Virtual Private Network (VPN): Guide

By Team Writer - Last Updated on July 15, 2020
Virtual Private Network (VPN)

What is a VPN?

VPN is an acronym for “virtual private network”. It works by encrypting your internet traffic and protecting your identity online. It also serves as a secure channel between your gadget and the internet and can protect your online traffic from probing, interference, and third-party control.

Why Do You Need a VPN Service?

If you’re really wondering what the need for a VPN service is, then the answer is pretty simple. First, for every time you’ve been on the road, opened your emails while eating at a restaurant, or accessing your bank account while waiting in the banking lounge; your data could be stolen. This is because any data transmitted whenever you’re connected to a public or free Wi-Fi network, can easily be hijacked by any other persons logged into the same network.

Therefore, you need a VPN service because of the benefit of encryption and anonymity that comes with it. This would help to protect activities that occur during your online session: payment of bills, checking your emails, or online shopping. In fact, VPNs also help to keep your web browsing activities anonymous to protect your data.

How does a Virtual Private Network Work

Virtual Private Network (VPN) works by extending a corporate network through the encryption of internet traffic over the web. Since the traffic becomes encrypted between the device and the network, it therefore remains private as it travels. Therefore, am individual can operate outside his workplace and still have a secure connection to the corporate network. Smartphones and tablets can also be connected via a VPN.

How to choose a VPN

It is necessary to use a VPN solution that helps you to stay secure when using public Wi-Fi. Before choosing a VPN service, consider the following factors:

  1. Do they respect your privacy?

    You should always keep in mind that the essence of using a VPN is to secure your privacy, thus it is necessary that even your VPN service providers equally respect your privacy too. This would mean they should be unable to track or keep records of your online sessions; that is, they should have a no-log policy.

  1. Will you be allowed to set up VPN access on multiple devices?

    An average individual typically uses two or more different devices. So, it is ideal that you should be able to set up VPN access on all your devices.

  1. Where AreTheLocationsOfTheServers?

    This is important if you’d be considering which server locations are important to you. For instance, make sure there’s a server in a country where you want to appear as if you’re accessing the web.

  1. Do TheySet Data Limits?

    Your internet usage is a vital factor that helps you to know if you would be considering bandwidth as a factor. Therefore, be sure that their services give you an unrestricted bandwidth without data limits, as well as connection speed.

  1. Are they running on the most current protocols?

    It is important for you to know if the VPN service offers the most current or secure protocols. For instance, OpenVPN is one of the open-source software that provides support on all the major operating systems, as well as providing better security than other protocols, such as PPTP.

How to setup a VPN?

For Mac

  • Click the Apple icon in the upper left of your display screen and  then click System Preferences.
  • Click Network.
  • Click the Plus (+) to form a new network connection.
  • Click Interface, and also click VPN from the dropdown menu.
  • Next, select the VPN Type.
  • Give your connection a Service Name, then click Create.
  • Input the Server Address and Account Name, may also be referred to as username by the VPN operator, then click on Authentication Settings.
  • Input the Password and Shared Secret, and also click OK.
  • Click Apply, and then click Connect.
  • Your VPN has now been setup to connect.
  • Select Disconnect to turn off your VPN when you have finished using it.

For Windows 10

The first step is to create a VPN profile which will be filled with details from your chosen VPN service.

  • Click on the Windows button, then proceed to Settings > Network & Internet > VPN.
  • Click on Add a VPN connection.
  • Select Windows (built-in) for your VPN provider. Rename your VPN under Connection name. input the server address, the VPN type, and the type of sign-in information.
  • Ensure to add a user name and password for safety measures. You may also decide to have the computer remember your sign-in info.
  • Click Save

For Windows 7

As soon as the VPN connection has been recognized in Windows 7, the connection can be activated by using either the Network and Sharing Center of the computer system or the Wi-Fi symbol in the notification area of the taskbar using the following steps:

  • Start→ Control Panel→ View Network Status
  • Click the Connect to a Network link.
  • Establish the VPN you want to connect to, click its name and then finally click on theConnect button.
  • The button will only appear after you click the name of the network.
  • To disconnect, click the network name in the dialog box.
  • Click Disconnect when prompted and then click Close.

