Every once in a while, a super-trendy and even a bit nerdy tech term comes around and becomes the talk of the town. The same thing happened with VPNs. Everybody is talking about it, but that doesn’t mean that they all really know what is a VPN. Most of the time, people just like to repeat after the crowd. Now, as Internet privacy is slowly but steadily becoming the biggest concern for the regular men and women, these services offer the best protection. So, today we’ll answer the most popular question: what is VPN good for? It hides your online activity from the hackers and the government agencies.
No antivirus on the planet will be able to do that. Plus, with a Virtual Private Network, you can easily access content that is blocked in your country (like Netflix, for example). Basically, what a VPN does is it creates an incredibly secure connection to another network. What is a VPN connection? Think of it as a link between two computers. With it, you can rest assured that your personal data will be protected from prying eyes. Originally, these services were created for business owners as a means of connecting different networks together without any “leaks.” These days, VPNs support every major platform out there and come with reasonable price-tags.
What Is A VPN – Understanding The Concept Of A Virtual Private Network
So, now you know what a VPN is. It’s time to get techy and learn more about this technology. To put it simply, a VPN does a fantastic job of connecting your device/gadget to a different device (they are known as servers) and letting you surf the web using that server’s connection. And why would you do that? Well, if that server is located miles away from you (like in a different city or even country), the outside world will think that you’re in that country, which will make you almost impossible to locate. Even though the hackers know what a VPN connection is better than any of us do, they still can’t beat this technology.
Furthermore, as mentioned in the beginning, connecting to a server in a foreign country gives you access to otherwise blocked (or, as the professionals like to say, geo-restricted) content.
So, again, what is a VPN? It’s a service that turns you into a digital ghost. And what is VPN service? It’s basically the same thing. With it, you will be able to:
- Outmaneuver geographic restrictions and enjoy websites and audio/video streams from any corner of the planet.
- Watch your favorite TV shows and movies on Netflix, Hulu, BBC, and other streaming services that we all love so much.
- Hide your location from the hackers/agencies and stay anonymous on the Internet.
- Download torrents without the risk of being logged.
- Protect your device from viruses of all shapes and sizes.
Hands down, even if you don’t know what is a VPN network, you can still use one to your advantage. The modern-day VPN services create user-friendly and intuitive clients and apps that even the beginners can make sense of. When VPNs were first introduced to the regular users, their primary goal was to protect their computers/gadgets. However, these days, they are being used for torrenting and watching Daredevil or Stranger Things on Netflix. Once you learn exactly what VPN is for you’ll be able to put it to good work. But how can you know which VPN provider offers the best service? The following list will help you make the right decision.
The Best VPNs On The Market For The Beginners
International companies spend huge amounts of money on their privacy and security. The rest of us – we just need a cheap enough VPN to keep us safe and give us access to blocked services. And while officially there are 400+ VPNs available right now, only a small number of providers offer the best balance between the price and performance.
It doesn’t get better than this. ExpressVPN has been around for a very long time and is known as the best Virtual Private Network. It has clients for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, and they all work flawlessly. What is VPN client, you might ask? It’s the software that runs the service and gives you access to different settings. ExpressVPN is expensive, but it excels at protection, performance, versatility and has an impressive number of servers. On desktop computers, it’s easy to setup a VPN. But what is VPN on iPhone, iPad, or any other mobile gadget like? It runs just as smoothly! Again, the biggest players in the game create dedicated apps for every single platform.
2 – NordVPN
This is the golden middle, so to speak. If you have absolutely no idea what a VPN is, choose Nord. It’s easy-to-use, intuitive, and puts your privacy and security above everything else. Cheaper than ExpressVPN but with just the right encryption protocols and policies, it is a far better choice if you’re just looking for a VPN to keep your online activity under the radar.
