How Does a VPN Work? Everything You Need to Know!


A VPN, the acronym for Virtual Private Network, is a service that masks the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the user.

VPNs are required mainly because Wi-Fi networks can often be insecure, exposing the personal information of users to cybercriminals. In simpler terms, the VPN allows its users to anonymously browse the internet.

You can understand what exactly a VPN does by breaking down the words virtual, private, and network. First, VPNs are virtual because they are necessarily a digital service. A cable or hardware isn’t required to use them. VPNs are private because your connection is encrypted, and you are permitted to browse the internet without anyone prying on you. They are networks as they create a safe and secure connection between the internet, the VPN server, and your device.

If you ask whether it is safe to use, well, as long as it’s from a reliable and reputable VPN provider and it is used correctly, it is safe to use.

How Does a VPN Work?

A VPN works by routing the internet connection of a device via a private service instead of the regular ISP (internet service provider) of the user. It hides the IP address of the user and serves as an intermediary between the user going online and connecting to the internet.

In fact, using a Virtual Private Network seems to create an encrypted, private tunnel through which the user’s device can access the internet, while at the same time hiding their location, personal information, and other data. It establishes a secure connection through which all the network traffic is sent. In other words, any data that is transmitted to the internet gets redirected to the VPN rather than the user’s device. So, when the user connects to the Internet using their VPN service, their device submits information to websites via the encrypted connection built by the VPN. Then, it forwards the request of the user and sends a response from the corresponding website back to the connection.

In a nutshell, a VPN masks the true location of a user to the one the user sets their VPN to. For instance, a user in Canada can set their location to France and watch content from websites aimed at a French audience.

Now, here is a list of some of the most common uses of VPNs:

  1. Protect the Browsing History

Web browsers and ISPs can track everything you do while you are connected to the internet. Moreover, they keep a history of the sites and content users visit and perhaps tie that data to the IP address used. This information can be used for various purposes, including issuing targeted advertisements. For some people, keeping these details secret can be important, especially if they’re using a shared web browser or device. A VPN helps users keep search information private and prevents their web browser and ISP from serving related advertisements.

  1. Hide Streaming Location

Streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime offer varied content to users residing in different countries. When you use a VPN, as a streaming customer, you can access the content meant for people living in other regions of the world regardless of your actual location.

  1. Secure IP Address and Location Data

A VPN uses IP addresses that don’t belong to a user. It means that VPNs enable a user to anonymously connect to the internet and browse while maintaining their privacy online. Furthermore, a VPN service prevents the search history data of the user from being viewed, collected, and sold.

  1. Protect the Devices

A VPN actually protects the devices of the user, including laptops, computers, and smartphones, from being captured by cybercriminals. Devices that connect to the web on a specific network, like a public Wi-Fi network, are often targeted by hackers. When a VPN is used, it helps mask the location of the device and protects the data on it from being viewed and misused by a potential hacker.

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