How do VPN protect my data?

VPN Privacy

When you decide to use a VPN to connect to the internet, websites are unable to view your real IP address. Only the  IP address of the VPN server can be seen. Due to the fact that this public IP address is being used by many people using the server, it allows you to be anonymous.

Encrypted Connections

It makes sure that any connections that might be made from the computer are encrypted first before being sent to your VPN server before the connection is made to whatever website you are visiting. Search engines and other websites will be unable to track your behavior and if you are in a school or work, to see what you are doing.

VPN Protocols

There are a number of various VPN protocols that are used to ensure that your activities and data are secured and encrypted. They are:

  • IP security (IPsec)
  • OpenVPN
  • Point-to-point tunneling protocol
  • Secure sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Later Security (TLS)
  • Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)

Types of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

There are a number of VPN options(1) employed by network administrators, and they include:

  1. Site-to-Site IPsec VPN

    This is a substitute to Frame Relay or leased line. WANs permits businesses to expand network resources branch offices, home offices, business partner sites or wherever they are needed.

  1. Remote-Access VPN

    This covers almost any data, voice, or video app to the remote desktop by imitating the main office desktop. An isolated VPN may be activated by using SSL VPN, IPsec or both, depending on activation requirements.

  1. Mobile VPN

    Here, a VPN server remains at the edge of the company network, allowing secure tunneled access by authenticated, authorized VPN clients. A good mobile VPN enables continuous service to users and can coherently switch across multiple public and private networks.

  1. Hardware VPN

    Particularly, hardware VPNs add to enhanced security features by providing load balancing to take care of client loads. Typically, hardware VPN costs more than a software VPN. This, therefore, makes them a more realistic option for big organizations rather than for small organizations.

  1. Dynamic multipoint virtual private network (DMVPN)

    This is a secure network which exchanges data between sites without having to transmit traffic through an organization’s headquarter virtual private network (VPN) server or router.

Consumer Versus Corporate Services

To protect their online activities and data, consumers use a private VPN service also known as a VPN tunnel. This enables then to be anonymous; keeping their online sessions and information encrypted and safe from falling in the hands of eavesdroppers.

However, corporate companies and organizations will usually use a VPN to communicate privately over a public network, and to send voice, video or data. This is also an ideal method for remote employees and organizations with global branches and partners to share data in a confidential way.

Free Virtual Private Network

A free VPN offers an unrestricted right to use a VPN server network, together with the basic software, free of charge. The fact remains that hosting a network of VPN servers demands app development, monthly expenses and support which all requires some level of financial commitment.

The reality is that free VPN services get paid based on their user base, this is usually done by  collecting and selling private user data to the highest bidder. Whenever you   use a free VPN app to route your online traffic through a on your device, it can use this channel to retrieve your online activity and trade it to third parties and marketing networks.

In a nutshell, more than 50 % of free VPN services have been confirmed to be very invasive and risky. Notwithstanding there are free trial VPN services that provide a limited amount of a risk-free trial period.

Virtual Private Network Examples to Know

These VPNS charge a fee per month to make it user safe. Over 20 factors have been considered for selection purposes and these include: number of server locations, client software, dedicated and dynamic IP, bandwidth caps, security, logging, customer support and price.

