Saturday, November 26, 2022

What Does VPN Stand For And What Does It Do

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What Is A VPN In Simple Terms

What is a VPN and how it works | NordVPN

A virtual private network, better known as a VPN, protects your identity and browsing activity from hackers, businesses, government agencies, and other snoops. When connecting to the internet, your data and IP address are hidden by a type of virtual tunnel. This keeps others from spying on your online activity.

Does The VPN Have A Kill Switch

What if your connection with your VPN provider drops? Usually, your laptop, smartphone or other device will revert back to public Internet Protocol address provided by your home Internet Service Provider. This means that snoops could then be able to track your online activity and see your IP address until you connect back with your VPN provider.

Some VPN providers offer a kill switch feature to deal with this. If the VPN connection drops, the kill switch is designed to instantly sever your connection to the internet. This way, your IP address and online activity arent visible to anyone else.

Does the VPN have a kill switch?

  • Norton Secure VPN no
  • Tunnel Bear yes

How Do I Get A VPN

Having made the decision that you want to take the plunge with a VPN, the first step is to pick a provider. Youll find plenty of guidance on this, and weve got a great resource in our best VPN services roundup.

When youve made a choice, its simply a matter of heading to the VPN providers website, where you can sign up for a subscription plan. Yearly plans offer the best value particularly multi-year contracts but of course youre making more of a commitment in these cases. Some providers will offer a VPN free trial of some kind, which is great for giving the VPN a spin before committing at all .

There are free VPN services, too, but these are often limited in many ways, or have other hidden costs.

Once youve signed up and created your account, youll need to download the VPN client app, and install it. Just start the app and you can connect to a VPN server and immediately benefit from tighter online security . When you first fire up the VPN app, there could be a little setup to go through, but dont worry weve got you covered on that front with further advice on how to set up a VPN right here.

Read Also: Nordvpn Dark Web

Guide: What Does VPN Do For Your Phone

VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network, provides many benefits for your phone including the ability to connect to blocked websites and content in other countries and a more secure browsing experience.

Are you thinking of getting a VPN and wondering what does VPN do for your phone?

VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network, provides many benefits for your phone including the ability to connect to blocked websites and content in other countries and a more secure browsing experience.

When you are on your phone, VPN helps you stay anonymous and access blocked sites, videos and content while you are on-the-go.

Let us explore what is a VPN and how it can benefit you on your phone, whether you are on an iPhone or Android phone.

Is Your Isp Limiting Your Bandwidth

What is VPN and How Does it Work?

If your ISP limits your bandwidth to help with network congestion or to lure you into upgrading your plan, your VPN can help increase your speeds. With a VPN, youll bypass ISP throttling by communicating directly with your chosen remote server.

Youll get the highest speeds if you connect to one thats close to your physical location, so look for VPN providers with servers in your country.

IPVanish operates over 1,000 servers across 60 countries, so youre bound to find one thats close to you.

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Is It Legal To Use A VPN

In a word, yes. But not always.

First off, VPN as a concept is somewhat new in legal years, so not all jurisdictions have managed to keep up. This means that the rules are murky and can be interpreted in many ways.

In overall, VPNs seem to be okay to use in most countries, especially in the US, Canada, the UK, the rest of Western Europe.

Generally, VPNs are often not okay in China, Turkey, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Belarus, Oman, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and Turkmenistan.

To learn more about the legality of VPN in your country, find the laws of your local government, and review this in-depth resource of ours answering if a VPN is legal in your country we go through over 190 countries and tell you whats up.

How Does VPN Encryption Work

Encryption is persistent when you establish a connection to a VPN server. Your data between your device and the VPNserver is encrypted. Its deciphered only at the endpoints: when the data reaches your device and leaves aVPN server.

VPNs use three types of cryptography: symmetric encryption, asymmetric encryption, and hashing.Heres how VPN encryption works:

  • When you connect to a VPN server, the connection performs a handshake between a VPN client and a VPN server.During this step, hashing is used to authenticate that the user is interacting with a real VPNserver, and asymmetric encryption is used to exchange symmetric encryption keys.A few popularexamples of asymmetric protocols used at this stage are RSA or Diffie-Hellman.
  • Once the handshake is successful, symmetric encryption is used to encrypt all data passingbetween the user and the VPN server. The most common symmetric encryption cipher used by VPNs is AES.
  • Since AES is the most popular data encryption cipher used by VPNs, lets take a look at this cipher in more detail.

