VPN: What Is It, And What Is It For?
Virtual Private Network
VPN is a network technology that is not new, but it has begun to gain more importance and focus on a personal and business level in recent years.
At first, organizations were the most interested in this technology. Still, over time, the versatility of this type of connection and the uses that can be given to it has made it more popular.
Although its use and knowledge about VPN, it is also common that there are many doubts about this concept, its usefulness, and its benefits while browsing the Internet.
If this is your case and you want to resolve all your questions or concerns about this term, in this article, we will explain what you need to know about VPN so that you can start using the technology properly.
What Is VPN?
The acronym VPN comes from the English Virtual Private Network, which in Spanish would be a virtual private network, which, compared to other computer words, such as HTTP, do give us some precise clues about what the concept is going towards.
To connect to the Internet, whether through your mobile, PC, television or other devices, communication is generally established between the router or modem that connects your workspace or your home with the internet provider, either wired or wirelessly.
The process changes depending on the device you want to connect to, but the essence is the same: your device connects to another device that provides the internet connection.
All the devices you connect to the same router that provides you with the Internet receive a local IP address, granted by the company that offers the service, which is not visible from the Internet.
The local network refers to the entire set of devices that connect to the same router so that you can share files and printers without having to go through the Internet.
A VPN connection allows the creation of a local network without the members being physically in the same space but through the Internet. Hence its name is a virtual private network.
This means that, through a VPN, you get all the advantages of the local network with greater flexibility, since the connection, being through the Internet, can be from one end of the world to another, and that will not interfere with connection security.
Correct implementation of this technology will allow and ensure the confidentiality and integrity of all data and information transmitted through the network.
What Does Data Encryption Mean?
To better understand what a VPN is and how it works, it is necessary to understand the concept of data encryption, which will be used several times throughout this content.
Encryption is the process by which information (your data) is scrambled not to be read. When you connect to the Internet through a VPN, what is encrypted is the connection; In other words, if cybercriminals manage to intercept the flow of your data, the only thing they will see is incomprehensible codes.
This term can be considered a type of secret code that can only be decrypted if a key or logic converts it into meaningful and readable information.
The highest encryption standard is 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). The most secure VPNs use this because the higher the number, the greater the complexity of the code used in data encryption and, therefore, the more difficult it is to guess the key.
The 256-bit is the most reliable, and banks and government agencies even use it to prevent the data that circulates from being compromised.
How Does A VPN Network Work?
Taking as a starting point what has been said about VPN connections, which consist of a virtual private network, it is important to explain how they protect our connection to understand better how they work.
Hides Our Real IP Address And Location
When we connect to the VPN network, we have the possibility to connect from a new server, which works as a gateway. In this way, the public IP shown is not ours but the server in question.
In simpler words: the VPN service spoofs our original IP, making it look like we are in another city or even another country.
Encapsulates The Traffic We Have From The Internet
Internet data that circulates moves in packets. When using a VPN connection, all of the person’s data packets are encapsulated within additional data packets.
This encapsulation creates a private tunnel within public networks.
Encrypt Private Data Through Encryption
When we use a VPN service, internet traffic and all personal information within the private tunnel are scrambled through encryption.
This encryption is a method that hides information by changing it to look like random data that can only be decrypted by certain people or through certain processes.
This means that a VPN connection prevents all the information circulating through it from being hacked by external sources or people.