Understanding the Basics of a VPN and its Types

To allow you to hide your location and prevent other parties from capturing your web traffic, a VPN is a cybersecurity solution that encrypts your internet connection. When you shop, bank, and browse the internet, a VPN protects your privacy and anonymity. Get to know VPNs: what they are, how they function, and why you should use them. Then, to protect your connection and maintain your privacy online, purchase a strong, dependable VPN like Avast SecureLine VPN.

Varieties of Virtual Private Networks

Remote Access VPN

One of the fundamental pillars of VPNs is the Remote Access VPN, a gateway for users to connect to a private network remotely. Whether you’re an employee accessing your company’s resources while on the go or a home user circumventing regional internet restrictions, Remote Access VPNs provide a secure and private connection over the vast expanse of the internet.

Site-to-Site VPN

For larger entities with multiple branch offices, the Site-to-Site VPN, also known as Router-to-Router VPN, becomes the linchpin. This robust connectivity solution allows companies to seamlessly link the networks of different office locations. Intranet-based VPNs interconnect offices within the same organization, while Extranet-based VPNs extend the connection to offices of external entities, fostering collaborative synergy.

Cloud VPN

The evolution of technology introduces the Cloud VPN, a virtual private network facilitating secure connections to cloud-based infrastructures or services. Offered as a service by cloud providers like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, Cloud VPNs utilize encryption protocols such as IPsec or SSL to ensure the security of data transmitted over the VPN. Bridging the gap between on-premises and cloud-based resources, Cloud VPNs have become integral for organizations embracing cloud technologies.

Mobile VPN

In an era dominated by mobile devices, Mobile VPNs emerge as the guardians of data security for users on the move. Creating encrypted connections through cellular networks, Mobile VPNs enable secure access to private networks. These versatile solutions not only grant access to corporate resources but also ensure the protection of personal information when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, presenting a vital tool for organizations securing their mobile workforce.


Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network, or SSL VPN, employs the SSL protocol to establish a secure connection between the user and the VPN server. Accessed through web browsers, SSL VPNs eliminate the need for additional software installations, enhancing user-friendliness. With encryption protocols akin to HTTPS, SSL VPNs are deemed more secure than traditional IPsec VPNs, making them a preferred choice for secure access to internal resources.


Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) takes a simple and fast approach to VPN implementation. Despite its ease of setup and compatibility with various operating systems, PPTP’s security is questioned due to its weaker encryption algorithm and known vulnerabilities. A pioneer in the VPN realm, PPTP paved the way for more secure protocols.


Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) builds upon PPTP, adding layers of security through a combination of PPTP and Layer 2 Forwarding Protocol. While L2TP is relatively easy to set up and widely supported, it bears some vulnerabilities that make it less secure than alternatives like OpenVPN.


In open-source solutions, OpenVPN reigns supreme. Leveraging SSL/TLS encryption protocols, OpenVPN creates a highly secure and configurable connection between computers. Its versatility extends to various operating systems and devices, offering advanced features such as two-factor authentication and a kill switch. Considered one of the most secure VPN protocols, OpenVPN stands as a fortified fortress in the digital security landscape.

VPN Tunnel: Secured Path

A VPN tunnel acts as a secure, encrypted link between your device and a VPN server, ensuring your online activities remain private and shielded from potential threats. This encrypted connection prevents hackers and ISPs from accessing your data, providing a layer of protection. Essentially, VPN tunnels serve as private pathways to the internet through intermediary servers, making them popular among privacy-conscious users. The process involves traffic encryption, concealing your IP address, and enhancing security on public Wi-Fi networks. To initiate VPN tunneling, acquire a VPN service, connect to a server, and enjoy the safeguarded online experience, confident in the encryption and anonymity it provides. Opt for reputable VPN services with a strict no-logs policy for added assurance.

VPN Server: Central Guardian

A VPN server functions as the backbone for hosting and delivering VPN services, blending hardware and software technologies. This amalgamation offers VPN clients secure access to a private network—the VPN. Usually, a standard server equipped with dedicated VPN server software boasts both logical and physical communication ports. Operating on various protocols like point-to-point protocol (PPP), the VPN server facilitates connections for remote and local VPN clients. To access the VPN, clients authenticate themselves after establishing an initial connection with the VPN server. In essence, the VPN server acts as a pivotal gateway, ensuring secure and authenticated VPN connections for users.

