VPN – a network invented by hackers

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VPN – a network invented by hackers
Picture: muylinux.com
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The Internet has long ceased to be safe and users today are trying in every possible way to protect their presence on the network using a VPN.

The popularity, as well as the need for this tool, is constantly growing, so it is important to understand how it works, as well as what advantages it has.

What is VPN

VPN (Virtual Private Net) is a virtual private network. In fact, it consists of a user device (smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC) and a remote server. And the connection between them is provided by a special application.

The VPN server performs a number of functions:

  • hides the user’s IP address from strangers;
  • encrypts information received on the Internet;
  • provides geographic or censorship-unrestricted access to web resources.
Cookies are mysterious files that few people know about
Cookies are mysterious files that few people know about

It may seem that all this is not necessary, and such serious measures are not needed by the average user. But it is precisely this kind of attitude that cybercriminals are counting on. Any personal information (name, contacts, passwords, phone and bank card numbers, private correspondence, and much more) that enters the Internet through insecure channels will be used by scammers. A VPN helps mitigate these risks.

How Virtual Private Net works

First of all, the anonymity of being on the network is ensured: data is sent to the Internet not directly from the user’s device, but through a remote server. The outgoing information acquires the IP address of the VPN server, not the real user. This is important, since you can determine the user and track all his actions on the Global Web, knowing his IP.

Interestingly, a method invented by hackers to hide from law enforcement is being used against them today.
How a VPN Works. Picture: okta.com

The virtual private network greatly expands the boundaries of web surfing: some countries restrict access to resources by blocking social networks and online streaming services. A VPN is a network that covers the entire planet, so even if the user is in a restricted area, the request will be redirected to suitable servers located in another region, which will allow free access to content.

Surfshark is a VPN worth considering
Surfshark is a VPN worth considering

One of the biggest risk factors today is public Wi-Fi networks: they are in shopping centers, banks and even in public transport. Public networks are a real Klondike for scammers who prey on inexperienced users. The insecurity of such access points gives hackers the opportunity to fish out the most hidden information.

VPN through the most complex encryption makes it impossible for unauthorized people to use private data.

What is a VPN protocol

A VPN uses an encrypted connection, also called a tunnel. There are various ways (protocols) to establish VPN connections. These protocols ensure that the data remains secure and cannot be read by other users. The most common VPN protocols are:

  • OpenVPN is one of the most widely used protocols. It is supported by most platforms except Mac OS and iOS;
  • IPsec/L2TP is similar to OpenVPN;
  • IKEv2 / IPsec is a protocol based on IPSec. It allows you to quickly connect to and switch between networks, making it the perfect choice for smartphones. According to some reports, IKEv2 is faster than OpenVPN, but inferior to it in some other indicators;
  • PPTP is one of the first VPN protocols. It contains some (potential) loopholes, for this reason it only makes sense to use it when speed is more important than security;
  • WireGuard is a relatively new protocol that has become more and more popular lately. It runs on the Linux kernel and, according to experts, is ready to surpass OpenVPN. Currently under development.

How to start using Virtual Private Net

The market for such services in our time is quite wide: you can choose both free software and applications with a paid subscription. They can be downloaded from the App Store (for iOS devices), the Google Play Store (for Android), or the Microsoft Store (for Windows). Of course, you need to be careful because there are VPN providers that abuse the data passing through their servers: personal information can be sold, for example, to advertisers. This applies primarily to free applications. Therefore, it is recommended that you first study the history of the company and reviews of its products.

Domain Driven Design – DDD Programming
Domain Driven Design – DDD Programming

Once you choose a VPN provider, you usually only need to install its software on your device and set up a secure connection to your preferred VPN server with a few clicks. Most often, you do not need to configure anything – the application does this automatically.

Does VPN slow down my internet connection

Many people doubt whether they should use a virtual private network, because they heard that it slows down the connection. It’s true, some VPNs have this property, which is not surprising, because they redirect the connection through a remote server.

Picture: Melpomenem | Dreamstime

However, there are many VPN services that not only pay attention to this problem, but also successfully deal with it. Moreover, often Internet providers artificially limit the connection speed, and the virtual network helps to speed it up.

Often, a significant decrease in connection speed is associated not so much with the VPN, but with the power of the device itself.

Is it legal to use a VPN

Another frequently asked question. Moreover, this is of interest even to those who already use the service: if fraudsters hide their tracks using remote servers, it is much more difficult to trace them and even more so to punish them. However, this does not change the right of other, law-abiding users to freedom and privacy.

Big Data – everything is already permeated with this
Big Data – everything is already permeated with this

Many official companies and enterprises work with VPNs and even promote their use in every possible way, and in many developed and democratic countries it is absolutely legal. However, the use of remote servers for criminal purposes is illegal and punishable.


Of course, a VPN has a lot to offer users in terms of security and privacy. However, it does not solve all the problems associated with them. To feel secure online, users themselves will have to take some precautions. For example, you need to regularly clear the cache of cookies, control the geolocation of the device, etc. In the end, there are a huge number of so-called online entities or bots that can determine the user’s identity even without his IP.

A VPN service should be seen primarily as just one of the privacy protections available today, without relying on it as an absolute solution.