Vpns have been in use in the business world for many years. They have been used to let workers use the Internet to login to their corporate networks from home. In recent years, revelations about NSA and GCHQ domestic spying programs, the rash of high-profile corporate hacks, and the increase of identity theft cases has led to more interest in having a personal VPN service to protect your privacy and make you more anonymous when surfing the Internet.
A VPN is a group of computers on a private network connected using various secure tunneling protocols and encryption so that remote users can connect to the private network over a public network like Wi-Fi or the Internet. These protocols include:
- OpenVPN (UDP/TCP) Protocol is the most versatile protocol because it provides the best balance of speed and security.
- Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP) is a very secure alternate protocol used for Windows.
- Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) is a secure protocol but because of its double encapsulation of data, it is slower than OpenVPN.
- Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is the least secure protocol but integrated into most devices. It is mainly used if security is not your primary concern or other protocols will not work.
Authentication and encryption for these is handled by the following transport protocols:
- Secure Socket Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS)
- Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) in the case of L2TP.
A personal VPN service uses these protocols to create a secure encrypted tunnel between your device and one of its servers. Once the tunnel is created and authenticated, then any traffic between your device and the server is encrypted before transit. Also, once the tunnel is established, the VPN will hide your public IP address and mask it with one from the region that you are connected to.
All IP addresses are associated with a geo-location. Since all traffic is then sent from this new IP address to the Internet, this will appear to be your geo-location. Thus the VPN can be used to protect your confidential information, make you more anonymous, and virtually change your geo-location to almost anywhere in the world. This will help you to unblock websites and streaming services in other countries.