VPN Explained for Starters

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How often do you land up in a situation when you’d want to use the company’s Wi-Fi network to get some things done except you are not in office? If your answer is 'very frequently’, then you should definitely consider VPN. Okay, sounds cool. But what exactly is VPN, what does it do, and most importantly, are there any downsides of using it? 

VPN Explained for Starters

Well, if you’ve got all (or any) of these questions in your mind, fret not! We’ve got you covered. Here’s a simple guide, which will shed some light on VPN to give you a brief idea.

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What is VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. As the name itself suggests, it’s a network technology that allows you to safely connect to a private network owned by a company/service provider. Now, you may wonder why you should use VPN when the standard internet connection serves the same purpose eventually.

It’s true that ‘eventually’ both of them serve the same purpose, but there’s a lot more to VPN than what you’d anticipate. Moreover, there will be some use cases when the standard internet connection may not be the optimal choice. You’d need ‘special something’ in these scenarios. That’s exactly where VPN comes in. 

Usually, VPNs are used to extend the intranets to a wider user base across different geographical locations. This helps people from various parts of the world to access sites that are geographically restricted. Meaning, one can connect to such restricted websites irrespective of their geographical location via VPN.

Who uses VPN

As cliche as it may sound, anyone (and everyone) can use VPN. For instance, educational institutions or companies that are located in different parts of the world can use VPN to connect to a single network. In this process, your Mac/PC or Android/iPhone and the VPN server will start a point-to-point connection, and all the network traffic goes through the VPN. What this means is that your company’s/institute IT service will have access to all your browsing habits. So, the next time you are planning to access something that you are not supposed to, have second thoughts on it.

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Advantages

Now, using VPN has certain upsides. Let’s take a look at them one after the other.

Enhanced security: VPN uses advanced encryption and authentication protocols. As a result, the data that travels through the established connection remains safe from hackers.

Remote access: One of the biggest upsides of VPN is the fact that you get remote access to the websites which are inaccessible otherwise. Now you know why “Work From Home” is no more an issue. 

Anonymity: VPN allows one to access websites or the internet for the matter in complete anonymity. 

Unblock websites: Certain websites, while available in particular parts of the world, are blocked in other regions. With VPN, you can unblock these websites effortlessly.  

Disadvantages:

Nothing is always sunshine and lollipops. So is VPN, it has a few downsides to it. Take a look at them here. 

  • Firstly, companies/institutes can keep track of your internet usage.
  • VPN can slow down your internet connection.
  • If you are using a trial version or an unpaid version of VPN services, ads may annoy you and the hamper the experience.

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