A VPN (Virtual Private Network) or Virtual Private Network means that, unlike a physical network, there are no cables or hardware that would allow you to connect inside it. Everything takes place in virtual space. The term “Private” means that access to such a network is limited, which translates into increased security when using it.
How does a VPN work?
When surfing the Internet normally, a lot of packets are sent from our computer. You can then easily view our data. The situation is different with websites secured by the https protocol. It guarantees a certain sense of security, as all data we send is encrypted.
A VPN works in a similar way. The difference is that the connection takes place through a secured, encrypted tunnel, and the process itself is called tunneling. Tunneling intercepts all the packets we send, encrypts them and puts them in a new packet. Then these packages are unpacked on the server. If someone intercepts our data along the way, they will receive it in encrypted form.
VPN hides from others what network we are currently using. By connecting to the appropriate VPNs, you can easily circumvent regional blocks or censorship. This is especially useful in countries that use heavy internet censorship by blocking most popular sites.
A VPN is great for using public networks (restaurants, airports). Free networks involve a lot of risk as we are not sure of the origin of such a network or who is connecting to it and for what purpose. In this case, a VPN is a security for us. If you want to read more about how VPNs work, check out here.
How to use a VPN?
We can choose from a lot of different types of VPN services we can use. There are both paid and free versions (these, however, have some limitations, but for occasional use you do not need anything else)
The easiest solution is to use VPN browser add-ons. There are a lot of them to choose from for every most popular browser. The add-ons Hoxx VPN Proxy or Hola VPN might be worth recommending for some. However, this is not the best solution. These VPNs are free and often disconnect and do not guarantee connection stability. The situation improves slightly when we purchase these add-ons in the full version. When it comes to browsers, it is also worth testing Opera, which offers a built-in VPN. It’s also useful to connect to a VPN which can support split-tunneling, so only specific applications or your Internet traffic will or will not go through the VPN servers.
There are also specialized sites entirely devoted to the subject of VPNs that offer their own specialized software (just enter the phrase “VPN” in the search engine). Most often, however, you have to buy them. An example is the renowned NordVPN or Surfshark. It is not a cheap thing, but in return we get an efficient, reliable service.
When choosing a VPN, it is worth paying attention to whether the service provider saves our activity in its logs and how long such data is kept. It is important that it does not save our IP and such data is stored for a maximum of a few days. It is also worth finding out what the speed of the service provider’s servers is. Even the best VPN will be useless if the pages load for a few minutes, and we can only dream of watching a short video.