A Virtual Private Network – also known as a VPN – is a group of computers linked together over the internet. This basically allows someone who’s connected to the internet, from anywhere in the world, to access a network that’s otherwise restricted and not accessible to everyone with a simple internet connection.
While the connection between them makes it seem like they all share the same LAN (Local Area Network) – for instance, home or business network – they’re actually using the public internet to talk to each other in a secure and encrypted manner.
Let’s pretend a VPN is a really secure tunnel between you and the destination you want to visit on the internet. In fact, don’t pretend — that’s exactly what it is. When your information passes through this tunnel, it means no one outside the tunnel will know exactly what is being passed through it, meaning your communication is secure.
One reason someone would need to use a VPN is to access company resources that are not accessible from outside the company. In countries where content or access to certain websites is blocked, a VPN could allow the user to change his virtual identity, and appear as if he’s visiting the restricted website from an unrestricted location.
Others simply have growing concerns that they’re constantly tracked by online service providers or even governments, raising concerns that their personal information and private conversations could be eavesdropped on at any time. The fact that VPNs also support encrypted traffic means that, whenever you’re roaming the internet, anyone who tries to spy on your communication will only “see” gibberish. They can’t steal your passwords, spy on your conversations, or even redirect you to malicious websites.
This is great for when you’re connected to a public Wi-Fi hotspot or any network that you don’t fully trust, as you can encrypt everything you send online without worrying that someone controlling the network will be able to spy on you.
This particular feature is great for online banking, shopping, connecting to your social media accounts or even accessing content that’s restricted in your region. The way the tunnel works is that, when you establish a secure connection with the VPN server, everything you visit online looks like the VPN server is actually visiting it. This means that your identity and location is always protected.
Encryption is vital when surfing the web as it not only keeps your online transactions hidden from prying eyes, but it also makes sure that everything you do online is completely unreadable by cybercriminals trying to get between you and the one you’re talking to. While not all encryption is made equal, as some can be broken or bypassed under the right circumstances, the general rule of thumb is that strong encryption and good security hygiene – such as having a security solution installed either on your PC or mobile device – pair up nicely to offer maximum protection against any online threats, risks, or types of attack.
The really interesting part is that some VPN solutions also allow you to change the location of your VPN server, meaning that you can browse the web as if you’re from the United States, Europe, or any other region on the map.
Privacy for Android and Windows
Regardless whether you’re mobile – on your Android smartphone or tablet – or on your Windows computers, a VPN solution keeps your private information safe from prying eyes. VPN features vary based on whether you’re using the free or paid version, with differences involving bandwidth cap, ability to change server location and trial periods.
Either way, having a VPN solution tightly integrated with your security solution enables you to both browser the web in complete privacy while constantly be protected from threats and malware. Whether you own an Android smartphone or tablet or even a Windows-based terminal, having both security and privacy enables you to do your thing, protected.