IP Address: A Digital Identity Shield

An IP address serves as your digital signature in the vast landscape of the internet, acting like a virtual address that enables data to find its way to and from your device. Think of it as the online equivalent of your home address, facilitating communication between different computers and networks. However, this digital identifier can also expose your location and other details. This is where a Virtual Private Network (VPN) steps in, acting as a cloak for your IP address. By masking your true digital identity, a VPN enhances your online privacy, preventing websites from prying into your personal information and ensuring a more secure online experience.

Encryption: The Data Armour

Encryption acts as a digital guardian for your data, transforming it into an unreadable code to thwart unauthorized access. When you engage a VPN, a unique key is generated by the client and server, becoming the linchpin for encoding and decoding your data within the secure tunnel. This cryptographic dance ensures that even if prying eyes attempt to intercept your connection, the information appears as unintelligible gibberish without the decryption key. The efficacy of this digital lock and key system hinges on the chosen cipher, with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit standing as the pinnacle. Embraced by government agencies and reputable VPN services, it fortifies your digital fortress with formidable security.

What a VPN Conceals

What It Hides

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) functions as a digital fortress, concealing various aspects of your online presence. Through robust encryption and IP address masking, a VPN shields your data, location, and browsing history from potential threats such as hackers, ISPs, websites, and even governmental entities. The encryption process, anchored by a key generated during connection, ensures that intercepted data remains unintelligible without the cryptographic key. The use of the AES 256-bit cipher, a standard employed by government agencies, further fortifies the VPN’s security. The VPN’s role extends to automatic concealment of your IP address and location, offering protection against doxxing and preventing the correlation between your IP and online identity. It also guards against price manipulation based on IP information and secures personal data from potential cyber threats on unsecured public Wi-Fi networks.

What It Doesn’t Hide

While a VPN significantly enhances online privacy, it doesn’t provide absolute anonymity. Some limitations include the persistence of existing cookies, the inability to render you completely anonymous, and the necessity for personal diligence to avoid leaving digital trails. Moreover, a VPN won’t shield users from all viruses, requiring continuous awareness when navigating potentially hazardous online environments. Despite its robust protective features, a VPN serves as a powerful tool to reclaim privacy, offering layers of security for a more liberated and secure internet experience.

Anonymity with VPN

Can a VPN make you truly anonymous? The short answer is no. Achieving complete anonymity on the internet proves elusive, even with the aid of privacy tools like VPNs. While a VPN excels at encrypting your data, shielding your IP address, and fending off online trackers, it falls short of providing absolute anonymity. The term “anonymous VPN” essentially implies a tool committed to preserving your privacy. If your goal is protection from prying eyes seeking insights into your online activities, an anonymous VPN can serve you well. However, it’s crucial to recognize the limitations. Regardless of VPN usage, achieving 100% anonymity online remains a formidable challenge. Even with meticulous steps, inadvertent sharing of your identity and location persists. It’s vital to differentiate between anonymity and privacy. Online privacy entails shielding your activities from prying eyes, while some residual information, like website cookies retaining basic data from your last visit, may linger. A VPN, with its traffic encryption capabilities, stands as a potent privacy ally, even though true online anonymity proves exceedingly challenging due to the pervasive presence of online trackers. In essence, the pursuit of online privacy is a more achievable goal than absolute anonymity.

Strength of VPN Security

The security of a VPN is robust, particularly when employing top-notch encryption and connection protocols, as exemplified by Surfshark. These security measures are intentionally designed to be immensely challenging to breach. For instance, decoding an encrypted session could require an astronomical amount of time—trillions of years, depending on the computing power involved. In the unlikely event that someone were to succeed in cracking the encryption, additional layers of protection, such as Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS), come into play. PFS ensures that a new key is generated by the VPN client approximately every 7 minutes. This dynamic key regeneration further safeguards your private data, effectively keeping it beyond the reach of malicious actors. In essence, the combination of robust encryption and protocols, along with mechanisms like Perfect Forward Secrecy, establishes a high level of security for VPN users.

In short, from encrypting your data to concealing your IP address, VPNs serve as indispensable guardians of online privacy. While not guaranteeing absolute anonymity, they empower users with formidable security measures, reinforcing the digital fortress. Choose a reputable VPN provider, like Surfshark, to navigate the online landscape with enhanced confidence and privacy.

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