Below is a list of some VPN examples you may need to keep in mind:

  • Surf shark
  • Nord VPN
  • ExpressVPN
  • Symantec
  • IP Vanish
  • TorGuard
  • Buffered VPN
  • Safer VPN
  • HMA
  • Tunnel Bear

Virtual Private Network Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of using a VPN

  • Enhanced security: When you connect to VPN through the network, the data is kept safe and encrypted.
  • Remote control: In having a VPN, it ensures that information can be accessed remotely from home or anywhere else. That is why the use of VPN can increase productivity within a company.
  • Share files: A VPN service can be used for sharing of data for an extended period of time.
  • Online anonymity: A VPN service allows you to access both online web applications and websites in complete obscurity.
  • Unblock websites & bypass filters: VPNs can be used to enter blocked websites and also to avoid Internet filters.
  • Change the IP address: It can grant you the ability to use an IP address from another country, only a VPN can provide you with this service.
  • Better performance: Increase in the bandwidth and efficiency of the network can  be amplified once a VPN solution or upgrade is suggested.
  • Reduce costs: The maintenance costs of a VPN network are very low.

Disadvantages of VPN

  • The network quality of the VPN depends on the type of VPN service provider.
  • The quality of the VPN connection may depend on the total cost of the VPN service provider subscription. Opting of more features and bandwidth may require payment of an additional amount.

Frequently Asked Questions about Virtual Private Network

Q. How Can a VPN Help Protect Against Identity theft?

A. A VPN can help you to prevent a case of identity theft by protecting your data. It provides a secure and encrypted tunnel for the data you exchange on the internet, so that it’s out of the reach of cyber thieves. VPN helps to protect the information that is transmitted to and from your devices.

Q. Can I use two VPNs at once?

A. As a matter of fact, you can actually use multiple VPNs at once. When you use two VPNs, it’s called a double VPN connection and it becomes a VPN chaining or VPN cascading when you have multiple simultaneous VPN connections. Having two or more VPN connections offers an extra layer of security.

Q. How Long Does It Take to Launch an Account Based Marketing Campaign?

A. You could launch your account-based marketing campaign in as little as a week or it can take much longer than that. How long it takes depends upon the nature of the campaign, the length of the campaign, and perhaps how many resources, how much time, and how much money is involved.

Q. What is a mobile VPN?

A. A mobile VPN does not necessarily mean a VPN that is on a mobile phone. Rather, it is simply a VPN that can change points of network attachment and IP address. Mobile VPNs are used in environments where workers need to keep application sessions open at all times, throughout the working day.

Q. Can I use a VPN on my mobile device?

A. The answer to this is simple and straightforward – Yes! You can totally use a VPN on your mobile device. All you need to do is to select a trustworthy and quality VPN app that enables you to mask your location.

Q. What is a remote-access VPN?

A. Basically, a remote-access VPN allows the user to connect to private network from a remote location. Remote-Access VPN covers almost any data, voice, or video app to the remote desktop by imitating the main office desktop. An isolated VPN may be activated by using SSL VPN, IPsec or both, depending on activation requirements.

Q. What is a site-to-site VPN?

A. The site-to-site VPN connection allows subordinate or branch offices to use the internet as a channel for accessing the head office’s intranet. Basically, it allows offices in various fixed locations to establish secure connections with each other over a public network such as the internet.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, almost everyone involved in a private or corporate organization, needs a VPN. The reason for this can be summarized in one sentence: the internet isn’t safe, and that’s why you need a VPN. This is why we will conclude by sharing with you our popular VPN recommendations:

  • NordVPN
  • Private Internet Access VPN
  • TunnelBear VPN
  • CyberGhost VPN
  • ExpressVPN
  • IPVanish VPN
  • TorGuard VPN
  • Surfshark VPN
  • Symantec Norton Secure VPN
  • ProtonVPN
  • StrongVPN
  • Buffered VPN, and a host of others.
Team Writer

Team Writer | TechFunnel.com is an ambitious publication dedicated to the evolving landscape of marketing and technology in business and in life. We are dedicated to sharing unbiased information, research, and expert commentary that helps executives and professionals stay on top of the rapidly evolving marketplace, leverage technology for productivity, and add value to their knowledge base.

Team Writer

Team Writer | TechFunnel.com is an ambitious publication dedicated to the evolving landscape of marketing and technology in business and in life. We are dedicate...

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