What is a VPN?

what is VPN

You’ve heard the term, but what is VPN? And what are some of the specifics of VPN technology? These are some questions you might want to answer before checking out our VPN options, and knowing the answers will make you look smart in the company of your tech-savvy friends.

Virtual Private Network

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Let’s break down the each individual component. Virtual relates to the fact that a VPN network is a non-tangible mechanism which facilitates a point-to-point connection by using encryption, a dedicated connection, or a combination of each. The VPN is virtual in the sense that it doesn’t physically reside where you connect to the Internet. A VPN is private because only those who have the credentials supplied by the VPN administrator can connect to it. Finally, it is a network in that the VPN connection is shared by multiple users. That’s the elaborated answer for “what is VPN?”

Simplified, a VPN is a remote connection that allows an authorized group of users to access the Internet via an encrypted connection.

VPN Security Protocols

A specific characteristic of VPN technology is that it operates according to certain security protocols, thereby making it a safer option for Web access. VPN’s prevent personal information from being disclosed by only allowing authenticated access to the server and also by encrypting (think of creating a ciper or secret code) the data that is passed across the network.

VPN’s work on a model of security which includes three primary elements:

Confidentiality insures that those who access the VPN network are protected against attempts to “sniff” personal data. Data becomes unrecognizable gibberish when it is encrypted, and complex keys are required to decrypt the data. This aspect can also reflect the VPN provider’s policy to not log or otherwise keep records of user’s browsing activity.

Authentication means that only those with the proper credentials can access the VPN tunnel. Each time a user attempts to access the VPN their access must be authenticated by multiple measures, beginning with a username and password.

Integrity is used to detect and identify any tampering with transmitted messages. Basically, the integrity of a VPN is an outgrowth of the first two security principles.

Simplified, VPN security safeguards you against tampering and observation of your Internet activities and private data.

Know the basics of VPN

One of the best things about a VPN account from VPN-accounts.com is that you don’t need to be able to explain all the technical aspects of tunneling and encryption to use the technology. A VPN is a bit like a lightswitch. Once the technology is in place, you simply need to turn it on to take advantage of the benefits. If you know the basics, when someone asks, “What is VPN?”, you can give an intelligent answer, but realize that you don’t have to be a technology wizard to use a VPN for added security. To buy a vpn click here.

3 Steps for a VPN

01

Sign upGet an affordable VPN account.

02

ConnectConfigure the VPN on your device.

03

Enjoy VPNEnjoy the benefits of a VPN today.

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Connect & Enjoy: Internet Freedom, Privacy & security.

VPN and Encryption

vpn encryptionYou’re probably already familiar with what a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is. You probably even know that a VPN uses something known as encryption to increase your security. That is about as far as most people ever get in their knowledge of the encryption used in a VPN because the subject can quickly become technical, and the average VPN user has no interest in it. Most people look at their VPN like a light switch. They just want it to come on when they flip the switch.

In this article we’re going to demystify the technology behind VPN encryption, and we’ll even offer a little lesson in Internet history along the way.

The beginning of encryption gave birth to the Internet

Here’s a question to test your knowledge of Internet history: who invented the Internet? If you answered Al Gore, shame on you.

The humble beginnings of the Internet, believe it or not, can be traced back to World War II and a place called Bletchley Park. It was here that Alan Turing and a group of skilled mathematicians and scientists were tasked with deciphering codes intercepted from the German army during WWII. The Germans were using a fairly sophisticated piece of equipment called the Enigma that was able to encrypt messages sent to German leaders in the field. The process was slow, but by the time the war neared a close, Turing and his associates were able to break the codes before they reached their final destination.

Why is this important? Two reasons. First, after the war Turing and the other men involved in the project became the foremost scientists in the field of computers. It was their work which eventually led to the creation of the Internet as we know it today. Second, they were among the first to understand the elaborate process of encryption, and laid the groundwork for it to be perfected as we use it today in a VPN.

Encryption, plainly speaking, is the process of creating elaborate ciphers to encode and decode data. As it relates to a VPN, encryption serves to encode the data passed between computers on a network.

How A VPN uses encryption

A VPN tunnel basically creates a tunnel between your machine and a network access point, and guards that tunnel with encryption. The VPN stands between you and the access point, like a guard. It encrypts the data traveling the network, and also changes your IP address to that of its own. Encryption is the sword in the hands of the VPN. As far as the access point is concerned, it is communicating with the VPN. The VPN then communicates securely with your machine.

A protocol has to be used to maintain encryption, and in most cases in a remote-access VPN the protocol used is known as PPP, or Point-to-Point Protocol. To be more specific, PPP is actually encapsulated in one of the three following protocols:

  • L2F, known as Layer-to-Forwarding
  • PPTP, Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol and the most common variety
  • L2TP, Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol which makes basically combines the features of the first two

This is a lot of technical mumbo jumbo, and the fact is you don’t need to understand how any of it works to use a VPN. Remember the light switch? All you need to do is connect to your VPN and rest assured that your data is being encrypted through one of these protocols.

Why is encryption important?

Whenever you browse the Internet in an unsecured environment, you leave behind a significant digital footprint which can be used to the advantage of data thieves and hackers. From the information retained by your browsers to the emails you send to the sites you visit—all of these are vulnerable to prying eyes without encryption.

When your data is encrypted by a VPN, the result is a string of indecipherable gibberish. Encryption has come a long way since the days of Alan Turing, and the ciphers created today and complex and virtually impossible to break. Another advantage of a VPN is that as encryption gets more advanced so does the VPN. VPNaccounts uses state-of-the-art industry standard encryption to protect your online privacy.

Without encryption there wouldn’t be much point in using a VPN. Encryption and masking your computer’s IP address is what gives a VPN its teeth, so to speak.

Now you have a basic understanding of what encryption is and how it functions to keep you safe while you are browsing the Web. The use of a personal VPN has increased dramatically since 2011 and the numbers of VPN users is expected to reach record numbers by the end of 2013. This makes it all the more important that you know what kind of encryption your VPN provider offers so that you can make an informed choice. Come get yout VPN Account today.

3 Steps for a VPN

01

Sign upGet an affordable VPN account.

02

ConnectConfigure the VPN on your device.

03

Enjoy VPNEnjoy the benefits of a VPN today.

Get a VPN Account

Connect & Enjoy: Internet Freedom, Privacy & security.