What is VPN? A to Z Guide to Virtual Private Network ( In Detail )
Today using VPN is getting popular not because of the development of technology, it's becoming a need for internet users to avoid cyber threats and ISP monitoring.
You will find tons of VPN service providers as well as Free VPN services online, how will you know which one is perfect for you?
That’s why we come with a VPN Beginners Guide to help you pick one among thousands of services and avoid scams.
There are some requirements to check before you choose a VPN service for safety and security.
First of all, you have to know what is VPN and its necessity and also some of the related issues or you won't understand a word about those conditions.
What is VPN?
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is the service that allows user conceal their internet activity by keeping secret their true identity.
If any person wants to track your location he needs to know your IP Address, it’s the core thing which reveals the source of the internet traffic.
Suppose you are accessing the web with your phone in a public place or in a hotel room via their public wifi hotspot,
what may happen?
You are totally unprotected, in that case, hackers can steal important information or monitor your activity by tracing your IP address.
Usually, corporations and researchers use VPN to protect their sensitive information but nowadays the amount of users who use VPN for personal needs is increasing. You will find various VPN services within different price range loaded with excellent features.
There are two major kinds of VPN- Remote Access VPN and Site-to-Site VPN. Let's see, which is suitable for you.
Remote Access VPN:
This type of VPN is a perfect choice for corporate users, any company can have this VPN and this will allow all the employees to access the private network of their workplace.
The employees can use the VPN client software and required a password to enter the company network, there is no need of connecting to the company network directly.
Most of the VPN services available in the market are of this kind that alters your IP address to keep your real identity secret and safe.
Site-to-Site VPN :
This VPN service connects two or more private networks on the web, these networks can be anywhere in the world. Here ‘Site’ means the location of the connecting networks.
How VPN Works?
We are using the internet without any tension and sending a bunch of data to different locations of this world.
Do you know this information or data you are sending through several servers?
And even these servers can monitor or track what you are transferring.
It's not a big deal if you are watching movies or playing games, in that case, you may not have any problems, but if you are accessing online banks, sending any sensitive information that can be a research paper or official work you may face threats from the cybercriminals.
Only one thing can solve this problem,
using a third party rather than sending internet traffic directly to another server.
A VPN can become the third party that will encrypt your data and replaces your IP address with a new one. If anybody wants to monitor what you are doing or transmitting he won't be able to do that because it will seem that the traffic is coming from the VPN server,
so this process can perfectly conceal the actual source. Due to the encryption if someone hacks the traffic he won't able to read the information or decode it.
Top most VPN service providers offer several security protocols to ensure your safety over the internet.
A VPN service usually performs Authentication, Tunneling and Encryption process to secure your internet traffic. In Authentication step, the VPN service will wrap your data packets in another packet to hide the identity of the traffic.
In the next step Tunneling, the data goes through a secret tunnel created with the VPN to escape the eyes of the ISP. The service encrypts all the data before it enters the tunnel.
Is Using a VPN Safe?
The question depends on another question, which VPN you are using?
Using VPN service for safety and security is not illegal except in the Iran or some other places where accessing the web with a VPN is illegal.
Reputed VPN companies are harmless to you, they offer an extremely high-level protection to your online activity and your personal information.
To prevent any bad occurrence most of the VPN services keep no activity logs if any agency or government will ask for information they will unable to provide that because there is no logs exist.
You will find some Free VPN services over the internet, but be aware of these services most of them are just scams.
Fake VPNs provide ads to earn extra cash or sells your information to the advertisement agencies. If you are thinking of subscribing a VPN service you must know VPN authorities can track or monitor your activities if they want to. You have to be more careful and pick a safe and trustworthy service for you.
These three facts are important to make your VPN usage safest-
Popular VPN services keep no metadata of the internet traffic or about the user and it's best if they offer a payment method where you don’t have to give your personal information like your name and bank details.
In this method, you can sign up with an email address and pay via bitcoin or another online anonymous payment method without giving your trace to the company.
If any service providing the shared IP address that’s another good facility to keep your identity secret. In this case, the VPN authority will allow multiple users to use the same IP address so that anybody even the authority itself can't track the online activity of the users.
Why Should I Use a VPN?
You love to watch popular and new dramas and movies yet you cannot access Netflix, Pandora, Hulu and so on if you aren’t a resident of the USA.
These sites have geographical restrictions due to copyright issues of the contents, the websites allow only USA IP addresses to stream their contents.
If you use a VPN you can get an IP address of any country and become free of all restrictions.
You can face a lot of trouble due to unprotected P2P or Pear to Pear file sharing in some countries, they are strict about this matter.
If they find out you are doing such a thing you will receive fine or legal notice. Do not forget to use a VPN before doing any P2P file sharing with your buddies.
If you are using a public wifi hotspot, for example, a wifi network of a restaurant, you need a VPN.
Don’t do any compromise hackers can leak your personal information and use them against you and even your competitors can set traps to steal your sensitive files. This type of network is easy to break any hacker can do that without any hassle.
