Surfshark: How does a VPN work?


Most of us connect to the internet through our ISPs (Internet Service Providers). When you do that, your data travels through a network of routers to reach its destination.
 
Usually, it’s completely unencrypted (i.e. plain text). Even if it has some encryption, some information remains visible – like your IP. It’s needed to communicate with the internet with no issues.
 
On top of that, your ISP can easily see what you’re up to online… and worse, so can anyone who monitors your connection. This includes the websites you browse and the files you download.

How does a VPN make your connection private?
When using a VPN, a secure “tunnel” is created between the provider and the end-user (that’s you!). VPNs operate on the same lines everyone else uses on the internet. There is an important distinction: the data is scrambled to create a private connection.
 
Your information travels back and forth privately via this encrypted “tunnel”. Using this encrypted “tunnel,” information travels back and forth between the user and the VPN provider. If somebody tried to decrypt it, they would have to have an access key. Without it, that’s essentially impossible!

What is the “tunnel” in Virtual Tunneling Protocol?
The virtual tunnel referred to in the acronym VPN isn’t actually a tunnel at all. A physical tunnel between two locations would involve a direct link between them.
 
WAN access was used in a similar way before VPN technology spread throughout the world. So, virtual tunnelling uses a method called encapsulation to literally wrap your data in a layer of secure encryption. This is the “virtual tunnel” we are creating when we use a VPN.

Why would I want to use a VPN?

The era we live in is one of connectivity. While it has many advantages, it unfortunately also has a lot of risks. There’s a growing number of cyber-threats and generally a lot of unsolicited attention in our lives.
 
Not all of it is malicious. For example, advertisers may want to collect your private information for marketing reasons. But they do compromise your privacy, and that’s something many people value – and a lot more should.
 
If you want to be more private online, or don’t want anyone to spy on you, using a VPN is an easy – and simple – choice to make.

Sign up today!

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