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    How Do I Turn Off A VPN On My Phone

    If you want to turn off the VPN on your phone you simply go in here:

  • Go to Settings
  • Scroll down to where it says VPN
  • Switch the active VPN to Not Connected
  • Theres another way to do it and it is by opening the VPN app from the VPN provider. In the case above it will be an app from XpressVPN or Windscribe. When the app is opened you can simply click the big On/Off button at the center of the screen.

    Now you have deactivated the VPN and you will no longer be browsing through an encrypted connection.

    For an Android phone, you do it in a similar way. You go to:

  • Go to Settings
  • Choose the VPN you find
  • Switch the connection to Disconnected.
  • And of course, you can also open the VPN app on your Android device and simply turn off the VPN there.

    What Is VPN How It Works Types Of VPN

    What is a VPN? Explained in 90 seconds

    VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network” and describes the opportunity to establish a protected network connection when using public networks. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic and disguise your online identity. This makes it more difficult for third parties to track your activities online and steal data. The encryption takes place in real time.

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    How Does A VPN Work For Torrenting

    This is a thornier issue, because some VPNs dont work for torrenting at all. Some VPNs dont support torrent users, and others may only support such P2P file-sharing on certain VPN servers .

    This could be for bandwidth reasons , or legal reasons .

    So, the initial consideration if you want a VPN for torrenting is to pick a provider which supports them and weve rounded up the best torrenting VPNs here for your convenience.

    As to how the process actually works when torrenting, its the same as a VPN normally functions, the key parts here being that your IP address will be hidden, so actions cant be traced back to you, and your traffic is encrypted, meaning no one can see what youre up to online or downloading.

    That all said, using a VPN doesn’t make downloading pirated films, music and files any more legal. And it’s not something we condone at TechRadar at all.

    You Can Save Money With A VPN

    Here’s where VPN use gets a bit more niche. Protecting privacy and accessing blocked content are both quite popular, but did you know that you can also save money on flights and hotels with a VPN? It’s all in the geographic location!

    Airlines use dynamic pricing, which means they increase and decrease airfares depending upon the country you are visiting from, said Rameez Usmani, Digital Marketing Executive at PureVPN, in an interview with With a VPN, you can find cheap flights by changing your current location to a virtual server in another country.

    How cool is that? VPNMentor even did a comparison between flights found through a USA server and an Indian server, and the prices are clearly different, as you’ll see below. Granted, the difference isn’t substantial, but when it comes to traveling, saving every bit of money counts.

    VPN Flight Comparison click to expand

    An even better way to save money with a VPN is to utilize a free one. Unlike many other similar services, the VPN market is filled with completely free options that can give you the basic protections and features of many of the paid models. However, as is typically the case with free services, there’s a catch.

    Read Also: Do I Need VPN On My Iphone

    Are There Any Downsides To Using A VPN

    The added security and privacy youll get with a VPN makes them an essential tool for internet safety. VPN disadvantages are few, but one side effect might be a slight reduction in your internet speed. This is because a VPN encrypts your internet connection and redirects it through a VPN server.

    The VPN marketplace is highly competitive, and many leading VPN providers are committed to keeping their services as fast as possible.

    What To Look For When Choosing A VPN

    How VPN Works?

    There are many VPN providers out there how do you choose just one? The first thing to keep in mind is that free VPNs services are low-quality and should be avoided. There are many problems with free VPNs, including:

    • Poor security: Many free options employ weaker security protocols, such as PPTP.

    • Fewer servers: Your speed can slow to a crawl when there arent enough servers to cover the necessary bandwidth of many users.

    • Annoying ads: Some free VPNs rely on ads to generate revenue on their free VPN app.

    • : Free services usually put harsh limits on how much you can download or even upload.

    Many good paid services offer a free trial, allowing you to take it for a test drive before commiting. A paid VPN service is essential for secure, reliable VPN use but how do you know which provider to choose? There are many factors to keep in mind when selecting the perfect VPN app:

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    Should I Use A VPN On My Phone Or Tablet

    Both Android and iOS come with basic VPN capabilities to allow you to connect to your corporate networks securely. Your IT organization will generally advise you when you should use this feature, but as we’ve discussed, when away from your home or office, and especially if you’re using an open, public Wi-Fi connection, you should.

    If you’re connecting to web applications like email or Facebook, you should consider using a VPN service — particularly if you’re connecting via an open Wi-Fi network. Most good VPN services offer both iOS and Android clients.

    Does A VPN Work On Kodi/smarttv

    Your smart TVs and Kodi boxes are yet more things that require a live internet hookup to provide you with their goodies. And with that, a VPN can help you keep those streams private so that only you and the service itself know what youre watching.

    There are two ways in which you can enable a VPN connection on your smart TV:

    • configure it on the device itself,
    • configure it right on your router effectively protect your whole home network and everything thats connected to it .

