A virtual private network allows internet users to access blocked content around the web. They also allow users to secure their online experience and remain anonymous through tools like encryption.
With a virtual private network, an internet user can download music, access sports streams, chat on forums, and more. Content restrictions can be completely avoided.
There are several different types of virtual private networks that utilize distinct protocols. But they all primarily have the same function: to secure and encrypt information.
How Does a VPN Work?
Users connect to the internet through an ISP, and then begin a VPN connection with client software. VPN connections allow internet users to access the web from a VPN server. VPNs can be used on desktops, laptops, or mobile devices.
A VPN is a type of connection. It is a middle layer that sits between you and your internet content. Internet content providers sometimes try to restrict your access to the entire internet. VPNs use encryption to break these restrictions, which allow you to access blocked content.
Anonymous Browsing With a VPN
Browsing anonymously with a VPN can keep your online identity safe, no matter which country you are located in.
Anonymous browsing allows you to share files, stream sporting events, download music, use forums, research online and more without fear of your identity being revealed.
Businesses with proprietary information don’t want to give hackers a chance to access critical data. VPNs can allow employees an anonymous online experience and a secure solution for encrypting online communications.
VPNs provide users with a new IP address given from a VPN server. This anonymous IP address allows users to conduct all of their online activities with the freedom of anonymity.
Hide or Change IP Address With a VPN
Many internet users are asking how they can change their IP address. VPNs allow internet users to change their IP address, which helps them to avoid content blocks and IP bans around the web.
There are hundreds of VPN clients out there, but you don’t want to be stuck with a slow, low quality option. Hotspot Shield is the VPN client you can count on.
Encrypt Your Data With a VPN
When data is encrypted, only computers with the right decoder will be able to read it. VPNs encrypt your online communications, which makes them more secure and greatly reduces the risk posed by hackers, third parties, and government actors. Encryption keys tell the computer which computations to perform on a set of data to encrypt or decrypt it. Symmetric-key encryption, or public-key encryption, is the most common form of encryption.
In symmetric-key encryption all computers use the same key to encrypt and decrypt a message.
Public-key encryption gives each computer a public-private key pair. One computer uses the public key for decryption, while the other uses the private key for encryption.
VPNs encrypt the data entering the tunnel between the user and the server and decrypt it once it reaches the other end. VPNs use encryption protocols instead of a set of keys.
Site-to-site VPNs use GRE (generic routing encapsulation) encryption or Internet protocol security protocol (IPSec). GRE is crucial for providing the framework for how to package and transport the passenger protocol, which must be transported across the internet protocol.
Watch and Stream Content With a VPN
Geo-restrictions can make it difficult to stream your favorite sports content. But VPNs allow internet users to bypass content restrictions and access streaming content from anywhere in the world. Don’t let content restrictions stop you from watching your favorite shows.
Many copyright holders have licensing agreements which only allow their content to be shown in certain parts of the world. That means if you have the wrong IP address, you might not be able to watch your favorite sports team. VPNs help internet users bypass this problem to watch their favorite shows and listen to their favorite music.
VPNs allow you to bypass content restrictions while maintaining your security. End-to-end encryption prevents hackers, third parties, or government actors from learning what you are doing online. Avoid content restrictions without fear of your identity becoming public.
Types of VPNs
There are several distinct types of VPNs available for internet users. Each type of VPN offers something different in terms of security and scope. VPNs are separated by the types of protocols that they use. You don’t have to hold yourself to a single protocol, but you should know what each one does.
PPTP, or point-to-point tunneling is relatively common and has been used in Windows since Windows 95. PPTP is easy to set up, but it is an older protocol that can be vulnerable to hackers and third parties.
SSTP, secure socket tunneling protocol is a Microsoft protocol that is supported by Windows. It uses SSL v3, and can bypass firewalls. This protocol can be configured to use AES encryption as well, and is considered safer and more effective than PPTP.
Layer 2 Tunnel Protocol actually doesn’t offer any encryption. It creates the tunnel information travels through while IPsec handles the secure encryption. The encryption is considered effective, but since traffic has to be converted to L2TP form with encryption then added on top, it can be slower than other options.
Open VPN makes use of open-source technology, including SSL v3/TLS v1 protocols and the OpenSSL encryption library. Open VPN is highly configurable and is considered one of the safest options on the web.
Internet Key Exchange, which is also called IKEv2, is a request/response pair protocol which uses X.509 certificates for authentication with a shared secret.