How Does VPN Work? Privacy Basics for Beginners
Although envisaged otherwise, the Internet had become the global village in the past decades and it was the information accessibility that mattered the most. It is quite disappointing that we don’t completely have the same privilege nowadays. As you might know, governments and other organizations are putting a hindrance for internet freedom and privacy by introducing laws, geographical restrictions and other aspects. And, VPNs seem to be the best shot many people have when it comes to this issue.
That having said, most people don’t understand how VPNs work. However, doing so is quite important when you are concerned about your own privacy. In this article, we will be quickly explaining how a VPN service is able to protect your privacy and ensure freedom while browsing the internet and how you use VPN such as SurfShark, which you will be able to download here. Shall we begin?
What Is A VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, talking in the technical terms. This means you will be using a private network to connect to the internet, instead of the public one. However, since you are not using any hardware tech to do this, the process is virtual — so is the network.
VPNs were first created so that people were able to access confidential files (official networks) even when they were outside the physical network coverage. Say, your company is in Texas but you’d to go to NY. You would still have been able to access the network if you had a VPN service. Now, however, things are different.
Nowadays, VPNs are used to ensure privacy, get rid of geophysical restrictions and protect users from wide varieties of threats on the internet. Of course, there are still people who get the best out of VPNs, enterprise level, but we are talking about the common people out there. For them, VPN works in a simple way.
How Does A VPN Work?
Core to the working method of VPN is a process called connection routing. To understand this, let us give an overview of how the internet normally works.
So, when you enter a URL on the browser panel, it will be converted into the actual IP address using the DNS service. Then, the request is sent to the server, which understands the origin of the request. Now, depending on the preferences set on the server, you will receive back some information as well. This is what is displayed on your screen.
With the VPN connected, however, the process is different. When you enter the URL, the request will first be sent to the VPN server, which will forward the request to the corresponding website/page. The data from the server would be retrieved by the VPN servers and forwarded to you. Although there are multiple steps in the process, everything takes place quite quickly.
This process is also called tunnelling, since your traffic is being tunnelled through something else. This is how most of the VPN services work in the world. That having said, some options like SurfShark would have some additional options with respect to their apps. Of course, the idea is to improve the overall privacy in question.
There are obviously several benefits to this process. First of all, you can practically be connecting to servers across the globe and this way, you can make your connection seem like it’s coming from another place. So, even if a particular website has blocked traffic from a particular country, you can get rid of that restriction. All you have to do is to use a VPN server that is located elsewhere. Awesome, huh?
As far as catches are concerned, the same organizations are now planning to block VPNs as well.