Your ISP usually sets up your connection when you connect to the Internet, and it tracks you through an IP address. Your network traffic is routed through your ISP’s servers, which can log and display everything you do online.
Your ISP may seem trustworthy, but it may share your browsing history with advertisers, law enforcement, the government, and other third parties. ISPs can also fall victim to attacks by cybercriminals: if they are hacked, your personal and private data can be compromised. `
This is especially important if you regularly connect to public Wi-Fi networks. You never know who might be monitoring your internet traffic and what might be stolen from you, including passwords, personal data, payment information, or even your entire identity.
VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network” and describes the opportunity to establish a secure network connection when using public networks. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic and disguise your online identity, making it harder for third parties to track your online activities and steal data. Encryption is done in real-time.
How does a VPN work?
A VPN hides your IP address by allowing the network to redirect it through a specially configured remote server run by a VPN host. This means that if you browse online with a VPN, the VPN server becomes the source of your data. This means that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and other third parties cannot see the websites you visit or the data you send and receive online. A VPN works like a filter that turns all your data into “gibberish.” It would be useless even if someone got their hands on your data.
What are the benefits of a VPN connection?
A VPN connection disguises your online data traffic and protects it from external access. Anyone with access to the network can view unencrypted data and wants to view it. With a VPN, hackers and cybercriminals can‘t decrypt this data.
Secure encryption: To read the data, you need an encryption key. Without one, it would take a computer millions of years to crack the code in the event of a brute-force attack. With the help of a VPN, your online activities are hidden even on public networks.
Hide your whereabouts – VPN servers essentially act as your proxy servers on the internet. Your actual location cannot be determined because demographic location data comes from a server in another country. Also, most VPN services don‘t store logs of your activities. On the other hand, some providers record your behavior but do not pass this information on to third parties. This means that any potential record of your user behavior remains permanently hidden.
Access to regional content: Regional web content is not always accessible anywhere. Services and websites often contain content that can only be accessed from certain parts of the world. Standard connections use local servers in the country to determine your location. This means you can‘t access content at home while traveling, and you can‘t access international content from home. With VPN location spoofing, you can switch a server to another country and effectively “change“ its location.
Secure data transfer: If you work remotely, you may need to access essential files on your company network. For security reasons, this type of information requires a secure connection. To gain access to the network, a VPN connection is often required. VPN services connect to private servers and use encryption methods to reduce the risk of data leakage.
What should a good VPN do?
It would be best to rely on your VPN to perform one or more tasks. The VPN itself should also be protected against compromise. Here are the features you should expect from a comprehensive VPN solution: `
Encrypting your IP address – The main job of a VPN is to hide your IP address from your ISP and other third parties. This allows you to send and receive information online without the risk of anyone but you and the VPN provider seeing it.
Protocol encryption – A VPN should also prevent you from leaving traces, for example, in your internet history, search history, and cookies. Cookie encryption is essential because it prevents third parties from accessing sensitive information like personal data, financial news, and other website content.
Kill switch – If your VPN connection is suddenly interrupted, your secure connection will also be interrupted. A good VPN can detect this sudden downtime and terminate pre-selected programs, reducing the likelihood of data being compromised.
Two-factor authentication – Using various authentication methods, a strong VPN verifies everyone trying to log in. For example, you may be asked to enter a password, after which a code is sent to your mobile device. This makes it difficult for uninvited third parties to access your secure connection.
Types of VPNs
There are many different types of VPNs, but you should be familiar with the three main types:
Often, only some employees in a company have access to a company laptop that they can use to work from home. During the coronavirus crisis in the spring of 2020, many companies faced the problem of not having enough equipment for their employees. A remote device (PC, laptop, tablet, mobile phone) is often used. In this case, companies turn to an SSL-VPN solution, usually implemented through a corresponding hardware box. The prerequisite is usually a browser that supports HTML-5, which is used to access the company’s login page. Browsers that support HTML-5 are available for virtually any operating system, and access is protected with a username and password.
A site-to-site VPN is essentially a private network designed to hide private intranets and allow users of these secure networks to access each other’s resources. A site-to-site VPN is useful if your company has multiple locations, each with its local area network (LAN) connected to the WAN (vast area network). Site-to-site VPNs are also helpful if you have two separate intranets between which you want to send files without users on one intranet explicitly accessing the other. Site-to-site VPNs are primarily used in large enterprises. They are complex to implement and do not offer the same flexibility as SSL VPNs. However, they are the most effective way to ensure communication within and between large departments.
Connecting through a VPN client can be imagined as if you were connecting your home PC to the business with an extension cord. Employees can call the company network from their home office via a secure connection and act as if they were sitting in the office. However, a VPN client must first be installed and configured on the computer. This implies that the user is not connected to the internet through their ISP but establishes a direct connection through their VPN provider. This shortens the tunneling phase of the VPN journey. Instead of using the VPN to create an encryption tunnel to disguise the existing internet connection, the VPN can automatically encrypt data before it is available. This is an increasingly common form of VPN, handy for providers of insecure public WLAN. It prevents third parties from accessing and compromising the network connection and encrypts the data to the provider. It also prevents ISPs from accessing data that, for whatever reason, remains unencrypted and circumvents any restrictions on the user’s Internet access (for example, if the government of that country restricts access to the Internet). The advantage of this type of VPN access is greater efficiency and universal access to company resources. Provided that a suitable telephone system is available, the employee can, for example, connect to the system with a headset and act as if he were at his company’s workplace. For example, the company’s customers can’t tell if the employee is at work or in their home office.
With information from: www.kaspersky.com