Originally, VPNs were used to connect remote parts of the company via the Internet to the corporate network. Today, the technology is also used for completely different applications. How you can benefit from the use of VPN technology, I’ll show you in the following post.
That’s the concept of a VPN
The architecture of the world network is clear to you? It is designed in such a way that data communication can always search for new ways when individual or even entire groups of technical components fail, for example because they are destroyed by acts of war. That makes the world network safe. Certainly, however, only to the extent that the maintenance of communication links is meant.
In terms of data traffic as such, the world network is more comparable to the mass mailing of postcards. Anyone who gets their hands on the postcard or the data package can read it. VPN is the name of the technology that eliminates this shortcoming.
VPN, the virtual private network, establishes a client-server connection over the Internet. The world network serves only as a transport medium.
The client sets up a communication tunnel to the server. Although this tunnel runs on the unsecured infrastructure of the network, the communication itself takes place in encrypted form within this tunnel. The security here is twofold.
For one thing, nobody can look into the tunnel from outside. On the other hand, even if this were possible, nobody could read the communication because it is encrypted.
Additional security comes from the fact that the VPN completely breaks off the communications tunnel and rebuilds it as soon as it suspects that someone is trying to enter the tunnel.
So that explains the name. VPN connects a client to a server, which typically provides access to an internal corporate network. This internal network is virtually expanded. The private attribute results from the foreclosure of traffic against third parties.
In the past, VPN was therefore primarily a technology for connecting field staff to the company network or branches of a company at the main site. The Microsoft operating system Windows, for example, offers integrated VPN in its server and desktop variants, so that it requires only the configuration, but no further investment.
Overall, the provider landscape in the VPN industry is quite colorful, with Microsoft and Citrix certainly the top dogs in the industry are already named. In addition to this central purpose, there are more, which are ultimately relevant for everyone.
VPN for everyone
When talking about VPN these days, it’s not usually the scope of application described above. In the last few years, the use of VPN for the benefit of the contents of the Internet as such has become much more prevalent. There are some legitimate and legal and a few illegal usage scenarios.
Freedom of expression and political activism
Freedom of expression is an unknown foreign word in many parts of the world. And even in the so-called civilized world, it is not entirely safe to express your honest opinion if it is not in line with the politically correct mainstream.
Depending on where you live, freedom of expression can be life-threatening or at least potentially cost you your economic livelihood. It makes sense, therefore, to make sure that you can not be located on the net.
Of course, there’s a whole bundle of precautions to take, but laying the foundation to keep your IP address and surfing history out of the reach of third parties is definitely a good place to start. Also helps you VPN technology.
Access to services that are protected by geo-blocking
If we stick to questions of freedom of expression, we find that there are states in the world that censor sources of information. For example, Turkey has repeatedly made headlines that access to Twitter in the country was blocked. Of course, the censorship king worldwide is the People’s Republic of China, for which basically a separate service infrastructure had to be created, because western services are largely inaccessible. What can citizens in countries with extensive censorship do to obtain or share free information?
On the less dangerous side of life, some Internet users are annoyed that they can not access the US catalog of Netflix or Hulu from around Europe. It can also help VPN.
Secure use of the Internet in unsafe environments
You sit in the airport lounge and use the open airport WLAN. Here you are doubly endangered. Basically, you do not write pictorial postcards, but loudly call your data for anyone through the hall. Even less gifted scriptkiddies can listen to all your traffic with a simple smartphone app.
Now you could of course adjust to the situation and just read a bit in the South German (because of the Political Correctness). But what if you still have one or two important issues to deal with, where sensitive data plays a role? Take a VPN.
That’s what VPN providers do
Technically, a VPN secures your communications by installing a tunnel, your data by encryption, and your location by always getting an IP on the VPN from the network you’re logging in to. For example, if you log in from Flensburg to the company network in Munich, the local server assigns you an IP from the Munich network. Your physical position does not matter. You recognize the potentials?
You’ve probably already stumbled upon services like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, ProtonVPN and whatever they’re called. Incidentally, the colleagues of VPNpro have a very good overview of the VPN providers for you, if you speak English.
All of these services break the typical use case of a VPN. They do not connect you to a corporate network or another private network. Instead, they redirect you back to the Internet through their VPN servers.
You install on your smartphone, tablet, notebook or PC the respective client of the VPN provider of your choice. After you have started this client, it is usually sufficient to press the “Connect” button. Already the client connects to the VPN provider.
Now you have several advantages:
Your IP address is not traceable to you
The VPN provider assigns your device an IP from its network. In the Internet, in turn, the VPN provider usually goes with a single IP for hundreds of customer lines, so that even in the case of access to the data of the VPN provider by authorities is not traceable, which customer now called which page and which ,
In general, VPN providers also protect themselves by not even storing IP assignments and activity histories. Where nothing is stored, nothing can be assigned afterwards.
For network services, you are at the location of the VPN server
Large VPN providers have servers in many countries around the world and allow you to connect to servers of your choice. If you make use of this option and connect to a server in Brazil, for example, then all the services you visit will make you believe that you are a Brazilian user.
For example, you bypass geo-blockades for reasons of censorship, but also geo-blockades for economic reasons, such as those of Netflix or Hulu.
You use the open WLAN of the caf around the corner carefree
The fact that your network communication tunneled and encrypted runs over your chosen VPN provider, you can calmly surf in open Wi-Fi around the corner and doing what you want to do on the net.
You are not limited to the use of the browser. Rather, you can use all IP-based services.
Conclusion: VPN for everyone is a good thing
Of course, it does not matter which VPN provider you choose, but there are not big differences, at least compared to the big names in the industry. Here you can definitely go for the price as an essential criterion.
I would not recommend you American providers, because these are known to be obliged to give authorities access to their customer data. Such providers will log so that’s not in your favor.
In addition, it is important to find a trustworthy provider, because while not even your ISP (Internet Service Provider), so the service provider, you go through the technical network, see what you do when and where in the network, it can your VPN provider, of course, definitely.
Have you already had experiences with a VPN for everyone? Which is your preferred provider and why?
(Post Image:Stefan Coders / pixabay)