We have often heard of this acronym but never seem to know what it means. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Some may see it as another IT jargon, so we are here to change that for you. 

What is VPN and how does it work?

From the illustration above, you can see the girl surfing the net and reaching out on social media platforms. In between, we have the Black Hat hacker, left confused and wondering how to sneak into her conversations and information. 

This is where VPN serves a role, by clouding your presence and information on the Internet. When you opt for this method, you’ll be identified as anonymous to many entities, be it hackers, networks, even the government. 

VPN connects as a server, this server may be based elsewhere in different countries or regions. From the server’s original location, it can instantly manipulate your current location. Your geolocation is basically rigged. 

For mere instance, you cannot open a Youtube video or Netflix tv show due to region restriction. With VPN, this can be eliminated if your server is based in countries that allow the shows and videos being aired. The nature of the VPN itself can unblock all geolocation requirements and censorship. 

You can now watch your tv shows in “the United States” while the truth is, you’re now laying in bed in Kodiang, Kedah.

VPN is widely used today as it secures your privacy, searches, personal information and to break through location restriction.

Isn’t incognito or private mode enough?

Incognito or private mode deletes your cookies and keeps your browsing history unrecorded. It secures you from hackers, but it does not hide your traffic from other third parties, such as the government, your network admin and internet service provider (ISP). 

It gives off the vibe of privacy but it does not guarantee a total hush. Google and Mozilla are transparent about their browser’s incognito functions, however, Microsoft and Apple did not mention of these true limitations. All Internet users should know that going incognito is just a small part of what VPN can offer. 

What is the risk if I use the Internet without a VPN? 

Let’s get you into a situation.

When you’re in public, there’s always free wi-fi and wireless network available for use. You’ll find this wi-fi weak but bearable and you went for it anyway. It’s free wifi. 

However, these networks are not secured at all as they are known as public domains. Public domains are far from protected, it enables other people on the line to trace your activity, logins, conversations, searches on the web while you hog on the network. Logging into an online bank account on a public domain? You’re putting yourself in a lot of risks. 

Not to fret, you can still make good use of free public wifi. This is where VPN serves as an option for you to serve the web without the concerns. With VPN installed in your browser, it instantly protects you from intruders. Your Internet activity will come out encrypted and unreadable to others, even with the use of public wifi.

How do I install a VPN?

VPN can be easily installed as an extension from your browser, but its functions may not surpass top-notch protection of real VPN applications. 

You can create a VPN server yourself but this will not allow you to overcome geo-blocked websites and contents. Thus, leaving us with VPN clients that can cater to overall functions.

There are a lot of VPN providers out there but you can definitely get the feel of using VPN first with free trials from ExpressVPN, TunnelBear and StrongVPN. These are some VPN providers that can give you the ease of browsing and download with privacy.

As an IT security provider, Condition Zebra believes in data protection and keeping you safe. VPN could be one of the preventive steps you can take to protect yourself on the internet. In aiding the mass network security we are all in, Condition Zebra calls out to all IT experts and personnel to improve their skills and help build a more secure infrastructure for all. 

Have a look at our training sessions for IT learners, intermediaries and experts or get a FREE penetration testing from us at Condition Zebra!

Source: vpnMentor, All Things Secured, How-To Geek