We’re all haunted in some way, more or less, by the What-ifs of the vicious world of internet. Over the time, we’ve grown more prone to be wary of the manipulation of our personal data — each step we take has an influence of a handful amount research like reading the best online reviews or something along the same lines — which for sure is a good practice. Especially, when it comes to giant corps where employees need to access data from different parts of the world, data security plays a huge part. So, to surf safely over the uncertain tides of the internet, data transfer necessitates a decent level of security — that’s where the concept of VPN kicks in.
First up, VPN is the abbreviation for Virtual Private Network. As we can infer from the name, it is a type of network that is Virtual (roughly saying not real) and is private (ensuring your information is private).
VPNs came into existing by big organisations that need to access and manipulate data from different parts of the words remotely, with the cushion of that data being secure. Basically, VPN creates a tunnel that encrypts any data that goes past it.
However, nowadays, VPN has got the attention of common folks too and is widely used all across the globe by users. VPN gives the user the power to virtually fly to any corner of the world and without moving an inch on their seat. More importantly, VPN keeps data under high-level of security encryption. With the use of VPN, users can surf the internet without necessarily sharing their data with their ISPs or the government.
Let’s understand this by an example.
Suppose you want to send someone flowers without letting them know you sent them. You tell a friend to give that person the flowers and tell them that the sender is anonymous. So, when the transaction completes, the data has been sent but the receiver only knows who has the sent data instead of the actual sender. The receiver only knows the person who delivered the flowers. A VPN transaction works in a pretty similar fashion. When you are using a VPN, your data isn’t directly sent to the receiver — it is first sent to the VPN server and then the VPN server forwards the data after encrypting it. Not to mention, your functionality will still remain the same.
One of the most instrumental parts of tracking any user is their IP address. So, in case you don’t want to be tracked by the government, hackers, or the ISPs, you need a service that could hide your IP address from them. When you use a VPN, your IP address is concealed behind the VPN’s server so that your IP can’t be tracked.
As mentioned earlier, your data is encrypted when you use a VPN. It adds another level of safety — in case anyone breaks into your connection, your information will still remain safe and encrypted.
This perhaps is the most common application of VPN that is known to everyone. VPN gives people the power of accessing content that is globally available regardless of the content’s available in their country. One of its prime examples is Spotify.
Spotify isn’t available in India but Indians contribute to a large share of its user base. People use simple VPN-apps to access it.
A lot of countries have restricted the use of torrent sites but an access to VPN helps you stroll virtually on the streets of a country whose government is cool with the torrent sites without anyone noticing. Although, keep in mind that downloading copyright material would still be an illegal activity.
In a nutshell, a VPN is a handy service that works this way — a between your server and the server you are going to communicate with, there exists VPN’s server which ensures you don’t directly interact with the intended server but instead communicates only with the VPN server. VPN establishes a secure connection and unlatches gates of accessing the internet from any geographical location for you.