What is a VPN?
A virtual private network (VPN) is a technology that creates a secure "tunnel" for data to travel between two devices on an unsecured network like the internet. VPNs use encryption to secure and hide traffic between devices, maintaining user privacy. With a VPN, devices can connect to a remote network as if they were physically connected, protecting data and network systems from unauthorized access.

How VPNs Work
With VPN technology, users can create a private network across a public or untrusted network like the internet. When connecting to a VPN server, the user's device is assigned an IP address from the Virtual Private Network  range of IPs instead of using its regular public IP address. All internet traffic is then securely tunnelled between the user's device and the VPN server. This VPN tunnel encrypts and hides the user's true IP address and location, helping maintain online privacy.

Types of VPNs
There are two basic types of VPNs - remote access VPNs and site-to-site VPNs. Remote access VPNs allow remote users to securely access a private network, while site-to-site VPNs connect two networks together privately over public infrastructure. Some common VPN protocols used include OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2/IPSec, and SSTP. Mobile VPN apps also allow users to access VPNs directly from smartphones and tablets.

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