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What is VPN and How Does it Work?



What is VPN, and How Does it Work

Image by Stefan Coders from Pixabay

If you’re a regular netizen, you may have heard the word “VPN,” as it’s a popular subject of debate among internet users, especially gamers and developers. But do you know what it is and how it works?

What is VPN?

VPN is the abbreviation of “Virtual Private Network.” It’s a software service (or a tech solution) that helps you protect your online privacy and security. A VPN creates a secure, private connection between your computer and the internet. In layman’s terms, a VPN hides your online identity to protect you from cybercrimes and data breaches. It also protects you from being discriminated against based on your geographical location. Microsoft was the first organization to create VPN in 1996 for its employees.

How does a VPN work?

When you surf the internet without a VPN, your computer directly connects to the website or the server you’re trying to access. Such communication leaves your online privacy, data, and identity visible to hackers. That’s because the websites or servers you access and your internet provider can see your IP address, track your location, and check your identity.

On the other hand, when you use a VPN, it reroutes your internet connection through a secure, encrypted tunnel. VPN creates this tunnel between your computer and the website or server you are trying to access. So, instead of direct communication, like internet surfing without a VPN, data exchange between the computer and the internet takes place through VPN. The encrypted tunnel consists of a remote server that acts as a protection bridge between your device and the internet. In that way, your IP (Internet Protocol) address, online privacy, location, and identity remain hidden. With an active VPN, your online activities cannot be traced because it’s the remote server of the VPN that interacts with the website you access, not your computer.

Why should you use VPN?

VPN ensures your privacy, security, and anonymity, especially when using unsafe Wi-Fi networks in public places. By using a good VPN, you can keep yourself safe from cybercrimes committed by online hackers, geographical restrictions, and spy activities. It provides you with a kind of invisibility cloak when you go online.

What are the different types of VPNs?

Although VPN has many different types, the following are the most popular ones:

Remote-access VPN

By using a remote-access VPN, internet users can connect their devices to another network. This type of VPN is mostly used by organizations to provide their employees with access to the internal system.

Site-to-site VPN

Site-to-site VPN (or router-to-route VPN) is tailor-made for companies and organizations with headquarters at multiple locations. Such VPNs allow companies to create a closed internal network that interconnects their business locations. This type of network is also called an intranet.


SSL VPN allows the employees of a company to access the main network located at the headquarter or workplace via their private devices (laptops, PCs, or Smartphones).

Pros and Cons of using a VPN


  • Encryption of your online identity and privacy
  • Security of your data
  • Mask your physical location and IP address
  • Offer access to the regional or geographically restricted content
  • Secure data transfer
  • Online streaming benefits
  • Avoid censorship
  • Avoid tracking


  • Slow internet speed
  • Lack of cookie protection
  • VPN blockages
  • QoS (Quality of Service) Challenges
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