    Lets focus on the former here. In overall, many of the quality VPNs come with the ability to configure them right on your smart TV. For example, NordVPN which is one of our recommended VPNs comes with an app for Android TV, and also with detailed instructions for Kodi/OpenELEC and Apple TV. Other VPNs in the market provide you with similar options.

    Some of the networks that support smart TV devices and boxes: NordVPN, Surfshark, ExpressVPN.

    NordVPN has a great blog post on how to watch movies on Kodi.

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    Is A VPN Legal

    VPNs are not illegal in the United States. However, not all countries have the same laws regarding these services. For instance, China, Russia, and North Korea either regulate or ban VPNs. You should know, too, that if you commit an illegal act online using a a VPN, that act is still illegal. Customers often use VPNs so that they can stream sporting events and TV shows that they may be blocked from accessing in their own region. Using a VPN to pretend that you are logging onto the internet from a different location might violate the service agreements of streaming services.

    A Quick Overview Of The Whole Process

    What is a VPN? How Does it Work? An Easy Explanation
  • You use the VPN client to connect to a VPN server. When you do that, the client starts encrypting your data.
  • The VPN client establishes a connection to the appropriate server through your ISP, and sets up the VPN tunnel.
  • The VPN server replaces your IP address with its own , starts decrypting the data it receives from you, and forwards your connections to the web.
  • Once the VPN server receives the online data you requested from various web servers, it encrypts it, and sends it back to your device through your ISP.
  • When the VPN client receives the incoming traffic, it decrypts it for you.
  • Because an encrypted tunnel is established between you and the VPN server, your ISP cant monitor your online traffic and data. Only the devices on each end of the VPN tunnel can decrypt the information since only they can encrypt it. Also, the VPN server will replace your IP address with its own as well once the connection is established, effectively hiding your geo-location online.

    All in all, unlike accessing the web without a VPN, doing it with a VPN ensures you get to enjoy private browsing, peace of mind knowing your personal info is protected, and unrestricted access to any content .

    And thats pretty much how VPNs help in private browsing and how they work. While the whole process might seem like itd take a long time, it usually happens almost instantaneously.

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    Can A VPN Protect My Search History

    A VPN protects your search history through the secure connection you share. When you search for a website, or type a URL into your navigation bar, your device sends something called a DNS request, which translates the website into the IP address of the web server this is how your browser can find the website and serve its content to you. By encrypting your DNS requests, a VPN can hide your search habits and history from those that might use that info as part of building a profile of you. This type of info could be used in a wide variety of ways, from legitimately serving targeted ads to nefarious social engineering.

    Key Considerations Before Choosing A VPN

    Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how a VPN works. Before we send you on your merry way, heres a checklist of things to look out for before you choose a VPN:

    • Is it free or paid? – When it comes to a secure, speedy service, it really is worth it to pay for a VPN. Many free VPNs tend to offer only the PPTP protocol which, as we said earlier, really isnt very effective these days. They have fewer server locations and less bandwidth to offer. Very often with these free options your data is tracked and sold to third-party businesses. Paid VPN options more often than not have more powerful security protocols on offer than their free counterparts. A good paid VPN should have more server locations and more bandwidth, providing you with a faster service. They will also have customer support on hand if you run into any issues.
    • Are VPNs legal in your jurisdiction?
    • Where is the VPN server located?
    • Does the company log your activity?
    • Does it protect your whole device or is it just an add-on?
    • What are the protocols of the VPNs encryption mechanism?
    • The number of servers and amount of bandwidth a VPN service has if both are low it could make for a very slow web-surfing experience.

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    Reasons Why Free VPNs Are Not Safe

    “Is VPN safe?” is a question everyone should be asking, and the answer is straightforward. Using free software is not an effective solution for ensuring VPN security because it often will not protect data and browsing activity on the internet. Key reasons not to use a free VPN include:

  • Free VPN tools compromise user security: Many free VPN tools contain malware that could be used by cyber criminals to steal users data, gain unauthorized access to their data or machine, or launch a cyberattack. Research report from the ICSI Networking and Security Group found that 38% of the 283 Android VPN apps studied contained some form of malware presence. Therefore, a VPN application may not always be safe when using free tools.
  • Free VPN tools track online activity: A secure VPN should protect a users activity while they browse the internet, but some free VPNs do the opposite by tracking users online activity. The same ICSI research found that 72% of the free VPN services analyzed embedded third-party tracking tools in their software. This enables VPN tools to collect user information and sell it for a profit to the highest bidders, which allows advertisers to target free VPN users with ads. Some free VPN tools hide information about whether they share or sell user data, but others say so in their privacy policies.
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