If you are new to the concept of a VPN, you’ll probably notice that the words tunnel or tunneling keep popping up in the things you read. It is important for you to know that understanding the specifics of VPN tunneling is not necessary for you to use a VPN.
Tunneling is the idea upon which VPN technology is based. The tunnel is the medium through which your Internet traffic is encrypted and secured by the VPN. For those that are so inclined, we offer the following information on a VPN tunnel.
Two types of VPN tunneling
There are two types of tunneling used in a VPN. They are known as voluntary and compulsory, respectively. We’re going to focus more on a VPN tunnel that is voluntary because that is the type of VPN service we provide to increase your Internet security, but first let’s briefly discuss compulsory tunneling.
A compulsory VPN tunnel is one where the carrier network provider manages the setup of the VPN connection. The main thing you need to know about a compulsory tunnel is that the ISP has full management control of the VPN tunnel. This is not the type of VPN tunneling you want to select for your personal service.
A voluntary tunnel, like the one VPNaccounts provides, puts you in full control. You manage the setup of your VPN, and you choose when to connect to it. First, you make a connection to your access point or ISP. Next, you connect to your VPN which creates the tunnel to the VPN server over your live connection.
The great thing about a voluntary tunnel like the one we offer is that how and when you use the VPN to connect is something you decide. There may be times when you don’t feel a VPN is necessary, like when you are using your own secured network at home (although, using a VPN even at home can sometimes be very useful). Other times, such as when you are traveling abroad, a VPN tunnel will be a necessity.
Your own private tunnel bear
As we mentioned, the concept of the tunnel is central to VPN technology. What is a tunnel? It is a passage, plain and simple, from your machine to the access point. Before information can get to and from your machine to the access point is has to pass through that tunnel.
Standing guard in the tunnel is something called encryption. You can think of encryption as your own private tunnel bear. The tunnel bear (encryption) provides the security which makes a VPN effective in preserving your anonymity online.
The VPN protocols
Tunneling works because of something known as a protocol. There are actually three types of protocol, but we’re going to hit the high points on the most common one: PPTP.
A few different corporations worked together to develop PPTP for VPN tunneling, but what made it the most popular protocol from the beginning was full Microsoft support. Pretty much every modern version of Windows includes PPTP support in the form of an integrated client. In the beginning, some people criticized the security of Microsoft’s built-in client, but over time the computer giant has developed better PPTP support.
The key thing to understand here, without getting bogged down in a lot of technical jargon, is that your device already has a VPN client installed. That means you do not need to download any software when you purchase a VPN from VPNaccounts. All you need to do is configure it, and we provide simple instructions that will have your VPN up and running in a matter of minutes.
An overview of VPN tunneling
Here is an overview of the basic steps in establishing the VPN tunnel:
- You buy a VPN account.
- You connect to your ISP.
- You connect to your VPN.
- PPTP creates a control connection between the VPN client and the VPN server.
- The tunnel is established.
- You browse as normal, but your data transfer is now encrypted.
PPTP is what maintains the VPN tunnel. It supports authentication, encryption, and packet filtering.
A VPN tunnel is very useful when you are traveling and want to view restricted content or web services that are not available outside of your home country. In truth, that is what most people use a VPN for. Let’s not forget, however, about the VPN tunnel’s role in overall security. When you create that tunnel, your data becomes much harder for anyone to snoop. This is very important if you spend a lot of time connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Learning a little about the tunneling process is helpful, especially if you want to talk with your VPN provider about the specific protocols they use. At VPNaccounts, we are always happy to answer any questions you may have about VPN service.