exactly is VPNand the waydoes a VPN server work? If there's one constant on the Internet, it's the change. Streaming films and music has become part of our daily lives. And for years, data transfer rates were simply too low to stream sounds or pictures. But today things that were considered impossible a few years ago are standard.
One thing that lags behind in these rapid Internet growth years is privacy concerns. The general public has only recently become aware of the many threats to which it is exposed. Due to messages about large data leaks. Or due to reports of malware and ransom that block computers and only unlock them when their owners have paid the responsible cybercriminals. The Internet, in short, is not a particularly safe place at the moment - if it ever was.
A recurring topic when it comes to internet security is a VPN. VPN ensures anonymous and secure surfing. But how does it work? And how do you use it? Why is it safer than normal internet use? And how does VPN enable anonymous surfing?
How do internet connections work?
To fully understand VPN, it is important to understand the basics of internet use. When you go online using your smartphone, tablet or PC computer, your internet provider connects your computer to the website or service you are looking for. And your provider uses your “IP address” for this. The IP address is roughly translated into "your home address on the Internet". An IP address identifies individual computers and makes them understandable and recognizable online.
If you use a website, e.g. Ebay, your computer (or smartphone, etc.) connects to the server that hosts the Ebay website. This “server” is simply a different computer, but one that is built specifically for the purpose of allowing multiple connections at once without loss of information. The server receives a request from your computer to send the website information to you while it uses your IP address to find your computer.
That seems pretty okay, doesn't it? It only happens a lot more if you surf at the same time. As you click away and digest the information you see, the server's computer banks store your computer's IP address. Along with your “behavior” on the website (where you look, what you click, etc.). Convert the "you" into "data" about visitors. Ebay can use this data to improve its service. And track your behavior over time and across visits to the same website. It can even sell the information they have about you and other customers to other companies. Without you knowing it - it is the data that they have collected about you that companies consider their property.
This is pretty common these days, regardless of the information about the web pages you visit. So that's how VPN is used. A VPN, short for "Virtual Private Network", ensures that your computer cannotbe traced. It works as follows: Instead of connecting to your Internet provider, your computer connects to a VPN server via a secure, encrypted connection. Next, the VPN server contactsthe web siteyou'retrying to find. The data about your visit is savedas was common, butsupportedthe IP address of the VPN server and not on yours. Ebay may still collect data about your visit, but it will not be able to connect this data to you!
To explain the difference in more detail, let's take a look at the old-fashioned postal services. Using the Internet in the normal way is like sending a letter. Without a VPN, your home address is legible and usable the moment you drop your letter in the mailbox. But when you send the same letter through a VPN server, you're suddenly using the wrong home address and courier service. In addition, your letter is written in secret code, with the support of a level of encryption security that most VPN servers use to ensure that spies don't understand what you wrote.
VPN, in short, protects your surfing from prying eyes of third parties. VPN servers are designed to have enormous capacity and can be used by hundreds of users at the same time. This alone serves as protection, because how can third parties find information about you when hundreds of people are using the same IP address at the same time?