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What is a VPN and why do you need one?

The Internet is part of our daily lives. We use it to work, communicate, search for information, shop or simply for training.

But along with the Internet, the risk of falling into a scam, suffering the theft of documents on our network or censorship by authorities and governments that restrict the content we can access via the web has also grown.

As a result, in recent years the use of VPN services has become popular, which, although originally designed for the corporate environment, are now also offered for small and medium-sized companies, or even for home users.

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Basically, it is a connection that allows a computer or mobile device to be linked to a private network in order to use it as a bridge to the Internet and not establish a direct connection. In this way, many benefits are obtained in terms of security and efficiency in the connection and use of the Internet in all its aspects.

Related: Why is online privacy so important?

Why do I need a VPN?

Using a VPN is ideal for many businesses, but if we are again talking about the home user, then why do I need a VPN?

The advantages of using a Virtual Private Network are:

  • Security: All traffic passes through a virtual tunnel that encrypts the information from its origin to its destination, preventing data theft.
  • Anonymity: All our Internet connections will be hidden behind the address of the server that offers us the VPN; in other words, if our VPN service is located in Morocco, for example, no one will know that we are actually located in the United States or whatever our origin may be.
  • Privacy: Our Internet Service Provider (ISP) will never know what we are using the contracted service for or what sites we are accessing, since in the network log it will only appear that we are connected to a single address, our VPN provider.
  • Full access to content: Regardless of whether it is censorship in our workplace or in the entire country, we will always be able to access any service we need through our virtual tunnel.
  • Remote connection: Especially advantageous for those who travel a lot and need to connect to their workplace network.

Related: Why use a VPN at home, work or on your phone?

What protocols do VPNs use?

We mentioned earlier that security is one of the advantages of VPNs. This is achieved thanks to the protocols they use. But what are protocols? They are a series of rules or instructions that make it possible, in this case, to establish communication between two points.

The most commonly used are the following:

  • PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol): Designed with old technology. It allows fast connections, but with low security.
  • L2TP / IPsec (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol / Internet Protocol Security): Two protocols, which together offer high security. It encrypts and requests credentials to each of the packets sent end-to-end.
  • IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange version 2): Formed by Microsoft and Cisco. Designed for users who can easily lose their connections, such as mobile devices.
  • OpenVPN: Open source protocol widely used in recent years. It combines some of the best features of the other protocols and can be used from almost any platform.

Is it legal to use a VPN?

It is necessary to clarify that using a VPN is completely legal.

If so, why do some internet services or country governments prohibit them? Some content services, such as YouTube, Netflix or Hulu, to mention just two, manage a commercial strategy based on geographic market segmentation. Thus, what is possible to watch in the United States, may not be possible to watch in other countries.

But when we talk about the restrictions imposed by the governments of some countries, things change. It is not the use of a VPN that is illegal, but the location of the server or the destination network. Normally, if a country restricts connections to certain services coming from abroad, then it is likely that using a VPN to access this content is also illegal.

These regulations are due to national security issues; for this reason, we recommend always looking up the regulatory laws in force in each country regarding the use of VPNs.

Countries that currently restrict internet content or the use of a VPN pointing abroad are: Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Oman, China, Belarus, Russia, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Iran and Iraq.

Free vs. Paid

It would seem that the option of a free VPN service would be good enough, but in reality, free VPN services offer a lot of anonymity flaws and stability issues.

With a free service, VPN providers will display a lot of really important features restricted until you pay, while all the while adding advertising to your browsing experience.

Comparing this to a paid VPN service, which will offer all the premium features, along with technical support, no ads and no saving of logs, it is clear to see that a paid VPN is something much more effective, even if it has an upfront cost.

How do you get a VPN and which one should you choose?

Hiring a VPN service is very easy. You just need to define your needs.

Will you use it in your local office to connect to a remote office? Do you want to use it on your mobile device to access restricted multimedia content in your geographical area?

There are many options available on the market. To help you choose the right one for you, you need to read the reviews available on our website and choose the one you like the most.

Conclusion

Modern Internet browsing has fallen prey to excessive restrictions and controls. Fortunately, technology based on VPN services offers the best alternative for all users to recover the purity of browsing.

We invite you to live this experience of free and total access to content on the web along with the best level of security and privacy using a top-of-the-line virtual private network such as UltraVPN.