotspot.

VPN simple definition and explanation

A VPN, or virtual private network, is a secure tunnel between your device and the internet. VPNs protect you from spyware, interference, and censorship.

VPN is the easiest and most effective way to protect your internet traffic and keep your personal information private. When you connect to a secure VPN server, your internet traffic travels through an encrypted tunnel that no one sees, including hackers, governments, and your ISP.

The general public uses VPNs to maintain their online privacy and unblock access to websites and services that might otherwise be restricted.

Businesses use VPNs to connect employees who work remotely as if they were all using the same local area network in the office, but with less benefit to the individual than a personal VPN.

Why do you need a VPN?

Nobody likes to be tracked and observed – even if they have nothing to hide. This is why you need the right tool. Here are some other reasons you might need a VPN:

Youregularly use public Wi-Fi

By definition, a VPN is your best friend when you use public Wi-Fi. Hackers have many ways to steal your data from shared hotspots, but using a VPN means you don’t have to worry anymore. Hence, people who want to browse in confidence should use a VPN to secure their connection.

You need to hide your location

People who work in countries with restricted freedom of expression hope to have a private Internet connection for their work. Sometimes their life can depend on it. Anyone living in an authoritarian regime should use a VPN to mask their IP address and provide additional security for their confidential messages.

You want to access blocked content

One of the most popular things a VPN is used for is access to content. If using streaming services and social media abroad is important to you, a VPN can help. It changes your IP address and redirects your internet connection through a remote server.

You don’t want to be followed and monitored

Government agencies track and collect your opinions, messages, social media posts, and other private information. The VPN protects you from this by encrypting your data traffic and masking your IP address. Use it at home, at work and on the go for continuous protection.

You are an online gamer

People who like to play online have to deal with DDoS attacks, bandwidth restrictions, and content restrictions. Fortunately, you can forget about all of these problems with a VPN. If you are serious about gaming and want to enjoy a stable and secure connection, consider using a VPN.

You want to encrypt your data

Using a VPN is a good idea even if you are browsing at home.

VPN encryption is important if you want to protect your internet traffic and minimize your digital footprint. As a result, your ISP cannot sell all of your browsing history to the highest bidder.

How does a VPN work?

When you download the VPN software to your device, it does most of the work for you, all you need to do is identify yourself and sign in.

However, knowing how a VPN works does help to better understand the service. Here’s what’s going on behind the scenes:

  1. When you connect to a VPN, your client is authenticated through a VPN server.
  2. The server then applies the encryption protocol to all data that you send and receive.
  3. The VPN service creates an encrypted “tunnel” over the Internet. It provides data that travels between you and your destination.
  4. To ensure the security of each data packet, the VPN wraps it in an external packet, which is then encapsulated. It is the main element of a VPN tunnel that ensures the security of data in transit.
  5. When the data arrives at the server, the external packet is discarded during decryption.

The technology behind VPNs is complex, but their use is not. Read on to learn how to set up a VPN on your devices.

The VPN glossary

Here are some basic VPN concepts to help you understand how a VPN works and the benefits it offers:


The VPN server acts as a proxy server : instead of your real IP address and the location you are visiting, only the IP address and the location of the VPN server are displayed.

It makes you more anonymous online.


Establishing a secure connection is a tricky problem that is solved by math in a process called authentication.

Once authenticated, the VPN client and the VPN server can be sure that they are communicating with each other and with no one else.


The VPN protects the connection between client and server through tunneling and encryption.

Tunneling is the process in which each data packet is enclosed in a different data packet . This makes reading difficult for others during transport.


The data inside the tunnel is also encrypted so that only the specified recipient can decrypt it. This makes the content of your internet traffic completely private. Even your ISP won’t see it.

VPN protocols

VPN protocols are like a series of instructions . VPN providers use them to ensure that users can securely connect to their service. There are many VPN protocols available, each with their advantages and drawbacks.

The most popular VPN protocols today include:

  • IKEv2
  • OpenVPN
  • L2TP / IPsec
  • SSTP
  • PPTP
  • Wire protection

View all VPN logs .

Types of VPNs

All types of VPN can be divided into two main categories:

  • Remote VPN: Remote VPN allows users to connect to a remote network, usually with special software. NordVPN falls into this category. If you’ve ever had to connect to an office network, chances are you’ve used a dial-up VPN as well. This makes working outside the office safer and easier, as employees can access data and resources from anywhere.
  • Site-to-Site VPN: Site-to-Site VPNs are primarily used by businesses, especially large companies. They allow users in selected locations to securely access each other’s networks. It’s a great way to connect all of your offices and allow various affiliated companies to securely share resources and information.

How to choose a VPN

The most important quality when choosing a VPN service is trust . A reliable VPN provider:

  • is transparent in its privacy policy
  • has passed at least one independent audit
  • develops its systems to avoid the storage of personal data
  • demonstrates an unwavering commitment to online privacy and digital freedom.

Then choose your VPN based on the features you need , such as: B. Location of the VPN servers, compatibility with all your devices and unlimited bandwidth.

Our VPN recommendations in 2024

If you’re new to a VPN and want a basic VPN to use on shared WiFi hotspots or to access restricted websites, there are some good, easy options .

