Virtual Private Network (VPN): A Definitive Guide

Virtual Private Network Guide

The question ‘What is VPN’ and ‘How to use a Virtual Private Network’ keeps popping up now and then. You, too, might have heard of it and probably have some knowledge about how a VPN works.

Truly, VPN has become a common word in our daily interactions. Yet there is so little clarity on the meaning of VPN.

If you are troubled by the complexities of a Virtual Private Network, this guide will give you all information you need about the use, myths, benefits, and working of a Virtual Private Network. 

Let us look at them in detail.

What Is VPN?

Before going into the technical part, lets us try to understand what VPN is by just its name.

The term VPN can be divided into two parts: one being ‘Virtual’ and the other ‘Private Network.’ 

Private Network basically means that your network is hidden from everyone who doesn’t have the right permissions. It can only be accessed by those you allow, something like a secured internet connection shared within a private company, university or a secured agency. 

Now add the word Virtual to it you will get a secure private network that you can access from the comforts of your home, a cafe, or even any other place.

This is the very base of VPN, a digital invisibility cloak. Simple, isn’t it?

But is this all that you need to know about this tech-savvy term?

Well, VPN is the technology that creates a shield or encrypted connection over a public network. It is like added safety layer over a much vulnerable network like the internet.

A Virtual Private Network is a pack of servers that will naturally hide your IP address to keep all your activities, data, browsing history and identity while you smoothly surf the internet. It also has a location blocking feature that will not allow anyone to trace your online movements. 

Note: Using a VPN will allow you to surf web pages blocked for everyone on a public network by authorities like the government. 

What is VPN APK?

Now that you know what a VPN is, it is child’s play to understand the concept of VPN APK.

APK stands for Android Package Kit; when combined with VPN, it is referred to apps or software that provide VPN technology compatible with android devices.

To put it in layman’s terms, a VPN APK is a Virtual Private Network service that protects your android devices from un-authorities users breaching your privacy while using the internet.

It is important to note that VPN APK is not openly available to install from Play Store. Rather, they are bought from third-party vendors. Thus, you must carefully check for authenticity before you use any .apk extension file on your android device. 

It is only right to get VPN APK from a genuine service provider.

How VPN Works?

VPN is an easy solution to secure your business and personal data. Many businesses use a Virtual Private Network to establish a closed network between the head and off-sea offices to prevent sensitive data leaks.

Indeed, VPN is one of the best software tools for remote work. But how does it provide security over remote work?

In one sentence, VPN works by creating a closed point-to-point tunnel connection. Tunnelling your VPN server provides you with the gift of invisibility, unrestricted access, and identity protection.

The whole process of how a VPN works can be simplified into the following points –

  • VPN will create a protected data tunnel over a local network that can only be accessed by permitted or authorized users.
  • Doing so requires your VPN services will utilize a certain Tunneling protocol, depending upon the kind of platform/ device you are using.
  • You will be connected to another network through this tunnel, and all the activities will be associated with the VPN Server’s IP Address, not yours. Hence, protecting your identity.
  • Your VPN connection while tunnelling will create an exit point. This can be hundreds of miles away, hence hiding your original location and giving you unchecked freedom to access any website.
  • All messages, data packages, files or documents shared over a VPN are encrypted, making them unreadable by anyone who might be trying to peek into your activities.

Types of VPN Services

You have a plethora of Virtual Private Network Software to choose from; many can be used in different circumstances. The most widely VPN software is for personal use, it will be sufficient for private browsing, but if you want to secure your business or remote work, you might want to go for a remote access VPN. 

A few types of VPN Services are listed below:

  • Personal VPN
  • Remote Access VPN
  • Site-to-Site VPN
  • Mobile VPN

What to Look for while Choosing VPN?

Once you have decided on what type of VPN services you want to avail, you will realize there are so many brands and companies to select from.

Here are the key indicators that will help you determine which VPN software is best for you:

  • Compare cost versus security.
  • IP sharing to various users (higher the number of users browsing from the same VPN IP Address, the lesser is the chance to identify you)
  • Total number of devices that can avail the service.
  • Get to know about the Encryption type.
  • Check compatibility with your device.
  • Examine the user interface. 
  • Number of countries using that VPN service.
  • Watch out for ad-run VPN providers.
  • Quality of support system. 

