What is a VPN? Virtual Private Network explained

Author: | Last updated: October 15, 2018 | Blog | Tips
what is a vpn?

What is a VPN?
You’ve heard the term “VPN” before. But it probably sounded like some super technical computer thing that has nothing to do with you, right? But these days, more online users are realizing the importance of VPN’s.
So, what is a VPN exactly?


What is a VPN?

What is a VPN? VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. A VPN is a lot like what it sounds like: a private network. Imagine a wifi network like a big highway. Everyone on that network has their traffic running on that highway where everyone can see each others traffic. Anyone with the right technical know-how would be able to take your internet traffic and start taking valuable information such as banking details. When a user connects to a VPN, they are suddenly connecting to a private network where all their internet traffic is encrypted. So instead of taking that major highway with everyone else on that network, you get your own private road that no one else is allowed on.


Why use a VPN?

As discussed above, VPNs will encrypt your traffic so that prying eyes won’t be able to see what you’re doing nor steal any information from you.
Aside from encryption, a VPN will also change your IP address. By changing your IP address, websites will not be able to tell where your actual location is. Before connecting to a VPN, you will need to select a server to connect to. The server you choose will determine what type of IP address you get. For instance, if you connect to a U.K. server, you will get a U.K. IP address – making it seem like your physical location is in the U.K. When surfing the internet, you will start to notice you are getting ads catered to U.K. products. You might even notice that your Google searches are brining up U.K. related searches. By changing your IP address, you can surf the internet anonymously and not have to worry about websites knowing who you are.


Other popular uses

Another very popular reason that people connect to a VPN is to access geo-blocked content. There are some online services, websites, and content that are only available for people in a particular region. But when you connect to a VPN, you can make your device appear in that particular region and bypass those blackouts.
People also like to use VPNs paired with sport streaming services. For example, NFL Gamepass in the United States doesn’t show live games, only on-demand after the game has already been played. But with a VPN, users can hack NFL Gamepass to get the international version which shows all the live games. People also do this with NBA League Pass to bypass blackouts within the United States.
There are also popular tools such as Tor that help people access the Dark Net. But it’s also important that you pair a VPN with Tor before going onto the Dark Net.


When do I need a VPN?

The best rule of thumb is to just use a VPN every time you connect to the internet. Making it a habit to connect to your VPN every time you go only will drastically increase your online security.
If you’re not connecting to a VPN all the time, at least make sure you are using it when visiting an adult site or downloading torrents. These sites can be a bit sketchy at times and it’s always best to make sure you have some form of protection & anonymity when visiting them.
Traveling is another crucial time to use a VPN. Whether you are going out of the country or just away from your home, you should travel with a VPN. When traveling, you are most likely going to be connecting to a public wifi network in a hotel, coffee shop, or other public place. A VPN will help keep your internet traffic private when connecting to these networks.


How much does a VPN cost?

It’s pretty easy to find a VPN service online that is free. But you should always be weary of a free VPN service. Popular “free” VPN services have been caught using their users in a botnet scheme where anyone could be using YOUR IP address to do whatever they wanted – you don’t want that. Free VPN services need to make money somehow so they normally use their users (sometimes without their knowledge or consent) to make make money other ways.
When you use a paid VPN service, you know at least that it has no reason to make money other ways. The company can be held accountable. You often will get much better customer service any time you have problems as they will have motivation to keep you as a customer. Having paid customers also keeps a company on it’s toes to offer the best service available. My Private Network is constantly adding new servers, protocols, and encryption to make sure our customers get the best product on the market. Our team is also one of the top-rated VPN companies on TrustPilot!


Give a VPN a try!

A Virtual Private Network can be your best friend online. And as more and more hacking occurs online, it’s vital to keep yourself protected.



With servers in over 44 different countries, My Private Network can help you access websites from anywhere in the world. Give us a try today and if you don’t like it, we’ll give you your money back!

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October 15th, 2018 Jon G