We likeExpressVPN Since it has faster speeds and a lot more features than average , including clients for almost all devices, you can even preinstall a router with its VPN client.

How do I surf safely with a VPN?

A VPN encrypts your surfing behavior, which can only be decrypted with a key. Only your computer and VPN know this key , so your ISP may not know where you are browsing. Different VPNs use different encryption methods, but generally work in three steps:

  1. Once you are online, start the VPN. A VPN acts as a secure tunnel between you and the internet. Your ISP and other third parties cannot see this tunnel.
  2. Your device is now in a VPN and your IP address can be changed to the IP address provided by the VPN server.
  3. You are now free to use the internet as you wish as the VPN protects all of your personal data.

questions and answers

What is a VPN?

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) protects your personal information and browsing activities from hackers, corporations, government agencies, and other surveillance entities. When you connect to the Internet, your data and your IP address are masked as a virtual tunnel. This prevents others from spying on your online activities.

How does a VPN work?

When using a VPN, you first sign in to the service before connecting to the internet. As soon as you’re connected to a VPN server, snoopers can’t track you and follow your activity. Your VPN provider encrypts and aggregates your data so that hackers, government agencies, and corporations can’t see what you’re doing online. You can visit websites, send messages, and download files anonymously.

Is VPN Safe to Use?

A good VPN is a safe way to surf the internet . Without this tool, your activities and downloads can be seen by hackers, spies and cyber criminals. A hacker can intercept your e-mails, steal sensitive information or find out the passwords for your online banking services. And you’d be exposed to identity theft or fraud. As a result, connecting to a VPN that protects your online privacy is one of the safest ways to surf the internet.

Is a VPN legal?

VPNs are not illegal in France . However, not all countries have the same laws governing these services. For example, China, Russia, and North Korea regulate or prohibit VPNs. You should also be aware that any illegal act you commit online with a VPN is still illegal. Customers often use VPNs to stream sporting events and TV shows that may be denying access to their own region. Using a VPN to pretend that you are accessing the internet from a different location can violate your streaming service contract.

Are Free VPNs Safe?

There are many free VPNs to choose from. This can be useful if you are on a budget. Be aware, however, that free VPN services may not offer the same type of privacy while browsing as paid services . Free VPNs have to make money somehow. They can do this by tracking and collecting your ad data and selling it to third parties like advertisers. You may impress others with the constant flow of online advertising. Free VPNs can be easy on your wallet, but using them can compromise some of your privacy.

What are the cons of VPN?

There aren’t many downsides to using a VPN. It is possible ? A VPN can result in a slightly slower internet connection . This is because a VPN encrypts the data you send and receive, which can cause delays when browsing the internet or downloading files.

Should I use a VPN at home?

VPNs are especially useful when you browse the Internet over a public Wi-Fi network, whether you are in a coffee shop, hotel lobby, or public library. But even at home, a VPN can protect your privacy and protect your activities from prying eyes. You can also use a VPN to access streaming content from home that might otherwise be blocked in your area .

Is the VPN hiding your IP address?

With a VPN, you access the Internet through another provider. And it masks your real IP address . If someone tries to spy on your surfing behavior, that person will only see the IP address of one of your ISP’s servers, not yours.

Can you be spied on while using a VPN?

Your VPN provider should both encrypt the data you send and receive and hide your IP address. This means that criminals, hackers and others cannot track your online activities . However, your Internet Service Provider, also known as your ISP, can determine whether you are using a VPN based on your IP address. If it doesn’t match, your provider will determine that you are using a VPN when you connect to the internet. Fortunately, your ISP still can’t track your browsing activity when you use a VPN.

Do I have to use a VPN all the time?

If you want maximum protection, you should always leave the VPN on . It’s especially important to keep the VPN turned on when you connect to the internet on a public Wi-Fi network. As you know, these compounds are dangerous to hackers and cyber criminals. You should also use a VPN every time you log into your credit card or online account. You don’t want to divulge this sensitive financial information to online thieves.

Can your ISP see your VPN history?

When you connect to the internet through a VPN , your ISP cannot see your browsing and download history . This is one of the main advantages of a VPN: keeping your browsing history secret from your ISP.

Is your VPN using up battery?

The VPN uses more power from your battery when it is on . This can cause problems when using a VPN with a smartphone. However, many VPNs have a “power saving” feature. It automatically turns off VPN when the device screen is turned off. When you turn the device on again, the VPN is automatically turned on again.

Is It Safe to Use a VPN for Banking Services?

Since the VPN encrypts the data you send, for example when entering access data, it can protect you when you visit your bank’s internet portal . Snoopers won’t be able to see your credentials the first time you connect to a VPN. This is especially useful when you need to access internet banking services over a public Wi-Fi network. You should only do this in an emergency as these Internet connections are very vulnerable to hackers. However, if you connect to a public WiFi via VPN, you can block your ad from attackers, hackers, and other spies.


More and more people are realizing that VPNs are essential for online security . Not only do they protect your privacy, but they can also allow you to bypass geographic restrictions – are you struggling with internet censorship or are you just trying to stream your favorite series.

If you are ready to step in and invest in a premium provider, we recommend you above allExpressVPN . It’s super fast, secure, and easy to use, which makes it an ideal choice for newbies to the VPN world .

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