How does VPN work and how does it help you?

How does VPN work and how does it help you?
How does VPN work and how does it help you? Image source: Pixabay.

In order to understand how VPN works, we need to understand how the internet connection works. To fully understand VPNs it is important to have some basic Internet concepts clear. When you go online, with your smartphone, tablet or PC, your Internet provider connects your device to the website or service you have requested. To do this, the provider uses your IP address, which can be considered as your home address on the Internet. An IP address identifies a single home router or modem, making it traceable and recognizable online.

When you use an Internet site like eBay, your device connects to the server that contains the requested page. This server is simply another computer, built specifically to respond to multiple connections without risking losing information. The server receives the request from your device to send it the information of the Internet site, using your IP address to find your home router or modem. According to a survey, 26% of internet users worldwide have used a VPN service.

How does a VPN work?

VPN or Virtual Private Network ensures that your computer cannot be tracked. It works like this: instead of connecting to your Internet service provider (Vodafone, Telecom, Fastweb, etc.), your computer connects to a VPN server, through a secure and encrypted connection. Next, the VPN server contacts the site you are looking for. Here, the details of your visit are saved as always but based on the IP address of the VPN server rather than yours. Sites like eBay will still continue to collect data on your behaviour, but will not be able to link it to you.

How does a VPN help you?

VPNs allow you to change your geographic location easily. Services such as Netflix link the content and languages ​​available to specific geographic regions, giving American users the opportunity to show British content and vice versa. Others use VPNs to access services like Pandora (available only in the US), or BBC iPlayer (available only in England): the servers of these services only recognize the location of the VPN server, not yours.

If you travel abroad, you may not have the opportunity to watch the TV series you love in English, but only in the language of the country where you are. This is the main reason why many decide to use VPNs: they allow you to connect to the services of your country of origin even if the contents are blocked in the country in which you are.

Obviously, most streaming services are not happy about it and will try to block the IP addresses that are connected to the VPNs. Over the years, their efforts have sparked guerrilla warfare between VPN service providers and streaming service companies. Whenever IP addresses connected to a VPN are blocked, new VPN servers are created with new addresses, in order to unblock content anyway.

BitTorrent through VPNs

Do you like downloading movies? Programs like Popcorn Time use BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer protocol that uploads and allows you to download (often illegally) movies and TV series while you watch them, causing users to run into what are, for all intents and purposes, illegal activities.

Using these protocols through a VPN will make it very difficult to track your online activity while you’re watching a movie or episode of your favourite sitcom. Visit Privacy Sparks for best vpns to use for Popcorn Time in 2020!