A VPN (which stands for virtual private network) extends a private network across public networks like the Internet. In other words, they allow users to securely access a private network and share data remotely through public networks. VPN are largely used by corporations as a means of protecting sensitive data when connecting remote data centers. They are also used by individual users to protect their online privacy and spoof their physical location.
How does VPN work?
It enables a host computer to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if they were an integral part of the private network with all the functionality, security and management policies of the private network. This is done by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated connections, encryption, or a combination of the two.
Even if the technical side of VPNs can seem quite complicated, establishing a connection to a virtual private network is really easy. After connecting to the public internet through an ISP, the users can seamlessly start a VPN connection using a dedicated client software.
Why is it important?
VPN connections can be used for different reasons by corporations and private users.
The main upside for corporations is related to network security: in fact, VPNs substantially reduce the risk of cyber attacks and security branches. A VPN can be accessed from home and also while traveling and, for this reason, it can improve employees’ productiveness by lowering the risks of using unprotected networks while working. In this way, employees will feel safer when working on sensitive corporate projects on their way.
For private users, VPNs can ensure full privacy and safety when downloading and uploading files on the Internet, even when using P2P networks. In certain cases, it can also be used to bypass censorship and content surveillance by spoofing computer’s physical location.