What is a VPN and How Does it Work

What is a VPN and How Does It Work?

VPN technology has been around for two decades. But it has only become popular in the consumer space in the current decade. Much of that is thanks to digital streaming services that have found a foothold in living room entertainment.

VPN’s functionality in providing unrestricted and private access to the web has gained interest from entertainment enthusiasts and privacy-conscious people.
But, as much as VPN is accessible and simple to use today, its functionality is a mystery to many.

What is a VPN?

Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates a private network between one or more devices and a VPN server. It’s a centralized layout where a VPN server acts as a host to connect users and devices on the network.
The internet, as we know, is a public network that can be accessed by anyone. A VPN is a private network that only people with credentials can access. A VPN can establish a network between users, and it can also be used as a proxy.

iProVPN allows you to use its remote servers around the globe to spoof your location and connect to the internet in a secure way.

How a VPN Server Works

The Internet Service Provider (ISP) handles your requests, such as what websites you want to visit. Opening a website is a process that involves the ISP to initiate a DNS query to return the correct web address.
The glaring problem with this usual way is that the ISP knows exactly what you are doing on the web. It knows everything from the websites visited and timestamps of the visits. In countries with strict surveillance and censorship, it is a serious concern. Because exposing your web activities that don’t align with the laws of a country can land in trouble.

By connecting to the VPN server, you delegate the responsibility of handling internet requests to the VPN server instead of the ISP. It adds the VPN server in-between the ISP and the destination server.
Think of a tunnel that shrouds a train as it passes by. Like the train that is concealed by the brick walls, data is concealed inside a virtual tunnel that connects your device to the VPN server. Encryption provides security on top against third-parties.

Encryption Explained

We gave you an example of how ISP is able to see every web activity. VPN’s ability to hide online activity is thanks to encryption.

Encryption is ubiquitous today. It’s on the web, it’s on your phone – it’s everywhere. Encryption is a complex process, yet the takeaway is simple to understand. It hides your data. It applies mathematical algorithms to convert plain-text into cipher-text, thus making it unreadable.
The process is known as encryption, and it’s done with a key that is mathematically created. And only that key can decrypt the data. And in the case of Asymmetric Encryption, a private key decrypts the data encrypted by a public key.

iProVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption for security. It is one of the highest symmetric encryption standard used for VPNs. What it means for you is security and privacy online.

How a VPN Protects You Online

The digital world is different from just ten years ago. The internet has reshaped our lives for the better, but it has come at the cost of privacy.

Your digital footprint is tracked to create a profile for targeted advertisements. Your behavior online – what websites you visit, what you search online, the likes, and reactions on social media platforms – molds a digital persona against which advertisers target you.

One way to gain such data is by working with ISPs or services such as free proxy websites and free VPN services. Since every visit is noted, the service can sell that data to advertisers.

Moreover, the threat of hackers is real. Public Wi-Fi hotspots are particularly unsafe for browsing due to weak security. It’s very easy for someone on the same network to create a fake access point and act as a proxy. By connecting to this fake access point, you are revealing your browsing history as well as sensitive information like bank account details.

Although with HTTPS today, much of the internet is secure from such intervention, these Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attacks can redirect users to fake login pages to steal information easily.

VPN’s encryption is a fundamental pillar that keeps your data and online activities private.

Why Zero Logging is Crucial

Logging refers to the practice of recording user activity by a service. It’s mostly done by free proxy and VPN services that offer free access in exchange of your privacy.

Finding a service that does not log user activity is as important as hiding activities from the ISP. iProVPN commits to a zero-logging policy, which dictates that you will never be tracked online. What you do online is your business, and iProVPN will never record your sessions for any motive.

It is our commitment to you. Our unique position as a service provider operating in the British Virgin Islands lends us the freedom to uphold that commitment.

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