What is a Virtual Private Network and How Does it Work?

What is a Virtual Private Network and How Does it Work?

What is a VPN? A Virtual private network (VPNs) creates a secure connection between a remote computer and another network.

A Virtual private network (VPNs) creates a secure connection between a remote computer and another network. The connection itself is encapsulated and encrypted which provides a protected communications channel between the two points.

A VPN is becoming more crucial in today’s security-related society. Due to increasing safety concerns, the proportional use of these services is growing exponentially. This technology targets several critical aspects of our online experience: mainly privacy and security. 

To better appreciate how VPNs work, we first need to understand how we navigate the internet. Any device connected to a network, whether public or private, is issued an IP address. An IP address is a set of four numbers called octets used to identify a particular device within that network. For instance, if we want to reach Google’s site, we send a request from our browser to a Google server over the internet. This request establishes a communication channel with the server to gather the information we are searching for. 

In the image below, we can see the path that a browser request (from IP 94.237.52.1) takes to connect to Google (216.58.204.46). Each IP listed in this traceroute is a network device or node used to reach Google. Each node is a considered public connection from which a malicious actor can use to intercept our request. These attackers can track down these IP addresses and gather a great deal of sensitive information.

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