What is a VPN and Do You Need One?
Virtually anyone can benefit from VPN, whether it is to access content outside of your territory, protect your private information, or get access to cheap airfares. There are many attributes that must be considered when choosing a VPN as well; not all VPNs were created equal.
VPNs started with businessesBefore we get started on how VPNs work, let’s go back to why they were created. VPNs, which stands for Virtual Private Networks, were originally designed for large organizations where employees needed to connect to a certain computer from different locations. To make it easier to explain, we’re going to use an example: Imagine that the Coca-Cola Company has an office building in Atlanta, Georgia where all of the computers connect to the company’s server via a network of cables. These cables are physical and secure, and it makes it very difficult for a hacker to break into Coca-Cola’s private network. But then let’s say Coca-Cola opens an office in Canada, and its employees in Toronto need access to the private network in Atlanta. Running a cable from the office in Atlanta to the office in Toronto is inefficient, to say the least. So instead, the company creates a virtual private network. This is essentially a virtual private cable between the office in Toronto and the office in Atlanta. This is how VPNs came about. They were originally used by big corporations and businesses so employees could connect and access important files from different locations without compromising security.
Great… But How Does it Work?A VPN essentially creates a virtual cable between a computer and a server. That virtual cable creates a tunnel that encrypts any data that passes through it. This prevents hackers, ISPs, governments, or anyone else from viewing your activity. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty for a second: A VPN has three main components to it.
- Security protocols
What can a VPN do?Now that you know how a VPN works, let’s talk about what it does. Like we mentioned above, VPNs can do many things. We break it down below.
- Unblock content
- Hide Your IP
- Save money
- Encrypt your data
- Help you torrent
What should you look for in a VPN?Now that you know all about VPNs, how do you choose the right one? We go into detail about choosing the right VPN here, but we give you the gist below. There are over 300 VPNs available on the market right now, but not all of them are the same. Here’s what you should look for in a VPN:
- Number of servers
- Unlimited bandwidth and data
- Unblocking content
- P2P and torrenting