If you got to this article, you’ve probably come across the term “VPN“. But what is a VPN and what does it do?
When you use the internet, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) safeguards your connection. It encrypts your browsing, hides your IP address, and ensures that your internet service provider (ISP) can’t trace you.
|In a nutshell, a VPN helps you to stay safe from hackers when using public Wi-Fi hotspots. It hides your IP (Internet Protocol) address and allows you to access more internet content and get past restrictions such as government censorship. A VPN also ensures that your internet traffic isn’t tracked and recorded, later to be sold by your internet service provider (ISP), ad brokers, or snoops.|
How does a VPN work?
A virtual private network (VPN), like Surfshark, establishes a secure connection between you and the internet. All of your web traffic is sent through an encrypted virtual tunnel when you use one. A VPN does this by masking your IP address and making it appear as if you’re browsing from the VPN server’s location rather than your device’s.
That’s why, with a VPN, you can be nearly anywhere in the globe – even working from home within the comfort of your chair! Still confused? The video below explains what a VPN is and how it works in just under 2 minutes!
A VPN analogy
Let’s look at how a VPN works and what it does with an example: Imagine the internet as a highway.
- The highway allows information to travel among servers and devices all over the world. Let’s refer to information as “packets.”
- Now think of Surfshark VPN as a tunnel. Instead of using the open roads to send and receive items, your packets travel in a private tunnel.
- Additionally, you never send or receive packets directly. Instead, you choose to route them via a third party; that third party is Surfshark VPN’s servers.
- So you send a packet through the Surfshark private tunnel and it reaches its final destination.
- In the end, anyone receiving these packets won’t know where they originally came from because they passed through the Surfshark VPN tunnel.
TLDR; A VPN is like pants – you put them on when in public or in front of anyone you don’t want to look at your private stuff.
So what can a VPN do for you?
Still with me? Great. Now that we’ve gone over the fundamentals of how a VPN works, let’s look at what all of that technical mumbo jumbo means for you!
1. Protect yourself on public Wi-Fi
If you’re freelancing, traveling, or simply on the go, free public Wi-Fi may be your only option. Unfortunately, it’s quite dangerous and leaves you open to even the most basic cyberattacks.
When you use Wi-Fi in airports, coffee shops, or other public areas, a VPN encrypts your web data, reduces your digital footprint, and helps protect your personal information. When you need to access sensitive information in public, such as online banking, emails, or crypto assets, it’s useful to hide your web activities.
2. Mask browsing history and other online activities
To protect your online privacy, you should mask your IP address. Your location, browsing habits, and other online activities aren’t immediately linked to your identity when you use a Virtual Private Network. This way, you can surf with confidence, knowing that no one is trying to influence your decisions.
3. Unblock censored websites
Due to geo-blocking and censorship, several governments restrict access to numerous websites. By connecting to a VPN server located in a foreign country, you can unblock websites. This allows you to get around internet censorship and other geo-restrictions for things like content, social media, whistleblowing, and even research.
4. Stream privately
You can stay safe when watching Netflix and other streaming services like Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max if you use a VPN. Our ultra-fast servers and limitless bandwidth will ensure that you don’t have to worry about being throttled or waiting for buffering. This way, you can always remain anonymous while watching your favorite episodes and movies online!
Disclaimer: Surfshark does not recommend using a VPN in any way that could potentially violate the Terms of Service of other service providers.
5. Avoid price discrimination
Websites and businesses modify rates for their products and services based on your location and cookies. When shopping online or purchasing an airline ticket, you may avoid such marketing practices and save money by using a VPN. Changing your location will let you avoid price discrimination and cookies.
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Stay safe and secure with Surfshark
Using a VPN when working on public Wi-Fi, traveling, streaming, etc., will keep you safe and hidden from hackers and other snooping eyes. A VPN like Surfshark also comes with many other features like CleanWeb that will block ads & trackers, a cookie pop-up blocker, and a website safety feature!
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