VPNs: What you need to know

There’s been a lot of talk lately about privacy protection and VPNs. But what exactly is a VPN? We explain in simple words.

1. What is a VPN?

From Wikipedia’s current definition: “A virtual private network (VPN) is a virtualized extension of a private network across a public network such as the Internet.” So helpful! But what you really need to know is that this technology makes a secure connection between your device and an Internet server so that no one can eavesdrop on the data you’re exchanging — or alter it. Even your Internet service provider can’t sneak a peek.

In short, it works exactly like it’s shown on the picture below: A VPN establishes a safe passageway through all the insecurities of public networks.

VPNs: What you need to know

If you want to know more, check out our detailed explanation of VPN technology here.

2. Why do I need a VPN?

There’s a bunch of reasons to use VPNs:

  • First of all, for security: VPNs can protect you from phishing, man-in-the-middle attacks, and so on.
  • Second, for privacy: A VPN connection prevents spying and data theft.
  • Third, to change your virtual location: When you’re using VPN, the websites you connect to see your VPN server’s IP address and location, not yours. By the way, most VPN services allow you to choose this virtual location from a dozen or so options and switch between them instantly.
  • Finally, VPNs help to get around local bans and blocks: For example, the only way to use Facebook or Wikipedia in China is through a VPN; the services are banned in this country.

3. Where can I get a VPN?

There’s a whole lot of VPN providers with servers all around the world. You can check this meticulously compiled list for pros and cons (be ready to get a lot more info than you probably need). And of course we can’t help but mention that Kaspersky Internet Security has a built-in VPN called Secure Connection. By the way, you can use our product free of charge for 30 days.