What is VPN and How Does It Work?

When you go online, your internet traffic and data is made public via your IP address. A hacker or cybercriminal with the right skills and tools will be able to intercept and read your data. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may share your browsing history with advertisers, the police or government, and/or other third parties. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and it is a way to disguise your online identity and encrypt your data to create a protected network connection when using public networks.

A VPN hides your IP address by letting the network redirect your PC, smartphone, or tablet through a specially configured remote server run by a VPN host. This means the VPN server becomes the source of your data, serving as an encrypted pathway that blocks your ISP and other third parties from seeing which websites you visit or what data you send and receive online.

VPNs were originally created to connect business networks together securely over the internet or allow you to access a business network from home. However, these days, VPNs can be used to do more than that, such as:

  • Bypass geographic restrictions on websites to stream video and audio.
  • Protect yourself from unwanted intrusions while working in public places (e.g., coffee shops).
  • Protect yourself from being logged while torrenting or downloading files.

Now you may be wondering, how does a VPN help you and your business? It’s not as if your business runs on torrenting or watching Netflix and Hulu (unless it does). Here is what you can expect from a good VPN:

  • Encryption of IP Address: This is the primary job of a VPN. By hiding your IP address from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and other third parties (hackers and cyber criminals), you can protect all information you sent and received online, as well as your location. This is important especially if you are using public Wi-Fi because you never know who might be monitoring your internet traffic and what they might steal from you, including passwords, personal data, payment information, or even your entire identity. With VPN, even if someone were to get their hands on your data, it would be useless to them without the encryption key.
  • Encryption of Protocols: A VPN should also prevent you from leaving traces of your browsing activity, such as your internet history, search history and cookies. The encryption of cookies is also important because it prevents third parties from gaining access to confidential information such as personal data, financial information, and other content on websites.
  • Kill Switch: A good VPN will be able to detect any sudden interruptions to your secure connection and move to terminate preselected programs, further reducing the likelihood that your data will be compromised.
  • Two-Factor Authentication: A strong VPN will have more than one method of authentication. For example, you might be prompted to enter a password, after which a code is sent to your mobile device. This makes it even harder for uninvited third parties to access your secure connection.
  • Access Your Home Network While Travelling: You can also set up your VPN to access your own network while traveling. This will allow you to work as if you were on the same LAN (Local Area Network), providing you access to Windows Remote Desktop and use local file shares.

Overall, there are many benefits to using a VPN for your business, especially if your business has any confidential data that you do not want stolen. If you’re just getting started with VPNs and need some help setting up, we at EKTECH are more than happy provide you recommendations and guide you through the process.