A VPN, short for a virtual private network, establishes a digital connection between your computer and a remote server. This creates a point-to-point tunnel that encrypts your data, masks your IP address, and allows you to bypass website blocks and firewalls on the internet. This ensures that your online experiences are private, protected, and more secure.
What is a VPN protocol?
A VPN protocol refers to the rules determining how data is transmitted and encrypted between your device and the server. Several VPN protocols are available, each with its strengths and weaknesses.
Some common VPN protocols include OpenVPN, L2TP, WireGuard, and IPSec. While they all serve the same purpose of securing your data, they do so in different ways and with varying levels of efficacy and security.
What is a Personal VPN?
There are four major VPN types:
1. Personal VPN: A user device connects to a VPN server.
2. Remote Access VPN: A user device connects to a private network.
3. Site-to-Site VPN: A connection between multiple networks.
4. Extranet-based Site-to-Site VPN: A connection between the internal networks of multiple organizations.
This article focuses on Personal VPNs.
A personal VPN, also known as a commercial or consumer VPN, is a technology that enables individuals to establish secure and private connections over the Internet. You can use a personal VPN by installing this software on your devices. After doing that, the software will encrypt your internet traffic and direct it through a remote VPN server, concealing the IP address and ensuring anonymity and privacy.
Personal VPNs are especially valuable when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks found in locations like cafes, airports, or hotels. These networks are typically unencrypted, making it easier for hackers to intercept data. A VPN encrypts your traffic, making it difficult for malicious actors to access your online activities.
Another benefit of using a personal VPN is the capability to bypass geo-restrictions and access content limited to specific regions. By connecting to a VPN server in a different country, users can appear as if they are accessing the internet from that location. This allows them to reach region-restricted websites, streaming services, or online platforms. For example, people living in Hong Kong need to use VPNs to access ChatGPT. Subscribers of NowTV, a popular IPTV service provider in Hong Kong, need to use VPNs to watch English Premier League games on the NowTV app if they travel overseas.
Various VPN providers exist, including NordVPN, Surfshark, Atlas VPN, Norton Secure VPN, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, IPVanish, and numerous other commercial VPNs.