What does VPN mean?
The more our everyday and professional lives become digitized or connected, the greater the concerns about data protection and privacy become. Especially now that more and more people are working from home, companies are looking for ways to secure data traffic outside their own offices. One answer could be VPN. We explain what the acronym is all about and why security on the Internet is important for everyone.
VPN explained simply
VPN is an abbreviation and stands for Virtual Private Network. This refers to the creation of a secure and private network connection that cannot be viewed or traced even on a public network. This means that third parties such as one's own Internet provider, authorities or hackers cannot track one's own online activities.
A VPN not only guarantees encryption and protection of one's own identity, but also makes it impossible for hackers to access sensitive data and also removes location restrictions on the Internet. VPN is therefore becoming an increasingly popular means of protecting one's own data for both private users and companies. VPN is particularly successful in countries with strong government control of the Internet, such as China and Indonesia.
To guarantee the protection of your privacy, when you use a VPN, your computer does not connect to the Internet through your ISP's servers, but instead uses a redirect through a remote server. This is executed by a VPN server. The connection between your computer and the VPN server is protected by a complicated encryption and the VPN network itself is also absolutely secure.
Data protection on the net
Ever since the Internet has existed, there have been concerns about the protection of data and privacy of online users. In recent years, the general public has also become increasingly aware of how easy it is for third parties such as government agencies and companies to track one's online activities and also tap into sensitive data in the process.
Especially in countries where there is government control of the Internet or where freedom of expression is severely restricted, people use VPN encryption. After all, it is impossible even for authorities to crack the secure connection between host and PC.
However, companies of all sizes have also recognized the value of a secure data connection. Especially if the company operates in countries where there is a significant risk of industrial espionage, VPN is the best option to reliably protect their own data.
The Corona pandemic and the accompanying trend of more and more home offices have further strengthened this development. Because a large proportion of users now need to access the company's internal data from external devices and networks, there is nothing more important for companies than a secure online connection.
How VPN works
Every device that goes online has an IP address. With this address, the device can be properly assigned. This is how, among other things, your Internet provider manages to record all your activities on the net, since your IP address is always passed on unencrypted when you visit a new website, or perform some other online activity.
However, if you go online with the help of a VPN service, then a completely new situation arises. Because now you don't establish a direct Internet connection with your provider's servers. Instead, you dial into the VPN network that connects you to the Internet via a redirect. From now on, all private information is transferred only between you and the VPN host.
This private data transfer is encrypted and therefore cannot be seen by anyone. The host, in turn, does not pass on any information to the servers of the Internet provider, but merely establishes the connection. Furthermore, the VPN server only hands over an encrypted IP address to the provider server. Neither your location nor your online activities can be tracked.
The most important features
There are several reasons why more and more people are accessing VPN services. These are some of the most important features:
- 1. secure data transfer: when you are on the internet with a VPN service, all the data transfer is encrypted in a complicated way. With automated hacking attacks, it is practically impossible to crack this encryption. Thus, information cannot be viewed by unauthorized third parties.
- 2. location tracking becomes impossible: because the VPN host acts as your host on the Internet, websites and online service providers can no longer track your location. This is not only important for your privacy, but also if you want to access regionally blocked content.
- 3. No log storage: If you are using an unprotected internet connection, then third parties like the internet provider can not only track live all your online activities, but the provider also creates logs of all your internet activities. This can also be avoided by using a VPN.
These types of VPN exist
There are three different types of VPN networks:
- SSL VPN
- Site-to-site VPN
- Client-to-server VPN
The individual types of VPN differ primarily in the type of network used. As a result, the possible areas of application also vary greatly between the different VPN options. So if you want to use the successful encryption technology for your company, you should find out in detail beforehand which option is best for you.