What is a VPN? – Beginners Guide for Virtual Private Networks

what is vpn?

What is a VPN? – Back to the Basics

By now, most internet users have heard about VPN’s and some of their benefits. But do you know what is a VPN and why you should use one? In this back to the basics article, we will go over the technology that lies behind a VPN and take a look at how you could use a virtual private network to protect your online privacy.

What is a VPN?

A simple VPN definition would say that it is a technology that allows its users to enjoy privacy and security on the internet. Though the meaning of VPN’s is to obtain privacy, this privacy can be classified as optimal, but not total. In theory, all of the traffic that goes through your VPN is safe and can’t be intercepted or traced. This, in return, makes your network private and secure.

Now that we’ve established what is a VPN, let’s look at how it works. A VPN acts like a gateway to the internet and routes your

data through a remote server from one of the services VPN servers located around the world. The data transferred through this connection is encrypted and kept under a safe key. Setting aside the fact that you will have to download and install an app in order to run the VPN, this is basically it.

Why Use a VPN?

A VPN has many useful purposes, but the three most popular benefits of using a virtual private network are:

  • Privacy – Privacy is the top priority and the main concern of every VPN worth its salt. Among the 400+ VPN’s on the market, not all can boast of great privacy levels. A good VPN ensures and protects your privacy in several different ways. Most importantly, VPN’s are used for concealing your real IP address from websites as well as your internet service provider. This means that your real IP address and online activity stay hidden from prying eyes.
  • Security – Staying on the same page, a reputable VPN should have a strong encryption protocol, to make sure that your data stays safe and secure from third-party. For example, ZoogVPN supports OpenVPN TCP/UDP, IKev2, L2TP/Ipsec and PPTP VPN protocols. Each of the mentioned protocols has its pros and cons. For instance, PPTP is a great way to bypass geo-restriction, while it lacks certain safety features. On the other hand, L2TP/Ipsec is much more secure but not as fast. Out of all of them, the best overall combination of speed, performance and safety can be found with the OpenVPN protocol. It is also the easiest to use and most popular protocol.
  • Unrestricted Internet Access – As much as VPN is a useful tool in keeping you safe online, it also has a lot of entertainment value. It is a great choice if you want to access censored content or watch geo-restricted shows halfway around the world. A VPN lets you access file sharing, streaming, and entertainment websites as if you are located in the relevant country. This is the true purpose and meaning of VPN. Unlimited access to the internet, no matter where you are from.

Just keep in mind, if you start using a VPN on a device that is already infected with a virus or malware, the service wouldn’t do you much good.

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What Makes a Good VPN?

With so many options on the market, it’s hard picking the best one for your needs. Some are good for casual use, while others are more niche and focused on specific services. The best VPN should have a balanced offer of features, protocols, servers and price packages. Here are some of the most important things you should look for when choosing a VPN:

  • Encryption Protocols – There are many VPN protocol types, including PPTP, OpenVPN, IPSec, L2TP and other. All of these protocols are able to provide a secure connection, but each of them also comes with certain advantages and drawbacks, like we’ve mentioned above. If you plan on using VPN service for casual purposes then this doesn’t really matter to you. On the other hand, if you’ll use a VPN extensively or for business purposes, this is definitely worth getting into and researching a bit more.
  • Connection Speed – The encryption protocol you choose will not only affect your encryption strength. It will also have a direct effect on your internet speed. If you use a lighter encryption protocol, you will experience faster internet speeds, but will also potentialy be putting your online anonymity at risk.
  • Apps and Compatibility – A good VPN should offer you a stable and consistent experience across all of your devices. Make sure that your VPN supports both desktop and mobile devices. This will save you the trouble of using a separate VPN for each device. Reputable VPN’s also have direct router support to make the entire process even more streamlined.
  • Logging and Privacy Policy – When running your connection through a VPN, you are basically trusting the VPN with all of your sensitive data. While it may be safe and hidden from third parties, your provider can still log data if they choose. That’s why it’s of vital importance to make sure you’re familiar with the VPN’s Logging and Privacy Policy.
  • Price – While there are free VPN options out there, they can’t match the service a paid VPN can provide. Subscription VPN services take your safety and privacy more seriously and generally have a much better logging and privacy policy than free ones. Paid services usually have a money back guarantee or a free trial. This way you can test the service out before committing to it.

Protect Yourself Now

The more you use the internet, the more you’ll realize that having a trustworthy VPN by your side is a smart and reasonable idea. Now that you know what is a VPN, you can look for the one that best meets your internet needs. With ZoogVPN excels in providing you with an uncompromised level of privacy and security at the most affordable prices. Protect yourself now and take advantage of the many features and benefits ZoogVPN brings its users.