VPN Service Explained -What is VPN Service & How does it work

by Adam Gill

In the search for the ever elusive semblance of security and anonymity while online, VPN services have become a necessity now-a-days, mostly for those people who want to conduct their business online securely but also for those who want fast and reliable transactions over the internet.

But what is VPN really? It is actually not surprising that this question gets asked frequently in many non-technical circles. In that regard, the incomplete understanding about the nature and benefits of VPN create a two-fold problem that is hard to address until we have come to fully explain VPN technology. First, many corporations mandate the use of corporate VPN accounts for their employees and this is something that is done only as a matter of compliance but not as something that is second nature to those employees. Second, beyond the confines of the corporate environment, personal VPN services are far less likely to be used by people who do not understand or appreciate VPN for what it is.


In a nutshell, virtual private networks (VPN) refer to technology which allows secure and reliable connections to the internet or any public network for that matter. The primary identifying characteristic of this technology lies in the word “private.” Simply put, the service creates a secure channel through which a client can execute all the necessary web transactions without making the data available for interception and hacking via public networks.

How Does VPN Achieve This?

VPN uses two types of amazing technologies to help transfer data over the public network like the internet, in a very secure and reliable manner. These are categorized as encryption and tunneling with a bit of “authentication” thrown in between for good measure.

Encryption refers to the encoding of data before it is sent out. The purpose of encryption is to ensure that, should the data be intercepted by a party for which the transmission is not intended for, then that party would not be able to read the message contained in the transmission. In very simple terms, encryption means the message is coded so only the intended recipient has the capability of deciphering the data.

Authentication is the process through which the system recognizes the intended recipient before the data is decrypted. For every transmission carried out, the computer performs the necessary encryption and authentication prior to decryption. The system has to recognize that two computers are talking before the data is decoded into the basic message that was originally sent.

Likewise, tunneling, as the name suggests, refers to the creation of a “virtual private tunnel” over the internet through which the data contents are packed and then transmitted over the public network. The tunnel essentially cloaks the private network so those who do not carry the same authentication protocol do not gain access to the tunnel. There are special programs used to carry out the entire tunneling process so that those systems that are not recognized by the network are left out and excluded from the tunnel. This way, you will have assurance that the data is secured through every step of the transmission process.

Lastly, VPN is also very important for the purpose of anonymity. Other than the IP address allocated by your broadband service provider, the VPN service client also has access to thousands of shared IP addresses that can be used to mask your own. Masking happens when data is routed through various servers before being taken to your computer. With each server, the data transmission gains a new IP address so to an external observer, it would seem that the transmission is coming from multiple system each with its own IP address. This keeps the user anonymous through every data transmission. In very simple terms, the VPN protocols help maintain the secrecy and security of your internet traffic.

Among the most trusted protocols used by the VPNs providers are PPTP or Point to Point Tunneling Protocol, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, and SSL. These protocols manage the multiple process of encryption, authentication, tunneling and IP switching which is the hallmark of a great VPN service.

The Advantages of Using a VPN

By now, you must have inferred the various pros of using a VPN. VPN gives your data safety, reliability and confidentiality. Corporate organizations use it to securely transmit data to other networks without worrying about other organizations spying on the data, intercepting it, and using it against the company. VPN services are also able to bypass geo restrictions and help you access sites that are restricted by organizations that want to limit access to these sites to users from within a certain area or country. You can enter local networks as though you are from that country. In short, VPN grants you access and protects your internet traffic from others who want to steal the data for their own personal benefit.

Enjoying your freedom on the internet requires choosing a good VPN service provider. For this, there are many reputable VPN premium brands that are well recommended by many websites on the web. Take the time to tour some of the best VPN sites to help you make up your mind. Consequently, choose one that will suit your requirements and can give value for your money. Great recommendations include Hidemyass, ExpressVPN, and StrongVPN among others.

Put this new knowledge to good use by checking out how you can incorporate VPN into your daily internet usage habits. It’s a service well worth the cost and one that will better your internet experience in all facets.

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