VPN

VPN – What is it, features and, pros and cons

What it is for and what are the advantages and disadvantages of VPN networks

We see what it is, what it is for and what are the advantages and disadvantages of VPN networks

Internet privacy is becoming less and less, since browsers, search engines and browser cookies collect our information. In addition, not all content is accessible worldwide or there may be blocked websites. One solution is VPN connections, which allow you to remove all these geographical restrictions, improve the security of the systems and eliminate censorship. Here we are going to explain how a VPN works and the types that exist.

What is a VPN

A virtual private network or VPN is a computer network technology that allows a local network to be extended over an uncontrolled public network such as the Internet. The computer can send and receive data over shared or public networks as if it were a private network.

Thus, connecting to the internet through a VPN offers us privacy, accessing the internet anonymously. Online encryption of all data that is sent and received is also added. When we access the internet, it does not appear that we do it from our router, but from one of the dedicated VPN servers to which we have access.

But, one of the factors that increase its popularity is the connection through virtual data tunnels over 192.168.l00.1. Normally when we want to access YouTube, the router ‘contacts’ the internet provider that we have, in order to access YouTube.

When we do it through a VPN, this process is different. The traffic is redirected and no longer goes to our internet provider, it goes to the VPN server and then goes to the requested destination. The VPN connection is usually encrypted, so the internet provider doesn’t know what we’re doing. Basically the IP we have changes to that of the VPN server, adding privacy to the connection.

VPN Features

It prevents the operator or any external observer, to where we are connecting
Through encryption we know that the data has not been altered or compromised
Only the destination host knows what request we are making, since the information is encrypted between our computer and the VPN server
The message has an encryption signature, preventing it from being denied that the message was sent
It only allows access to the data by authenticated members, so no external person can access it (enterprise environments)
Recording and auditing of activity, to guarantee correct operation and avoid external attacks (business environments)
Allows you to bypass censorship imposed in some regions

Uses of a VPN connection

VPN networks have multiple uses, but the most common is privacy when browsing. These types of networks are also important in the corporate sector, although there are multiple uses. Let’s see the most common uses for VPN connections

Telecommuting

More and more companies are allowing workers to perform their duties from home. A VPN network in this case allows you to interconnect networks that are not physically connected. It allows the worker to access the office network without being physically on it. They are also used in companies with several work centers in different locations, thus accessing through a virtual tunnel. This is done because giving access to the company’s internal network indiscriminately through the internet would be a huge security hole.

Remove censorship

One of the most common uses is to bypass the internet access restrictions of totalitarian or privacy-loving regimes. China blocks a large number of web pages, such as Facebook, among others. It is estimated that more than 3,000 pages are not accessible from China.

To bypass the blockade, VPN networks are used. A Chinese user can access Facebook through a VPN server that may be in the United States, for example. The request leaves the user’s computer encrypted, so the operator is unaware of the request being made. This information goes to the VPN server, who accesses the web and sends the web to the user, also in an encrypted connection.

Geo-blocking of content

Many are those who want to enjoy all the content of a platform. YouTube allows geo-blocking of videos, something that we can skip a VPN. We may be interested in seeing a Netflix, Amazon Prime or HBO series that is not available in Spain. Through a VPN we can make a request to a server located in the United States and access that catalog that we could not access.

Security layer

VPN connections typically offer packet encryption. What this adds is a layer of security and privacy. Above all, the use of VPN networks is recommended when we connect to public access WiFi networks.

Types of VPNs

Remote access vpn

It is the most used system, which is based on the fact that the worker can access the company network without being physically in the office. The worker’s connection is made through the Internet, but through a virtual tunnel. The worker is authenticated and thus can access the company’s local network, as if he were physically there.

It is also the name that a VPN connection would have for a user who wants to add privacy to their browsing.

Point to point vpn

System used for the interconnection of several work centers distributed throughout the world. The VPN server has a permanent link to the internet and accepts connections from other points and creates a virtual tunnel. This eliminates the need to create a physical connection between nodes.

Tunneling

Within point-to-point VPN networks we have the technique of tunneling. This technique allows one network protocol to be encapsulated over another, thus generating a tunnel within a computer network. Within this tunnel, a system of protocol data units (PDU) is included within another PDU to transmit from one end of the tunnel to the other without the need for an intermediate interpretation.

Normally this technique is used according to the needs determined according to the problem that is sought to be solved. For example, multicast inter-island communication, traffic redirection, etc.

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