What is a VPN and what is it for?

What is a VPN and what is it for?

June 5, 2020 0 By Emmy D. Frank

The VPN networks help worldwide to improve safety, connect to services outside the country, and facilitate several people share the same network without even being together. But do we know what a VPN is? And take advantage of them? In this article, we will see what a VPN network is and we will analyze the three most frequent use examples.

What is a VPN network?

A VPN is the extension of a local network (LAN) securely through a public or uncontrolled network, such as the internet. It is a way of building one network within another. This allows one of the connected devices to send information to the other devices within a private network and, in turn, within a public network. And for this, they are increasingly in demand.

The VPN, Virtual Private Network has become an interesting way to protect information shipments, facilitate remote work safely and open protected servers. This is useful for all users, but with an emphasis on the business world that seeks to protect the information of its customers.

The Internet is inherently insecure because its different protocols do not protect us during the information journey, but rather at the ends of the devices. That is why defense and antivirus systems are installed and laying a VPN that links two remote devices as if they were connected by cable is in such high demand. Let’s see some examples.

The VPN for secure sending of information

From my DEVICE A I want to send information to the device DEVICE B, and there are many ways to do it. You could, for example, encapsulate the information in an email (Gmail, Outlook), send it through a storage service (Dropbox, Mega), or share it through a chat (WhatsApp, Telegram).

All these third-party tools work on the public network that is the internet, and each one offers a series of guarantees and vulnerabilities. But there is a direct way to unite two devices as if they had a physical cable between them: create a VPN network combining our respective local LAN networks. For this, we will need special software.

There are many companies that offer VPN services, but the basic idea is to turn one of the devices (for example, DEVICE A) into a server. A server is nothing more than a remotely accessible computer. NordVPN, TorGuard, Perimeter 81, ExpressVPN, or Hotspot Shield are some commercial examples of this type of network.

Once hired, just use DEVICE B to connect to DEVICE A based on the credentials that we configure through these companies. They will be in charge of building the virtual lane between devices. In this way, both computers will be a unit within the network of networks and will share encrypted information between them in a secure way.

VPN as a single door to a server

The second use of a VPN service is to configure a server to only admit inputs through it. It is a very interesting formula when it comes to ‘hide’ the server. The idea is to virtually introduce it within a private network and establish the VPN credentials as the only access point.

Once done, it will not be accessible unless we have been given permission. This use is widespread in companies to the point that there are those that only connect their devices to the VPN of their server, limiting or cutting the rest of the internet when the connection is made. This prevents someone from sneaking into, for example, the web CMS.

VPN to change my virtual location

One of the best-known uses of VPNs is to use them to change our virtual location on the map. This is very useful if certain content is banned in our country. Consider, for example, the time we wanted to download the Brawl Stars game on Nobbot. As it was not yet available in some countries we downloaded a VPN to pretend to be in the US.

For this, we use the TunnelBear VPN app, which creates an isolated virtual tunnel within the internet. It is like digging a tunnel between 2 locations on the physical place and rearing your virtual head in France, Finland, or Israel. Hence, it is widely used to circumvent censorship. With a VPN, a Chinese citizen can receive the news as if they were in the United States or Italy.

It is also widely used to view streaming content not available in our country. For example, a French Netflix series that has not yet reached our country. With a French VPN the system will think that we are there and will offer it to us as if we were just another French. If we disable the VPN, we will stop seeing that content.