Which Devices Will a VPN Work With?

Since not all gadgets support VPN technology, it is essential to know how compatible is your device before you get VPN. 

Take a peek at the list below to know which device can work with VPN –

Laptops/PCs

  • Linux
  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Chromebook

Phones

  • iOS (iPhone and iPad)
  • Android
  • Windows 10 Mobile and Windows Phone 8
  • Amazon Fire Tablet
  • Blackberry 

Wireless Routers

  • Asus
  • Netgear
  • Linksys

Game Console

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One

Can VPN be Tracked?

Tracking your activities and data is majorly done by your internet provider, the Government or Cybercriminals. However, it is next to impossible to tract you with a good quality VPN.

If anyone tries to trace your online activities, it will lead them to The VPN server IP address directly.

Many people fear that their internet Service provider can see all their online activity even with a VPN. Well, your ISP can not identify what websites you are visiting or what content you are consuming.

The only thing that your internet provider will see is that encrypted information/data is travelling to a server. 

However, if you get disconnected from your VPN, all your data will be exposed once again. To prevent this, many Virtual Private Network come with a kill switch that puts your device offline once the VPN connection is disturbed.

Note: It is important to note that a free VPN might share your data with a third party to earn money. 

Debunking Myths about VPN

As VPNs are becoming popular, more misconceptions and lies are coming to the surface. Let’s take a look at a few common myths about VPN technology in the section below –

Only Criminals Use VPN

You must have heard of this one. Though VPN indeed hides your identity and location, this never means it is used for anti-law activities. 

VPN provides a safe passage for you to surf the internet and share your business or personal data within a point-to-point tunnel.

In addition, you need not be doing anything illegal to get a VPN. Many people make a healthy habit of using VPN to protect their privacy and avoid censorship. 

VPN Makes you 100% Invisible

This may sound ironic, but creating a full 360-degree anonymity is very difficult. You cannot pretend that you have never used the internet, even with a VPN. However, most Virtual Private Networks will protect you against scams, threats, and privacy breaches.

VPN can Protect me in all Cases

Like everything, a Virtual Private Network, too, has its limitations. While all VPNs will provide you great security, their shield is not foolproof. 

VPN cannot protect you against viruses and malware. It will not warn you if you download an infected file. Likewise, it can not prevent you from sharing your information with a scammer within the tunnel. 

VPN will Reduce my Internet Speed

This is not a total myth, rather is a half story.

VPN may reduce your internet speed at some instances only. It is majorly because all your data is encrypted and then de-encrypted at the receiving side, causing Internet speed to go down. 

Another reason for slow internet connectivity could be because of the separation from the server. If your VPN server is way too far, it will eventually slow down your connectivity speed. 

A Free VPN is Better

Many people believe that getting a free Virtual Private Network is just as good enough as getting a paid VPN. This is certainly not true. While free VPNs may claim to be great for you, they have several shortcomings.

Proxies can be Used Instead of VPN

Since Tor, Proxies and VPN look alike; many tend to get confused between them. Eventually, getting trapped with a Tor/ Proxy instead of a VPN. 

The major difference is that while VPN aims to protect your privacy, Tor and proxies hide your IP address to maintain anonymity.

FAQs on Virtual Private Network

Is Free VPN Safe?

Free VPNs are not as safe as paid ones. There might be chances that free VPNs sell your data and have less protection against privacy infringement.

Can a VPN Mess up Wi-Fi?

VPN systems can reduce your internet speed, but it isn’t a thumb rule. It will depend on your proximity to the server and other situations. 

Can a VPN be Hacked?

Indeed a VPN system can be hacked. This, however, is a blue moon situation. VPN systems have a strong and complex security system, making it extremely hard to hack one. Your devices will be safe with a VPN against hackers.

Should I Leave my VPN On All the Time?

It is better to leave your VPN at all times unless you want to turn on your visibility again.

Wrap Up

This is all you need to know about VPN technology and VPN APK software. Note that your activities won’t be traceable, but you must be wary of potential scam sites and hackers. Do not share your sensitive data.  Enjoy your secure and private surfing!

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