A guide to Virtual Private Networks (VPN)
What is a VPN?
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a private network that encrypts and transmits data while it travels from one place to another on the internet. Using a VPN to connect to the internet allows a user to surf websites privately and securely as well as gain access to restricted websites and overcome censorship blocks.
Encryption. What does that mean?
Encryption is the process of taking some information (your data) and scrambling it so that it can’t be read. When you connect to the internet using a VPN your connection is what becomes encrypted, which means that if cyber criminals were to intercept the stream of your data, all they would get is gibberish code.
You can consider encryption a form of secret code. The way your data is scrambled is called a cypher, and there is a key (or logic) that allows you to decypher the message so that it makes sense again
The highest encryption standard available is known as AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) 256-bit and is used by the most recommended VPN providers. What does 256-bit mean? It’s the size (or complexity) of the cypher used in the encryption. The bigger it is, the more possibilities there are, and the harder it is to guess the key. In the case of 256-bit encryption, there are more combinations than there are stars in the universe. In fact, this level of encryption is so secure it’s used by banks and governments worldwide to ensure the security of their data.