Sometimes we got bored while doing office work, but some of the offices limit the use of the internet of the employees like in some network you cannot use Facebook, Twitter or watch videos on YouTube.
With a VPN tunneling service, you can pass through the restriction and no one can spy on your actions. Even some of the countries are really hard on the internet censorship issue, they do not allow the people of their country to use the world web freely.
With a VPN service, people can bypass these restrictions and hide the online activities from the eavesdropping of the government.
Internet telephoning or VOIP is not safe without a 3rd party connection like VPN. If you are using this type service like calling on message or Skype, it can be an audio call or video chatting, any criminal can tap your calls easily.
We use Google, Bing or other search engines every day for numerous tasks,
but it’s unknown to most of the users that they collect data about your every search and make a profile of yours to make easier the future searches, and they also send ads based on this profile.
If you want to keep your searches private then you should grab a VPN service.
There are times when you have to travel outside of your hometown or country, you can install a VPN at your home but access it from anywhere around the world.
Your competitors cannot cause harm to you if you are using the VPN full of security features, your latest research papers and other confidential staffs are safe to transfer via the internet.
How do I install a VPN?
The easiest way to install VPN on your PC or on the router is to install the VPN client software, most of the popular VPNs offer a user-manual that gives instructions about the installation process.
If you want to use VPN with more efficiency by connecting to multiple devices you have to choose VPN that supports simultaneous several device connections and also set the VPN on your router.
After installing the VPN on the router, you can ensure every internet traffic that is leaving the LAN is safe.
Some routers come with a built-in VPN server in that case you don’t have to do any hassle you can just activate the web interface of the router and install the VPN server.
If your router is too old then you can use a Custom Router Firmware to flash the old OS and set the latest VPN supported operating system, then your router will be ready to secure every device within the network with a VPN.
What are the benefits of using a VPN?
Privacy is our right and in this world of excellent technological development, your online privacy is going into the dustbin.
You may not know,
but your internet service provider can monitor your every activity if you're using their server to access any website or send files or anything else.
If you love to do streaming or downloading contents you can do so with a bandwidth connection without any limit, but this isn’t a good news for your ISP.
If they find out you are using a lot of bandwidth they will slow your connection to save their money, you can name that process bandwidth throttling.
First of all, they are ruining your privacy and safety by snooping as well as doing throttling and that may be the main reason you should use a VPN service.
There are a lot of benefits of a good VPN service, some VPN offers protection against malware and irritating ads.
The reputed VPNs are user-friendly as well, you can install them on your PC, apps, and browsers to protect every internet activity.
Another advantage of using a VPN service is bypassing every Geographical Restrictions with an IP address of a required location. Also, watch and download movies, songs, dramas without revealing your real IP address.
Why is a VPN Not Illegal?
Except for a few countries using a VPN is absolutely legal,
VPNs are providing safety to business and different organizations.
In some cases, people use VPN to perform some illegal acts, but that does not make the VPN illegal or the illegal acts legal. There are a bunch of reasons for which government permits you to use a VPN.
Some of the government organizations, as well as business companies, use VPNs to keep their confidential data hidden.
People using VPN to escape any snooping or hacking, and VPNs are the best way of creating a secure network in a workplace.
You can protect your video or audio calls that are passing through different servers and also access the web with freedom in a public wifi network via a VPN server.
Except for China, Russia or some other countries where snooping of the government on the internet users is mandatory. You can use VPN anywhere in the world legally to ensure your privacy and safety.
Free VPN VS Paid VPN
You may see various ads of free VPNs that offers unique IP address and different servers totally free of cost. Imagine then how will they manage their profit?
Most of these services are just bogus, be aware of these VPN services before accessing via their servers.
If you access through a fake VPN service that can be dangerous for you they can hack your account to get bank account passwords or something sensitive or send you ads which is a malware.
Our suggestion is to subscribe to a paid VPN service if you really want to enjoy VPN facilities.
Free VPNs won't give you features like a paid one instead they may be stealing your information. Some free VPN servers may use your computer to steal bandwidth and sell them somewhere else.
Free VPN providers also log your online activity, they keep track of what you are searching, downloading, your app usage and so on.
They will make a profit with this information by selling them to an organization who utilize user behavior to send ads. Sometimes free VPN companies collect these data for themselves to send ads of their own.
There are some astonishing features that you will get from the top most paid VPN providers and not from the Free VPNs:
What is The Difference Between a Proxy and A VPN?
Proxy and VPN have similar features, especially in the matter of restricted contents like movies, dramas and so on.
You can hide your IP address via a Proxy and watch your favorite shows without facing any law enforcement.
The proxy cannot be the ultimate solution, in fact, the security features of a proxy are not that great like a Paid VPN provider.
The proxy acts like a medium which stands between the server and your source of internet traffic, it will seem like your traffic is coming from another source basically it will reveal the IP address of the Proxy server.
