What is a VPN? All explained

VPN or Virtual Private Network is software used to provide safety and security. A VPN creates a private and secure internet connection between your device and your network. A VPN encrypts your online activity and routes the internet traffic through the secure VPN tunnel in this way your identity is disguised and your activity remains anonymous.

By using VPN services, your internet traffic is redirected through a secure, encrypted tunnel that helps to protect your online activity from online trespassers, and prying eyes, including internet service providers, hackers, and even government agencies.

How the VPN is going to secure my Activity?

By using a VPN a secure and encrypted tunnel is created between your device and your private network, preventing anyone from reading your data and keeping it safe and secure from third-party interception. 

One of the unique features of a VPN is its ability to provide a different IP address to users. When you connect to a VPN server, you are assigned a new IP address that is of the location you connected to on the VPN. This means that your online activity is masked, and your physical location’s IP address is hidden from the websites you visit, making it difficult for any data harvesters to track you and approach you.

Another key feature of a VPN is its encryption technology. VPNs use complex encryption algorithms to scramble your online traffic, making it unreadable and unusable to anyone who may try to intercept it. This encryption technology is what makes VPNs so effective at protecting your privacy and security online.
–  A VPN server situated in a different country than your own is then used to route the encrypted traffic. In some cases, this can give the impression that you are using a different location to access the internet than you actually are.

– Your traffic is encrypted until it reaches the VPN server when it is then decrypted and transmitted to the server or website you were trying to access. Due to this encryption, it is almost impossible for cyber attackers to approach your data and track your online activity. – Instead of directly from your device, the website or server receives the traffic from the VPN server, which can assist protect your identity and location.

What exactly Encryption is?

The process of converting human-readable data into incomprehensible coded or encoded messages is called encryption. This is done to ensure that the information is kept secure and confidential from unauthorized access or interception so that no other party can comprehend the information or data. This is also commonly known as ciphertext.

Encryption involves the use of an algorithm and a secret key or password to scramble the original message into an unreadable format. The resulting ciphertext can only be deciphered by someone who has the corresponding key or password to unscramble the message. These keys are known as cryptographic keys.

The common encryption algorithms are AES encryption, RSA encryption, DES encryption, etc.

How does a VPN connection work:

For a secure VPN tunnel VPN protocols are needed, which is a set of instructions or rules, on how your device interacts with the VPN server and determines the security of your connection.

These protocols provide the encryption and authentication needed in the VPN tunnel.
Authentication guarantees that your device is connecting with a reliable VPN server. Encryption makes the tunnel difficult to read by any third party. This encryption and authentication can highly impact your connection and browsing speed. 

Common VPN Protocols:

There are many different VPN protocols, each with a different focus. Some focus on giving you privacy and security, while others focus on giving you speed. Let’s see which one is suitable for you:

  • Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP):
    PPTP was one of the first VPN protocols for users, easily configurable on major operating systems. However, in terms of encryption, this protocol is unable to authenticate the origin of the transmitted data, thereby compromising its security.
  • Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) / Internet Protocol Security (IPSec):
    L2TP is a protocol that, when combined with IPSec, provides a secure connection and encryption of data. L2TP creates a secure tunnel, while IPSec encrypts and authenticates the data within the tunnel, using strong AES-256-bit encryption without known flaws.
  • Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP):
    SSTP is a Windows protocol that ensures highly secure and encrypted data transmission using 2048-bit SSL/TLS certificates for authentication and 256-bit SSL keys for encryption. It is an excellent choice for remote workers handling sensitive digital information.
  • Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2):
    IKEv2 is a widely used VPN protocol, particularly for mobile devices, due to its automatic reconnection feature. Developed by Microsoft and Cisco, it uses L2TP to create a secure tunnel, and IPSec for data encryption and authentication. It offers 3DES and AES encryption.
  • Wire Guard:
    Wire Guard is a recently launched, open-source VPN protocol known for its simplicity and speed. It is easy to set up on multiple devices while maintaining high security using publicly available cryptography packages like Poly1305 for data authentication and ChaCha20 for encryption.
  • OpenVPN:
    OpenVPN is a highly popular and secure VPN protocol that can be used on multiple devices. It employs AES-256-bit key encryption, 2048-bit RSA authentication, and a 160-bit SHA1 hash method to protect data. It has both TCP and UDP types, with TCP providing more reliable security at the cost of speed, while UDP prioritizes speed over security.
  • Proprietary Protocols:
    Certain VPN service providers have created their own unique and closed-source protocols, known as proprietary VPN protocols, which are designed to offer faster speeds compared to standard protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard. These proprietary protocols are difficult to read and are not open source. Popular examples of VPN providers with proprietary protocols include Hotspot Shield’s Hydra Protocol, NordVPN’s NordLynx, ExpressVPN’s Lightway, and VyprVPN’s Chameleon.

