VPN keeping your online activities safe

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to create a virtual private network that guarantees privacy, anonymity and data security through a reserved communication channel between devices that do not necessarily have to be connected to the same LAN. Here is a simple practical guide to learn how to use a Virtual Private Network.

What is a VPN

VPN is a network service that encrypts Internet traffic and so protects your online identity. In a strictly corporate setting, a free VPN may be compared to a geographical extension of a private local network (LAN), allowing the sites of the same firm situated across the country to be securely connected to one another. To do this, data packets are routed via the IP protocol for transit on a large scale: this enables for the creation of a “virtual” and “private” LAN that is entirely comparable to a dedicated network’s physical architecture.

What a VPN is for?

VPNs ( VPN for Windows) are used above all in the business environment and by public administrations , especially for the possibility of reducing costs in the creation of one’s own protected network and created, precisely, by exploiting the infrastructure of the public network. However, there are also many private users who prefer to surf the net via VPN to be able to explore and exchange data on the Internet safely and without restrictions or geoblocking.. Among the various services available, some providers also offer the possibility to choose which protocols to use for the connection, by opting for a VPN server set up within their own network (corporate / private) or by connecting one managed by third parties. It is good to keep in mind that, since data on the Internet, if not adequately protected, can be intercepted by anyone in their path (through sniffing techniques ), the subjects interested in knowing the details of the network activities carried out by users could be different and with different purposes: investigative, commercial or fraudulent. Below we analyze in detail the types, operating principles and protocols that characterize a VPN.

VPN networks are divided into remote access networks and site-to-site networks:

Remote access VPN connection

dial-up connections allow users (for example in smart working) to access a server on a private network via the Internet. This type of connection can be seen as a link between a VPN client PC and the company’s server. As already said, from the logical point of view it is as if you had a dedicated and private connection. Try the best free VPN for Windows.

Site-to-site VPN connection

a site-to-site connection is used to connect in a private network, always with the help of a public network, offices located in multiple locations or other organizations, allowing routing and secure communication. In this scenario, each office will have a dedicated router, that is a node of the VPN network that will route data packets to the same recipients according to a client / server model, sharing information with the remote offices in a completely transparent way. Conceptually, two sub-classes of site-to-site VPN can be distinguished:

  • a VPN-Intranet class when joining multiple offices of the same company;
  • a VPN-Extranet class when joining companies and / or offices outside the organization.

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