3 – TunnelBear
Do you want to know what is the best VPN for beginners? According to happy customer reviews, the right answer is TunnelBear. First of all, it gives you 500MB of free data a month. And while that’s not a lot, for occasional sessions, the Bear will protect you just fine. Probably the strongest suit of this service is its simplicity that goes hand in hand with flexibility. However, this VPN is not the best choice for unblocking the US-based streaming services.
4 – Windscribe, Hotspot Shield, ProtonVPN, and Betternet.
These are some of the best-known and trusted free VPNs after TunnelBear. True, they do come with a number of limitations; still, if you’re new to this and don’t even know what is the best VPN on the market, you’ll learn the basics with Windscribe, ProtonVPN, or the other two. With them, you’ll see for yourself what is a VPN connection like and make your first “shielded” moves online.
What Is A VPN – How Does It All Work?
When you connect to a VPN, it makes it look like your computer is on the same network. And, once the connection is established, all your traffic starts to go through the VPN. That is how you are able to use whatever resources the VPN “hands over”. So, to answer the question – what is a VPN – I’ll say that it’s a computer on the other side of the planet that you seize control over. Now, if you ever tried this with a free VPN, then you already know that the connection/download speed can be pretty slow. This is because your device is forced to open websites and play videos through an encrypted connection.
On the other hand, the commercial service providers use advanced algorithms to speed everything up and make it feel like you’re not even being routed through another computer. In this case, you don’t have to worry what is VPN connection going to cost you in terms of performance. So, when you connect to a server in America, Netflix will think that you’re located in the States and won’t block you anymore. We just learned what is VPN all about. With this knowledge, I believe you’ll be able to solve all kinds of problems. The aforementioned VPNs are all great for a start. The 30-day-long MBG (money-back-guarantee) will get you started.
What Else Can You Use A VPN For?
We just went over the most basic situations when a proper VPN will come to rescue. However, that’s not all these services are good for.
- If you’re a traveling business person, a VPN will help you connect to your network and never worry about any leaks. For security, this is the best way to do it.
- In a public place with Wi-Fi (like a café or a restaurant), people with the right skills will be able to see exactly what you’re doing online. And what is VPN going to do to “shut the door” in front of them? Your activity will be re-routed through the VPN’s service, and the “snoopers” won’t be able to see a single thing. Some VPN providers like to keep logs; make sure to read their privacy policies before trusting them with your personal data.
- For people living in China, the Great Firewall is like a big, bad beast that prevents them from accessing big parts of the Internet. A VPN allows them to outmaneuver it. But the Chinese government has already started a nation-wide hunt for Virtual Private Networks. What is VPN connection going to do for the locals then? We can’t really say at this point. But right now, it is the best solution.
- Piracy is a bad thing, no doubt about that. Yet, let’s face it: numerous users around the globe use VPNs to download huge amounts of illegal data online. Even if you’re downloading free content, your ISP will probably be interfering with BitTorrent, slowing it down the best way it can. With a VPN, the speed will be faster and more stable. So, what is VPN connection for? A lot of things, as you can see!
What Is OpenVPN?
I bet you’ve heard about it before. Basically, it’s a protocol, or, as Wikipedia puts it, an open-source app. And what is OpenVPN good for? It works with all the major platforms and allows the users to protect their privacy and security. It was first introduced to the world back in 2002 and is still one of the greatest protocols when it comes to VPNs. Without getting technical, let us just say that it features 256-bit encryption and is quite a flexible protocol that can be paired with many 3rd-party clients and apps. Most popular VPNs, including ExpresVPN, Nord, CyberGhost, IPVanish, and others, support OpenVPN.
Obviously, this isn’t the only protocol available on the market, but it is, without a doubt, the most versatile and user-friendly one. Remember the Chinese Firewall? According to the professionals in the field, OpenVPN is the best remedy for its barbaric limitations. Finally, OpenVPN doesn’t belong to any industry giant. Say, PPTP is Microsoft’s “baby”, while L2TP belongs to Cisco. The code can be easily modified and fine-tuned, which can’t be said about the rest of the popular protocols on the market.