What are VPN Servers?

A VPN server enables users to create a secure and private network connection over the internet by connecting them. When a user connects to a VPN server, their device sends all internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel to the VPN server. It is a combination of VPN hardware and software which makes the a secure private network.

VPN servers are typically used by businesses, organizations, and individuals who want to protect their sensitive data, access region-restricted content, or bypass internet censorship. VPN servers can be set up by companies or purchased from VPN service providers.

These VPN servers can be located in various different countries, users can connect to their desired location to access the content that may be restricted in their home country. For instance, if you want to watch BBC iplayer and you are located outside the UK then you won’t be able to access it, but you can watch BBC iplayer after connecting to the UK location server.

Advantages of using a VPN:

In this digitally evolved world, cyber threats and data breaches are increasingly common, and a VPN can help you to protect your information and internet traffic.  Moving without a VPN leaves all of your online data vulnerable to cybercriminals, hackers, and data harvesters.

The major advantages of using a VPN are to:

  • For enhanced security:
    Your internet traffic is encrypted with a VPN, keeping it unreadable to hackers, ISPs, and government surveillance that might try to monitor it. This can assist prevent the theft or hacking of your sensitive data, including passwords, credit card numbers, and personal information.
  • To Provide Online Security:
    By hiding your IP address and location, a VPN makes it challenging for advertisers and other third parties to monitor your online activities. You may avoid targeted advertising and help safeguard your online privacy by doing this.
  • Bypass Internet Censorship and Geo-Restrictions:
    With a VPN, you can access websites and content that may be restricted or blocked in your region, including social media platforms, streaming services, and news websites. This can be helpful if you want to access content that is only accessible in specific locations or if you are traveling to a nation with tight internet control.
  • To have a secure connection while working remotely.
    While using a VPN your confidential information is kept secure. With a VPN, working from home or while traveling is made simpler because you can safely access your company’s network or remote server from any location in the globe.
  • Money savings:
    By using a VPN, you can save money on services like airline tickets, hotel reservations, and online shopping that have variable rates depending on where you are.

Disadvantages of Using a VPN:

Along with the numerous advantages of using VPN services in this digitally advanced world there are certain disadvantages too.

  • Slow Speed:
    One of the major drawbacks of using VPN services is that it is going to impact the speed of your connection. You might face a bit of slow speed due to some of the reasons like:
    Encryption Level
    The distance of the VPN server
    And the workload on the VPN servers.
  • Website Blockages:
    There are certain websites that block the VPN traffic and IPs and restrict the access of the users to that specific website or service. It becomes very difficult to access that content with any VPN service provider. Additionally, some streaming services such as Netflix have begun to block VPN access, making it more difficult to access content from other countries.
  • Cost:
    There are some VPN providers that are not free but you need to pay a certain price as a subscription fee if you want to go for a high-quality VPN service provider. These charges you need to pay separately along with your regular network connection or ISP. This can be a disadvantage for individuals or organizations on a tight budget, as VPN costs can quickly add up over time.
  • Prohibited in some countries:
    In some countries, the use of VPNs is illegal. VPN can be used for illegal activities such as downloading copyrighted content or accessing restricted websites. If caught, users can face legal consequences such as fines or imprisonment
  • Trusting the VPN Provider:
    When using a VPN, you are entrusting your online privacy and security to a third-party provider. It is important to choose a trustworthy provider with a good reputation and track record.
  • Possible Security Risks:
    While VPNs are generally considered to be secure, there is always a risk that your data could be intercepted or compromised. This is particularly true if you are using a free VPN service, as these services may not have the same level of security as paid VPNs. Additionally, if you are not careful when choosing a VPN service, you could end up using a service that is actually a scam or is collecting your data for malicious purposes.
  • Not Supported on All Devices:
    Another drawback of using VPN services is that it is not compatible with all devices and operating systems. This can be particularly problematic if you are using a less common operating system or device. Before choosing a VPN service, it is important to ensure that it is compatible with all the devices you plan to use it on.

