What is a VPN And How Does It Work: Beginner’s Guide

vpns-for-beginners

VPN might sound very intimidating! Particularly to those individuals that have little to no comprehension regarding its amazing advantages. I’m sure that this article will convince you to give VPN a chance.

After years of experience, I can confidently say that VPN is highly underestimated and it is a hidden gem that most of us are too afraid to discover.

If you are not tech savvy, but you care about your data’s privacy! My friend, you have landed on the right article.

Simplified Guide to Understanding VPNs

  • What is a VPN
  • How Does a VPN Work
  • Is VPN Secure
  • Is Using VPN Legal
  • Is It Possible for a VPN to Make You Fully Anonymous
  • Logging Policies of a VPN
  • Which is better? Paid or Free a VPN
  • Is a VPN a Good Option for Torrenting
  • Does a VPN Work for Netflix and Hulu
  • Does Kodi/SmartTV Support a VPN
  • Is a VPN Safe for Android and iOS
  • Is it Difficult to Install a VPN on a WiFi Router
  • What about Kill Switches and IP Leaks
  • Times When You Should Use a VPN
  • Concluding VPN

What is a VPN?

If you have never heard about VPNs, you might think that it is something that is only approachable to tech savvies, but waits for a second! A VPN is not as complicated as you think

If you want a simple one-line definition of a VPN, then a VPN is a service that Changes your location, encrypts your data and allows you to access the web while ensuring your privacy.

But, how does a VPN offers such data security and privacy?

How Does a VPN Work?

Imagine that you are logging into your online bank account, and logging in details get hacked without you even having the smallest clue about it. What if the hacker steals your hard earned money?

On the flip side, maybe you are not worried about the security of your data, you want to watch your favorite series on Netflix that your country (where you are currently located) does not allow the access to.

If you were facing any of these situations, a VPN is the easiest solution of your problem.

When you access the internet through a VPN, you directly get connected to the VPN server that encrypts your information and hides your location. This is the way you will be available while being anonymous. In this way, no one can identify your location or get access to your private data.

This video will explain more about How Does a VPN actually works:

Since you are connected to a VPN’s server, your data is fully protected, unlike when you are using a standard internet connection without the support of any VPN, in such a case your data is in a 100% danger of the intruders. But, when you are connected through a VPN, your connection looks like this:how-does-VPN-works

Rather than accessing the internet directly, you are connected to a VPN server that ensures a highly secure connection.

Because VPN servers are in different parts of the world, your location also stays hidden, and you are able to gain access to most of the websites that are accessible to this country.

Is VPN Secure?

If you want a simple one-word answer, then YES! VPNs are completely safe. They offer security and complete privacy in many ways:

  • Your location is completely anonymous because the VPN server’s location is accessible, not yours.
  • No one has access to know which website you are visiting, what data you are sending, receiving or saving.

Your entire data is encrypted, including your sensitive data like your bank login details, your credit card details, your online shopping details, your business details; so there aren’t any chances of a data breach.

However, IT professionals suggest that even though a VPN is highly secure and private, but there is always a margin of error in the technology; therefore, users should not blindly trust it and should stay vigilant about their data’s security.

A few factors that might affect the efficiency of a VPN:

  • The VPN protocols that are being used. Some of the most popular ones include PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, IKEV2, and OpenVPN. According to my experience, PPTP (Point-To-Point Tunneling Protocol) is nearly obsolete; thus it is the least safe among all the other protocols. Whereas OpenVPN is regularly updated, which means that it has the least amounts of bugs, hence it is the most reliable of them all.
  • The legal and policy limitations is another major factor that affects the security of the VPN.
  • Other reasons could include connection, technology or server failures.

Is Using VPN Legal?

In most of the countries of the world, yes! VPN is legal.

The service in itself is not illegal to use, and it is made to ensure the security of its users and to provide a platform through which the users can securely access the internet. However, some people try to breach the legal boundaries by attempting to watch pirated material.

Illegal use of legal service does not make your action legal or make that service illegal. Hence, it is essential for the service to be used more sensibly by its users.

Apart from their responsible use, VPNs are considered to be illegal in many countries. So, you would have to check to make sure that your country legally allows VPN’s or not.

Here are a few countries where VPN is illegal.

  • China
  • Iran
  • Russia
  • Syria
  • Egypt

Is It Possible for a VPN to Make You Fully Anonymous?

To a certain extent, yes! It does make you Anonymous. However, there are several factors that you might have to consider before you really trust a VPN.

  • It is essential to investigate whether your VPN does or does not provide its users’ data to other companies – even if it’s for the sake of gathering demographic data and it is without any negative motive.
  • Be sure about the legal policies of the government of your location and your VPN server’s location, whether the government has the right to collect your data from the VPN service providers or not.
  • It is essential to know whether the VPN that you are subscribed to offers significant encryption and a secure connection protocol or not?

In conclusion, not all VPNs are 100% safe and not all of them are 100% insecure. So, smartly selecting the best VPN is essential.

Logging Policies of a VPN

To maintain complete anonymity, you would have to make sure that you are providing fewer logs to your provider if you can get a ‘no logs’ deal that would be the ideal choice to ensure your anonymity.

A provider may keep user activity IP addresses connection disconnection timestamps devices used and payment logs in their log that might breach your anonymity.

To have a better understanding of the log policy of your provider you to make sure that you understand their log retention policy before you opt for that provider.

Which is better? Paid or Free a VPN

Nothing good comes for free. If you want quality, you usually have to pay a price for it. Running app VPN Service costs money because the service providers have to pay for robust service, data transfer infrastructure, employees, updates, and several other things that cost a hefty price.

