A VPN (Virtual Private Network) provides a solution to two problems of Web users: the limitations of use that can come from geographical restrictions, among others, and the leakage of personal data due to the almost illusory nature of online privacy, as this information is used to build profiles of potential customers resold to advertising agencies.
A VPN is an encrypted tunnel created between a user’s machine, or local network, and an external server. The connection is end-to-end encrypted, meaning that what circulates in the tunnel between the user’s machine, or router, and the VPN server can be considered as unencryptable, the protocol used being particularly strong. The VPN server makes the requests and communicates the result to the users through this encrypted tunnel.
A VPN server can be located anywhere in the world. Since this server communicates with the rest of the actors (for example a website) it is its IP address that is visible, not the user’s.
The connection follows several possible protocols, the most used currently being L2TP, OpenVPN, and PPTP.« Back to Glossary Index