What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an online security tool that secures your internet connection by encrypting your internet traffic and disguising your online identity. This way, it’s hard for anyone to identify or track you as the encryption is in real-time.

VPNs work by concealing your IP address. They create a private network from a public internet connection by establishing virtual point-to-point connections using tunneling protocols over the existing networks.

VPNs can be categorized into three; remote access VPNs, intranet-based site-to-site VPNs, and extranet-based site-to-site VPNs.

There are also free VPN services and paid VPN services. While free VPNs sound like a great deal, most of them are not reliable and don’t give users access to all the VPN features. However, for paid VPNs, you are guaranteed reliability and a host of extras.

Applications of VPNs

VPNs are very versatile today. They can be used for various reasons, as discussed below.

First, VPNs offer users online security and privacy. With hackers lurking around and governments spying on citizens, you definitely want to stay on top of your online security and privacy. VPNs provide users with a proxy server that hides their identity and crucial data.

Besides online security and privacy, VPNs can also be used for entertainment purposes. You may be aware that some content is restricted to users in specific regions. For example, Canadian Netflix users could be accessing some content that users in other countries can’t access. But with VPNs, it’s possible to access content not available in your region.

VPNs also come in handy when torrenting and sharing huge files that may lead to bandwidth throttling from your ISP. The good thing is that there are specialized VPNs for torrenting that mask all your torrenting activity, so at no time will connection speeds be cut down by your ISP.

Gamers also use VPNs. VPNs for gaming keep DDoS attacks at bay. Besides, gamers can access gaming deals and discounts that are not available in their region. VPNs also enable gamers to access gaming content not yet released in their region.

Now, on the market, there are hundreds of VPN service providers. Some are genuine, but others are not worth the money. If you are looking for the best VPN, check out our rankings of the best VPNs.