Introduction to VPNs

August 27, 2020 by Nitesh Malviya


You probably have heard about VPNs before. It’s even possible that you might have used one. But do you know what it is or how it works? How to use it? What are the benefits?

Let’s take a look.

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It provides a secure connection between sender and receiver, i.e., it connects users securely to each other over the internet. Technically, VPN is a secure tunnel that encrypts your connection and keeps your activities invisible from others. 

So, a VPN is a software tool that protects your identity and data from cybercriminals, government, tracking, eavesdropping and more. It is so well-designed that it is impossible to track you or to dig into your network.

Why VPN?

Day by day, the number of cybercrimes is rising exponentially. Consumers are also becoming aware and concerned about risks and attacks related to cybercrime. It’s now understood that everyone should have a secure network and the network data should be encrypted. 

VPN services are becoming a popular way to access the internet securely and remotely. This means it’s important to understand how a VPN works.

Types of VPN

There are many VPN options available and different VPN software makes use of different encryption and standards for routing the data. The following are the major technology VPNs use:

  1. PPTP: Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol
  2. IPSec: This is better alternative to PPTP
  3. L2TP: Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol
  4. SSH: Secure Shell for tunneling and encryption

Famous VPN software

With a wide variety of both free and paid VPNs out there, it’s hard to choose the best one. Some of them are free to use, while most of them are paid ones. Listed below are some widely-used VPN software:

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. OpenVPN
  3. CyberGhost
  4. NordVPN
  5. UltraVPN
  6. Cisco IPsec VPN
  7. IPVanish
  8. SurfShark
  9. Private Internet Access
  10. Hotspot Shield

Features of VPN

VPN offers several important features. Some of the major ones an ideal VPN software should offer are:

  1. Fast speed
  2. Strong encryption and high-quality security protocols
  3. Trustworthy privacy policies
  4. Ability to access global content
  5. Multiple device and cross-platform compatibility
  6. Great user experience

Advantages of VPN

  1. Privacy: A VPN in action hides your online activities, IP address, browsing history and so on. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can no longer monitor your activity.
  2. Security: Secure browsing through an encrypted connection and comes with advanced security features.
  3. Accessibility: It allows you to connect with multiple servers globally. You can access blocked websites and different libraries of OTT platforms unavailable in your region.
  4. Anonymity: VPN connection hides your real IP address, replacing it with the server’s IP address. Using your IP address, there is a chance that someone can identify you and can monitor your activities; this type of monitoring and tracking can be prevented by using a VPN. 
  5. Business purpose: Apart from personal uses, it is also used in businesses. Using a VPN, you can access corporate networks securely and remotely.

Disadvantages of VPN

  1. In VPN, the internet connection is sometimes a bit slow, due to packets being routed via the VPN tunnel
  2. Intermittent connection drop/breaks
  3. VPN is difficult to configure
  4. Free VPN cannot be trusted
  5. Paid VPN software is too costly


VPN offers a secure connection between user and the internet. It offers a secure connection to users and provides users with online privacy and security. It also provides a mechanism to connect directly to corporate networks over the internet to provide users a secure access to their services.



  1. What is a VPN?, Norton
  2. How a VPN (Virtual Private Network) Works, HowStuffWorks
  3. VPN (virtual private network), TechTarget
  4. How does VPN work?, Namecheap
Posted: August 27, 2020
Nitesh Malviya
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Nitesh Malviya is a Security Consultant. He has prior experience in Web Appsec, Mobile Appsec and VAPT. At present he works on IoT, Radio and Cloud Security and open to explore various domains of CyberSecurity. He can be reached on his personal blog - and Linkedin -