What is a virtual private network (VPN)? Print

  • VPN, Firewall, Security
  • 7

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a physical trusted network in a remote location that you can virtually connect to and become part of as if you are physically present there. VPN has many use cases but it is mostly used to traverse untrusted networks as if you were on a private network. It gives you the freedom to access the internet safely and securely from your smartphone or laptop when connected to an untrusted network, like the WiFi at a hotel or coffee shop. When you are connected to the VPN, your internet connection and requests travel through an encrypted tunnel to your remote trusted network. VPN connections hide the details of your traffic, because the connection only contains encrypted data between you and the IP address of your remote trusted network.

It is very important to use a VPN that uses highly secured protocols and encryption algorithms to avoid man in the middle attacks and hackers from decrypting your traffic. A weak VPN connection setup is just another door with a lock that can be simply turned open, use a strong VPN connection with protocols and algorithms that makes it nearly impossible to break open.

When combined with HTTPS connections, this setup allows you to secure your wireless logins and transactions. You can circumvent geographical restrictions and censorship, and shield your location and any unencrypted HTTP traffic from untrusted networks.

We have put up a guide to help you get started, How To Set Up and Configure an OpenVPN Server on CentOS.

Last modified: June 01, 2020

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