A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, establishes a secure connection when using public networks.  VPNs work by encrypting your online traffic and disguising your online identity.  This makes it more difficult for third parties to track your online activity and capture data such as passwords, banking details, or other identifying information that can be used against you.

It doesn’t stop there though, as VPNs can also establish a point-to-point connection between your location and another location such as your work office, but in a secure manner.  To understand how a VPN protects your identity, it’s important to first understand what a VPN is doing while you’re connected to one.

What Does a VPN Do?

When you connect to a VPN, be it via software or from an application provided by your IT provider, your internet traffic is being routed through an encrypted protocol which funnels all of your online activity through an encrypted tunnel.  This tunnel is referred to as a virtual private network, which works as an in-between point for your computer and a remote VPN server.

This hides information, like your IP address, and secures your online data preventing hackers from attempting to capture it.  There are several VPN providers that offer their services to help protect your data in this fashion.  Some of these VPN providers you may have heard of are Tunnel Bear, Surf Shark, or Nord VPN.

How a VPN Can Help You

These providers offer software that you can download directly to your PC or Mac, smart phone, or tablet device.  Through these VPN providers, you can choose where you want to connect to from an assortment of available connections they offer.  This gives you, the consumer, the ability to route your online traffic to different regions allowing you to bypass certain country restrictions that may block content you want while simultaneously encrypting your online traffic, protecting you from hackers, government agencies, and other potential threats.

Yet another useful VPN may be one provided to you through your managed IT company.  Some firewalls may offer software that can establish a secure connection between your office and anywhere you are as well as connect to the internet.  These VPNs can provide you a direct connection back to your office and grant you access to resources only available if you were inside your work network.

Some firewalls can establish a point-to-point VPN tunnel as well, which allows for two offices to be connected together and share resources as needed.

VPNs have many uses that can benefit you or your entire office.  By helping secure your online traffic and connect you to resources that you may need to work from anywhere in the world, using a VPN is not only smart, but a safe way to work online.  If you want to learn more about how a VPN can help you or your office, give us a call today!