How Do VPNs Work?

VPNs Work

More and more Internet users are using VPNs when surfing because they offer various advantages. Increased security, anonymous surfing and the ability to circumvent geo-restrictions are the main reasons why VPNs are becoming increasingly popular. But what is it actually and how exactly does a VPN work? We’ll now address these and more questions!

What Is A VPN?

VPN is the abbreviation for “Virtual Private Network” and can be translated into German as “Virtual Private Network”. Basically, three types can be distinguished, with client-based VPN being the variant that is commonly described as a VPN.

With client-based VPN, a protected connection is established via an external server as soon as you log into the Internet using the appropriate software. This software or app that the VPN provider provides is called a client.

After you have selected a provider of your choice, you need to install the appropriate VPN and you are ready to go. You can choose a server in an available location and then connect to the Internet. The connection is automatically encrypted, the IP address is disguised and geo-blocks can be bypassed.

In addition to the client-base VPN, there are also site-to-site and remote access VPNs:

  • Site-to-Site VPN: This type is typically used by companies that want to securely connect two or more locations. The configuration does not take place via the individual PCs, but rather via the routers located at the locations.
  • Remote access VPN: The remote version is ideal if you want to enable users to securely connect to another network. This type is also mostly used by companies, for example when there are external employees or employees in the home office who need to dial into the company network.

Also Read: Best VPNs 2024

Browsing Without A VPN vs. Browsing With A VPN

When you access the Internet using a device and access a website, a connection is established that is not protected. All traffic can be viewed not only by the website you are visiting, but also potentially by hackers. We would like to give you a brief overview of what information this may involve:

  • IP address: The determined IP address can also be used to find the location from which you are connecting to the Internet.
  • Ads: You can see whether you allow ads or use an ad blocker.
  • Social channels: If you are logged in to Instagram, Facebook or another social platform, this information is visible.
  • Hardware and software: With regard to hardware, the CPU and battery time can be determined, among other things, and with regard to software, for example, the operating system or the browser used.

In addition, all surfing behavior is of course recorded. The information obtained from this is then used, for example, to place personalized advertisements. The fact is that when you surf without a VPN, you leave some traces on the internet .

However, if you connect to the Internet via a VPN service, you can access websites as usual, but the data traffic is encrypted. The entire flood of information is sent through a tunnel, which is why it is often referred to as a VPN tunnel. Because of the encryption, it is not easy for cybercriminals to access or even see the data.

In addition, the connection is not routed directly from your device to the website, but rather takes a “detour” via an external server. As a result, only the IP address assigned by this server is visible to the website operator.

Advantages Of VPNs

The encrypted connection, which is routed via an external server, results in three main advantages.

High Security

Encrypting your connection makes it extremely difficult for hackers to gain access to your network. VPNs are particularly important for public hotspots. These are often less protected than the home network and are therefore a popular target for cybercriminals.

Especially when sensitive data such as bank information is provided as part of online shopping or online banking, the VPN offers an increased level of security – after all, all data traffic is encrypted.

Without using a VPN, it can be easy for cybercriminals to gain access to credit card information or similar. to obtain and misuse the data .

Anonymity To Protect Privacy

If you want to prevent website operators from creating a user profile about you, for example to display personalized advertising, then a VPN is exactly the right thing for you. Thanks to the encrypted connection, all of your online activities remain hidden, so you can surf completely anonymously.

IP Address Obfuscation

Redirecting via an external server and the associated concealment of the IP address comes with several advantages. A common use here is to bypass geo-blockers. Whether on streaming sites like Netflix and YouTube or on other websites, the content available varies depending on your location. A film or a computer game may be available in the USA, but not in Germany. In this case, you can simply select a server in the USA through which your connection will be routed and you can easily access the content you want.

Another example arises from avoiding price discrimination. Do you know the problem that you search for flights and the more you visit the website, the higher the prices are ? This is a typical scam used by airlines when they notice that there is interest in a particular booking. Hiding the IP address efficiently counteracts this. Some retailers also adjust their prices to the purchasing power of a country. It may therefore be worthwhile to choose a VPN server in a country that has lower purchasing power.

Possible Limitations With VPN

After we have discussed the advantages of VPNs in detail, we also want to inform you that their use can come with restrictions. You may be denied access to certain websites if you access them with a VPN. For example, streaming services try to combat geo-blocking and block access if it can be determined that the IP address comes from a VPN server.

Another limitation can – but does not have to – be speed. Depending on the provider and server you choose, you may experience slow internet speeds and low ping.

Also Read: The Era Of Teleworking: How Technology Is Redefining The Concept Of Work


A VPN is a virtual network in which data traffic is encrypted as if through a tunnel and routed via an external server. The IP address is disguised and anonymous surfing is possible. At the same time, a high level of security is ensured. It is incredibly easy to use. Find a reputable VPN service, install the software and you’re ready to go.

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