More and more people are becoming concern about their privacy when using the internet. Thus, the concept of VPN is no longer a strange one.
However, if you are skeptical about paying for a VPN service, or you just want to understand how a VPN protects you, I will explain the process below.
What a VPN is.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and it purpose is to protect your internet connection from prying eyes.
The Anatomy of Internet Connection
When you are not using a Wi-Fi connection, the anatomy of an internet connection looks like this.
Your device – your Internet Service Provider (ISP) – the website or online service you want to access.
But if you are using a Wi-Fi- connection, then the anatomy of your internet connection will look like this.
Your device – Wi-Fi access point – your Internet Service Provider (ISP) – the website or online service you want to access.
Who can pry on your Internet connection
Without using a VPN, the administrator of the Wi-Fi you are connected to and their ISP will be able to see which website you are visiting.
Worst yet, if the website you are accessing is not using https protection, then the Wi-Fi administrator and their ISP will not only know which website you are visiting, they will also be able to see what you are doing on that website.
How Does a VPN Protect you?
Now when you start to use a VPN service, the VPN will encrypt your internet connection so that both the Wi-Fi admin and their ISP will not be able to see what you are doing in a website and they will not even know which website you are visiting.
So your internet anatomy will now look like this.
Your device – Wi-Fi access point– your Internet Service Provider (ISP) – VPN – the website or online service you want to access.
What VPN Does not Protect you From
If your device has been hacked and so there is a Trojan (another type of virus) in your device that logs your activities, then a VPN will not be able to protect you in this regard.
This is because, VPN protects your internet connection when it is in transit and not when it has reached your device. Whereas, Trojan will pry on your connection details not when it in transit but after it has reached your device.
So to protect your internet activities from a Trojan, you need and anti-virus.
Also, if the website you are working on does not use the https protection I mentioned earlier, or if someone has hacked the website and thus have a back door on the website, it means that the person as see the connection details leaving the website.
While a VPN will not be able to protect your internet connection details from the person who have a back door on the website you are using, the VPN will be able to protect your identity.
So the person will know what you are doing, but will not know who is doing it.
What am trying to say is, a VPN is not responsible for protecting a website, neither is it responsible for protecting your device, it is only responsible for protecting your internet connection details when it is in transit.
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