What is VPN and how to use it in 2023?

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What is VPN and how to use it in 2023?

There has been a lot of talk about VPNs over the past few years, a concept that may not be clear to everyone. If you’ve been advised to “get a VPN” and you don’t know exactly what it is, follow the guide!

Whether it is to take advantage of better prices on the internet, watch video content that may be blocked in the country you are located in or just to ensure that you have a completely secure and anonymous internet connection, a VPN is what you need. All that can be achieved with just a few clicks.

As a prelude, here are the current offers:

Behind these three letters, we find a service that is technically complex, but literally transparent to the user and is now offered by service providers who have simple applications for all the main platforms: PC , smartphone or tablet. let’s take a closer look!

VPN Definition: What does it mean?

Let’s start with the simplest: what does the three letter VPN mean? These are the initials of Virtual Private Network, in other words Virtual Private Network. A VPN is a service that sits between your network and internet connection and allows you to encrypt your connection, making it anonymous and hiding information such as your IP address or geographic location. This opens up many possibilities and uses of the Internet that would be “obviously” impossible: blocking content for rights reasons, hiding IP addresses from the prying eyes of online reservation sites, or even browsing the Internet without leaving any tracks. Doing.

How does VPN work?

To explain how a VPN works, we can start with what usually happens when you connect to the Internet, for example visiting a shopping or reservation site. You connect to your Internet Service Provider, which forwards your request to the site in question. The provider can see your activity, and so can companies, websites, government actors or unfortunately cyber criminals.

vpn network
VPN Network © Unsplash

VPNs introduce an important element: By connecting to a VPN, the service creates a private and encrypted tunnel. You connect to a VPN server, and it is that server that connects you to the Internet. The traffic between the VPN server and the Internet is invisible to outside “eyes”. The site you’re connecting to, as well, looks up the address of the VPN server, which tricks a video service into thinking you’re connecting from a particular country. The traffic is encrypted and therefore secure, which has a positive effect on your security when you connect to public Wi-Fi access points (stations, shopping centers, etc.).

Is VPN Legal?

A VPN is a service that allows you to encrypt your internet connection and connect to a variety of servers available in many countries. In itself, there is nothing illegal about a VPN, and you can use it to do most of the things you usually do on the Internet. The only difference is that the traffic is encrypted, which in itself is not illegal. Of course, with a “standard” Internet connection, it is possible to perform illegal actions when using a VPN, but then these uses are illegal and not the fact of using a VPN for this.

How to use VPN on the Internet?

Using a VPN is simple, but depending on the provider, the process may differ slightly based on their app interface. Nevertheless, for all “known” VPNs, the basic principles are the same. You must first subscribe to the service which is often paid for. Depending on the service you choose, rates may vary and may be offered for one month, 1 year, 2 years or even 3 years.

Each VPN provider offers applications to install on a PC, Mac, iPhone or even an Android smartphone. Most services offer applications for Linux and even smart TV platforms or internet routers. Mobile apps for Android can be found at the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Best VPN: Which One to Choose?
Best VPN: Which One to Choose? © Unsplash

The app typically offers two options: use the closest server to get the best connection, or choose your “destination” country to connect to a particular country, specifically for streaming.

Once the connection is made, the VPN runs in the background and you can go about your business on the Internet.

What can VPN do for you?

A VPN allows for multiple uses. It will mainly be used to secure your internet connection, especially in stations or places that provide public Wi-Fi access points. It is possible that these points are poorly secured and in this case, a VPN makes it possible to have an encrypted connection and make your data invisible to hackers. Due to lack of vigilance, one can also connect to fake Wi-Fi networks whose name is similar to the establishment’s network. The purpose of these fraudulent access points is to intercept user data.

Another interesting use is related to the possibilities of unblocking the connection to the Internet. For their own reasons, your Internet service provider may decide to restrict connections to specific sites, for example because they consume too much bandwidth. By connecting to a VPN, your ISP does not see your activity on the Internet and therefore cannot perform throttling.

Of course, we often talk about VPNs in connection with video streaming services or TV channel catch-up. For reasons of audio-visual rights or media chronology, content may be unavailable in your country or in the country where you are on vacation or traveling. With a VPN, you can choose the location of your server, and that location will be looked up by the service, allowing you to access blocked content.

Finally, a VPN can circumvent tools imposed by reservation sites that sometimes display different prices depending on the country you connect from or according to an IP address that has already visited the site. Huh.

BFMTV’s editorial staff did not participate in the creation of this content. BFMTV is likely to receive compensation when one of our readers makes a purchase through links included in this article.

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