Some computer-related expressions are technical on an almost abstract level. That is not the case for VPN, which we will explain here.

The internet consists of a lot of computers, that can communicate with each other in large networks. VPN is short for virtual private network, and unlike your home network (symbolized by your router) a VPN is something that only lives on the internet, that’s why its called virtual.

The IP-address

All devices connected to the internet (smartphones, computers, tablets, printers and so on) have an IP-address. It is an ID number, that is registered no matter what the device is used for. For example, every time you visit a website, the IP-address is logged, and your internet service provider can use it to see the sites you have visited. The IP-address also contains geographical information about where the device is located. That is why services like Netflix can differentiate their content per country.

Hackers might be watching

Every time the servers need to communicate with each other is a security risk. The information might be sent without encryption, meaning that hackers and others are able to intercept the information shared.

VPN: Secure and anonymous

VPN-services lets you use the internet in a lot more secure and anonymous manner compared to the regular processes as described above. When connected to a VPN-server, its the IP-address of the VPN-server, that gets logged, so it can’t be traced back to you.

All connections from VPN-servers are protected with strong encryption so no nosy people can access your data.

Content without borders

With a VPN the location information is bypassed. In essence, it looks like you are in the country of the VPN-server you are connected to.

Therefore you can access American Netflix by connecting to a server in the US, the BBC iPlayer by connecting to a server in UK and so on.