Another disadvantage of a proxy is, it’s totally browser-based system you cannot use a proxy in your smartphone apps or PC applications it will only work on web browsers.
You know that a VPN can overcome all these disadvantages and its also encrypt the internet traffic which a proxy doesn’t.
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Reasons to Use VPN for Torrent
The citizens of the USA, China, UK and some other countries know the hassle of downloading torrents.
This kind of download activity is totally restricted by the government and if you break the law and download any torrent you may receive fines or criminal charges.
You must use a VPN service before accessing any torrent downloading website or downloading torrents with a BitTorrent client. In that way, no one can find out what you are doing or downloading you can easily bypass the monitoring eyes of the authorities to download your favorite contents as a torrent.
Some countries allow downloading torrents, if you are a resident of a country like that, that’s a good fact for you, still, you need a VPN for downloading torrents.
You are thinking why is that? I will tell you the reason, most of the BitTorrent clients will expose your IP address to the other users who are using the same program.
They can easily find out your location and other details and also the public torrent downloading sites can log your data and activity which may become a great threat to you.
Downloading torrents without any VPN protection can be another cause of bandwidth throttling by your ISP. The internet service provider can track your activity easily and interrupt the speed of the download.
In Which Countries You Need VPN?
Due to some political reasons as well as copyright issues several countries do not let their citizens access the internet with full freedom.
Imagine that you are in a country where someone is always watching you, monitoring what you are searching or with whom you are chatting, what does it feel?
We will share details about some of the countries like that where you definitely need a VPN provider for full privacy and freedom.
In China, you have to use a few permitted social sites and search engines, You cannot access popular search engines like Google and Social sites like Facebook.
Government Gives no freedom of using the internet to the residents, authorities are always watching what the users are doing on the net.
The aut…hority always monitoring the internet traffic as well as some popular sites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter are not allowed in this country.
In North Korea, not all the residents can use the internet, only some organizations, schools and elite persons like politicians can access the web.
In the middle east, most of the countries are strict about internet using censorship. You cannot just share or post anything if your content or expression violates any rules or nationalism they will arrest you.
This country is different from the others, the authority spies on people and they also create a profile of everybody by collecting data and based on internet usage.
VPNs and Their Logging Policy
Suppose you are using a VPN service provider so that one can steal your data or eavesdrop what you are doing over the internet,
but what happens when your VPN provider tracks your data or use them for their own benefit?
Here comes the question of Logging policy of the VPN service providers, most of the popular services offer no log policy or zero log policy, that means they will keep no data of yours. This promise ensures the users that they are properly protected by the VPN and no one can ever track them.
Here comes the question of Logging policy of the VPN service providers,
most of the popular services offer no log policy or zero log policy, that means they will keep no data of yours. This promise ensures the users that they are properly protected by the VPN and no one can ever track them.
Is SSL VPN better than PPTP VPN?
VPN services offer you various security protocols that express the effectiveness of that VPN protection. The VPN with more secure protocol and cutting-edge technology can serve you the best.
In during 90’s Microsoft build PPTP or Point To Point Tunnelling Protocol, now you know that’s an old technology that is no longer safe now.
However, sometimes users have to use the PPTP protocol because they are using a dam old device with poor connectivity settings.
PPTP VPN is perfect for those who don’t want to use any extra software or do any hassle for the maintenance and using the VPN for streaming or downloading non-confidential files.
PPTP delivers an average speed connection, but the encryption quality is not good, it’s based on kind of ancient technology that makes it too easy to hack.
Microsoft’s another product SSTP or Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol is far better than the PPTP protocol, which uses the SSL encryption technology.
You will get great communication security while using an SSL encryption. This protocol provides a cryptographic service that is adding a protective layer to HTTP to secure the connection while internet traffic passing the web. If you are accessing your email or any other account this protocol will protect your sensitive data.
Without any objection, we can say that the SSL protocol is stronger than the PPTP.
Should You Use a VPN with Tor?
If you are already using a Tor browser, then you can combine both VPN and Tor to increase the security. Tor is a tool based on browsers that will send your data to various servers to protect your privacy.
If the traffic passes through several servers it will be difficult to know what you are doing or sending. There are two different methods to setup Tor and VPN together-
VPN to Tor:
In this method your ISP unable to find out that you are using a Tor browser and at the Tor exit node your data will become unprotected cause they won't be encrypted at that point and easily decoded by anyone who is tracking your data there.
Tor to VPN:
This method is better than the previous one, first connect to the Tor and then to the VPN. In this way at the exit nodes, the traffics will be encrypted and also it will reduce your risk while you are signing into your VPN account.
Try to pay the VPN provider via bitcoins or any anonymous method in that way you don’t have to provide any information of yours at the first place.
Privacy is our freedom, in this century everybody is using the internet for various usage and it's our right to protect our privacy or secure our information.
You will find a huge number of reasons to use a VPN yet if you love your freedom the most you must use VPN without extra thinking.
Before purchasing any VPN plan check out these features carefully-