What is VPN | Explaining How Does VPN Work and Types of VPN

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What is VPN | Explaining How Does VPN Work and Types of VPN

What is VPN | Explaining How Does VPN Work and Types of VPN

What is VPN ?

Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a technology which secures the public and private network connections by providing anonymity to the user. A device which runs the VPN service may benefit from security, functionality and management. They are capable of providing a secure connection even more than a Wifi hotspot. 

Most of the operating systems today support the use of VPN. VPNs were originally created for business corporations to connect business together. However the use of personal VPN is becoming popular due to the restrictions placed on the internet. When you are using unencrypted connections such as public wifi, you are at a risk of identity theft and hacking. And also surfing the internet or making an online transaction through a Wifi or an ethernet connection mean that you are technically exposing your confidential informations. With a VPN service you no longer have to worry about security. Through VPN, the IP address of your network connection is hidden, making almost all of your online transactions untraceable. 

The main purpose of a VPN is to provide you privacy and security when you surf the internet from a PC, smartphone or a tablet. Therefore VPN should be the ultimate concern for any users trying to secure their information. Additionally VPN makes you to access websites those are restricted to regions, encrypt connections and browse the internet anonymously. 

How does VPN works ?

Data sent from a Wifi connection provide a chance for the attacker to watch your online activities. Therefore you have to use a third party VPN service for protecting against these kinds of attacks. VPN creates a data tunnel between the network and the exit node in another country. All the traffic those are from the VPN connection are sent through this tunnel. From this tunnel the data goes in the form of encryption to the ISP and then to the VPN server. Because of the fact that the data is encrypted, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the hackers cannot view what is online. 

And also VPN extends a network by the encrypted connections present on the internet. This way of connecting users and devices to a corporate network is known as the Secure Remote Access. This includes the VPN technology. Additionally with a VPN service, your internet service provider may find it difficult to trace your browsing history. Because your online activity is associated with the IP address of VPN service and not actually yours. Once you connect your device with a VPN service, your computer will behave as it is on the VPN network's connection making it seem like you are in another place of the world. Therefore the location identified is of the VPN's location. 

Apart from that there are several factors which affects the performance of a VPN connection. Among them speed of internet connection, type of encryption and the type of protocol are the most common. 

Types of VPN

According to the way of connection there are several options to deploy a VPN service. Network operators consider either of the 2 types to implement a VPN service.

They are,

Remote Access VPN - Remote Access VPN does the work of connecting devices (also known as end points) to the corporate office present outside. It is basically a VPN of computer to network. Remote Access VPN either relies on IP security (IPsec) or a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) for securing the connection. Clients present on the Remote Access VPN connects to the gateway of VPN server present on the organization's network. It is essential for a security check to be performed on these connecting device or end points. Therefore before granting access to the network sources, the gateway of VPN servers require authenticity of the respective device that has been connected. 

Site to Site VPN - Site to Site VPN is used to connect internet to branch offices as a conduit in order for accessing cooperative office internet. It is basically a VPN of network to network. Site to Site VPN is used when the distance is too long for the network connections to be connected directly. On the other hand, a gateway device has been used by the Site to Site VPN for connecting an entire network from one location to another network present in another location. There is no need for a VPN client since the gateway itself handles the connection. For securing the connection most of the Site to Site VPN uses IP security (IPsec).

Network Protocols in VPN

VPN service providers use a set of protocols to ensure that the users can be connected securely to a private network. Overtime these protocols has the tendency to get advanced and improved. But they are incompatible to each other. There are many types of protocols used by the services which has their own strength and weaknesses.

Most common out of them are,

OpenVPN - Based on the SSL private network OpenVPN is a type of protocol that is freely available open source. Due to the fact that OpenVPN can be functioned using the TCP or UDP port, it is highly flexible. Most of the leading VPN service providers recommend OpenVPN because of their top notch performance. 

PPTP - While Microsoft gets the credit for developing the PPTP protocol, it is one of the oldest types of protocols ; available since Windows 95. PPTP protocol establishes point to point tunnel that gets connected to the GRE protocol. However the security of the PPTP protocols are not up to the level of standard, but it is still secure. 

L2TP/IPsec - L2TP/IPsec works by implementing two protocols together. These types of combining provides you the best features. For an example L2TP is used to create a tunnel and IPsec is used for transporting. Compared to a PPTP protocol, this gives you high level of protection. A lot of mobile devices today support the use of L2TP/IPsec protocol.

IKEv2/IPsec - IKEv2/IPsec is a type of tuning protocol which means that it pairs with each other for the encryption. It has great advantages in terms of speed, flexibility and security. IKEv2 is considered to be the most secure and advanced in terms of performance. Being developed by the Microsoft it is better known for maintaining a VPN connection which is highly stable. Even when the internet connection drops, IKEv2/IPsec protocol can still restore the VPN. Therefore it is mostly preferred by the smart phone users who constantly change their connection from Wifi to mobile network.

Free Vs Paid VPN

A well reputable VPN service will keep you anonymous online completely, protect you from cyber threats and provides you access to region restricted websites. Not all the VPN services comes with these features. Everybody knows that products those are free are not always perfect. Same applies to free VPN services, they has their own flaws. And also there are certain risks involved in using them. 

It is way clear that VPN services are not for charity, they are produced for business profits. Therefore Free VPN services will somehow make their money. Most popularly through running advertisements. Paid VPN services on the other hand, generate an income through the subscription fee. In order for avoiding threats it is always advisable to go for a paid VPN service since they offer complete protection.

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