Some Common VPN Providers:

There are numerous VPN service providers all over the world with each other specialties and capabilities. There are paid and free VPN service providers. Some of the major VPN service providers are listed below and you can choose anyone that suits your needs:

  • ExpressVPN:
    ExpressVPN is one of the major VPN service providers in the VPN industry and is recommended the most. ExpressVPN is a bit more expensive than the other VPN provider but it possesses certain features and connection quality that is unmatchable.

    It contains more than 3000+ servers in 94 countries.
    High-Speed Lightway Protocol- an expression customized protocol- proves to be the one providing fast speed while streaming.
    Privacy with AES256  Encryption
    30 days Money back guarantee
    P2P and Split Tunneling Feature
    5 simultaneous connections at a time
    Kill Switch
    MediaStreamer – a streaming-specific feature for non-vpn-supported devices.
    24/ Support
  • NordVPN:
    NordVPN is also considered one of the most popular VPN providers in the VPN industry. It’s a bit cheaper than ExpressVPN and provides good quality connection and speed. Some of the features of NordVPN are mentioned below:

    It contains more than 5300+ servers in 60 countries.
    High-Speed NordLynx Protocol- a Nordvpn customized wire guard protocol- proves to be the one providing fast speed while streaming.
    Privacy with AES256 Encryption
    Automatic Kill Switch, P2P sharing, dedicated IP, and DNS leak protection
    6 simultaneous connections at a time
    Zero log policy
    30 days Money back guarantee
    24/7 Support
    Built-in Malware blocker
    Privacy with AES256 Encryption
  • PureVPN:
    PureVPN is a VPN service provider that provides some amazing deals and a set of features. It has long been in the industry and delivering services at well as possible.

    It contains more than 6,500+ servers in 88+ countries.
    Supports protocols like WireGuard, IKEv2, OpenVPN, etc. 
    Internet Kill Switch, IPv6 leak protection, P2P for torrenting, and DNS leak protection
    Split tunneling
    Zero log Policy
    10 simultaneous connections at a time
    30 days Money back guarantee
    Shortcut feature- this feature can allow you to access popular websites/channels (Netflix, Hulu, BBC, Amazon and etc)directly with just one click.
    Supports dedicated IP and Port Forwarding 


1. Which one is better, free VPN or Paid?

In general, paid VPN services are better than free ones. Free VPNs may seem attractive because they don’t require payment, but they often come with limitations such as restricted bandwidth, slow speeds, limited server locations, and weaker security. Additionally, free VPNs may collect and sell user data to third parties, which defeats the purpose of using a VPN for privacy and security. 

2.  Are VPNs legal?

Yes, VPNs are legal in most countries. However, it’s important to note that some countries have restrictions on the use of VPNs, and using a VPN for illegal activities such as cybercrime is still illegal regardless of the country.

3. Can Apps detect the usage of VPNs?

Yes, some apps can detect the use of VPNs, particularly those that are designed to block or restrict access to certain content based on geographic location. However, most VPNs offer features to bypass these detections, such as changing server locations or using obfuscation techniques.

4. When should I use a VPN?

You should use a VPN when you want to ensure a secure and private connection to the internet, especially when using public Wi-Fi, accessing sensitive information, or bypassing internet censorship. Additionally, a VPN can also be used to access geo-restricted content, maintain online anonymity, and prevent tracking by third-party entities.

5. How much is the VPN subscription?

The cost of a VPN varies depending on the provider and the length of the subscription. Generally, monthly plans can cost anywhere from $5 to $15 per month, while longer plans such as yearly subscriptions can range from $30 to $100 per year. Some VPN providers also offer free plans, although these often have limitations such as data caps or slower speeds.

6. What are the disadvantages of using a VPN?

Some disadvantages of using a VPN include slower internet speeds, the potential for decreased network performance, and possible difficulty accessing certain websites or online services. Additionally, some VPNs may have logging policies that compromise user privacy, and not all VPNs offer the same level of security and protection.


VPN (Virtual Private Network) has become a need in the digital world we live in today. The topmost needs for this software are for the sake of the security of your online available data and for your desire to access multiple contents from all over the world.

The security is maintained in the VPN connection via encryption and authentication. This encryption is possible by using VPN protocols, the strong the protocol is the more secure the VPN connection is.  VPN can mask your IP address and also assign you an IP address of the server location you connect to the VPN application. In this way, you can access your desired content and websites. This also helps in bypassing the firewall of the blocked countries.

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rida shakil
rida shakil
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