So, if you are willing to subscribe to a trustable VPN provider, you would have to pay for it. If it is for free you have to make sure that your VPN provider is not compromising on the security of your data. There are high chances that your VPN provider might be selling your data to the third party or putting up ads to cover the cost of running a VPN.

VPN does not cost an arm and a leg, so it is not the best idea to use a free VPN if you want to make sure that your data is completely secure.

However, if you are simply using VPN to get access to different series and movies that are not available in your country, then you can consider a free VPN as your priority might not be to secure your data.

Is a VPN a Good Option for Torrenting?

Firstly, let’s get one thing on the side that piracy is illegal! No matter what software you use, Piracy will never be considered as the right thing to do.

If you are trying to use VPN to download legal files because they are not readily available and easily accessible to you, then VPN will prove to be very helpful. However, it is necessary to understand VPN torrenting policy before you sign-up for a VPN.

Apart from that, it is also vital for your VPN to provide to offer utmost security your data, and you have to make sure that your VPN provider does not keep logs of your data or activities. Generally, VPN providers do not keep Torrent activity logs.

Other than that one another thing that is essential for VPN torrenting is speed. Another important factor is speed; when it comes to choosing your VPN unless your VPN server offers top speed, you will not be able to enjoy torrenting via VPN.

Many VPN services offer top speed for VPN torrenting. Amongst those, the best ones are ExpressVPN, Ivacy, VyprVPN, PIA, and NordVPN.

Does a VPN Work for Netflix and Hulu?

Netflix is available almost in every country of the world. However, content filtration is a huge problem that many people face due to the strict policies of every country about what contents’ access should and shouldn’t be allowed.

So, if you are in a country that does not allow access to your favorite shows and movies on Netflix and Hulu, then VPN can help you big-time.

VPN can help you watch your favorite show and movies by making your location anonymous, and confusing Netflix and Hulu with their location and provide you with the access to all the content that is allowed in that country where your VPN server is located.

You have to be sure before selecting a VPN that their server is located at a location that is according to your needs, and you are able to watch your favorite shows without any problems.

Does Kodi/SmartTV Support a VPN?

To use a VPN on your Smart TV, you have to make sure that not only your SmartTV is configured to VPN, but also your router that is configured to a VPN. If they are not configured, you would have to complete the configuration before you are able to connect the VPN.

If your SmartTV is configured to the VPN, all you have to do is to find a smart VPN for your SmartTV that is not only reliable, efficient but also highly recommended.

There are many VPNs that are highly rated for SmartTV and box’s use, some of them are ExpressVPN, VyprVPN, NordVPN.

Is a VPN Safe for Android and iOS?

According to my experience, I highly recommend using a VPN on your smartphone. Your phone has a ton of precious information and data that you would want to protect, and there isn’t any more significant way to guard it than using a VPN.

However, you have to smartly select the best VPN apps for your Android and IOS. Most of the best VPN services offer apps; however, they might cost you some money (which is entirely worth it).

Free VPN apps might not be the safest option, and since it is about your phone’s privacy and security, you would have to select the best VPN that offers maximum security

To install a VPN on your phone, you might need a few setting changes that are not at all a task for a tech-savvy, anyone can make the settings. After changing the settings, you can start using a VPN on your phone.

Some of the best apps that offer unmatchable service including PIA, Tunnelbear VPN, ExpressVPN.

Is it Difficult to Install a VPN on a WiFi Router?

To be sure of the fact that all of your devices are directly (and always) connected to a VPN, the smartest way of doing that is to install your VPN to your Wi-Fi router.

Mainly, you would have to make sure that your router is compatible with VPNs. After confirming its compatibility, you would have to follow a few simple steps that will enable and install the VPN to the Wi-Fi router.

Once VPN is installed on Wi-Fi router, you can easily access all of your PCs, mobile devices, laptops, and smart TVs to the VPN, and enjoy secure and safe web access at any time without the hassle of logging in to the VPN’s server time and time again.

What about Kill Switches and IP Leaks

Kill Switches and IP Leaks

Kill Switch

In simple words, kill switch is a feature in your VPN service that ensures that if ever just-in-case your internet becomes unsafe, the VPN will protect your anonymity and your data by it automatically turning off the connection.

Kill switch is necessary for trustable security. However, some VPNs might offer this feature, so if your VPN does not offer kill switch, then you might have assigned yourself into big trouble because you will always be a danger of a security breach.

There are some VPNs that offer the kill switch feature, and those VPNs include ExpressVPN, PIA, VyprVPN, and SaferVPN.

IP leaks

IP leak is a security flaw that causes your IP address to be visible. Even though, the chances of an IP leak to happen are near to impossible because of the newer updates.

However, there is still a benefit of a doubt that your IP address might get leaked, which can lead to a massive security breach that you might not be prepared for.

Times When You Should Use a VPN

It is highly necessary to do you use VPN you are going to deal with sensitive data.

A VPN provides you not only encryption that will protect your data from getting into the wrong hands, but it will also hide your location so that no one is able to know from where the data is being sent.

Installing new VPN to your router is also necessary so that all of your devices are protected 24/7.

To maintain top-level security privacy and secrecy of your data, it is highly essential to use a VPN. And it is essential to use a trustable VPN so even if you would have to pay a few dollars for it. I’m sure that you will never regret spending your money on a VPN.

Concluding VPN

There is no doubt in the fact that VPN makes your data completely secure, it hides your identity on the web, and connects you to a server that can help you access information that is not allowed in your country.

However, you have to choose your VPN smartly to ensure that there is near to zero chance of a security breach. Paying for quality VPN is less of expenditure and more of an asset.

This is the reason why I recommend people to given show give VPN a fair chance to prove its amazing benefits.