What Is A VPN And How Does It Work?

The full name for VPN is Virtual Private Network. It is used to create a secure connection that will allow you to be unseen to any other network on the internet. The most common use of VPNs is either to protect yourself while browsing online or to be able to access content if you are in a restricted area where you couldn’t access some websites without a VPN.

Why should I use a VPN?

Surprisingly, believe it or not, one out of four internet users are connected to a VPN around the world at some point. These are the main reasons that people connect to a VPN for:

  • Unlocking some restricted entertainment content in their countries
  • Being able to access sites that are restricted by government (such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube)
  • Safety when using public WiFi connections
  • Being able to connect to restricted websites at school
  • Downloading torrents using Pirate Bay or some other torrent
  • Hiding online data from your internet provider, government or employer
  • Ability to reach local websites when visiting some other countries

What kind of people are using VPN the most?

According to what demographics show, we can get a picture of what an average VPN user is described as. There is a 69% male population using VPN against a 31% female population. Most users are between the age of 25 to 34. People who live in Europe and Asia and more likely to use a VPN with 38% and 29.7% average usage, while American, African, and Australian populations have 17.4%, 3.9%, and 2.4% usage.

Which country uses VPN the most?

Indonesia is the country with the highest percentage of VPN users. The reason for that is that a lot of popular websites are blocked in Indonesia so people have to use a VPN to be able to access them. That includes Netflix, Vimeo, Reddit, Imgur, and lastly YouTube that has been banned for some time but the ban has been lifted afterward. There are hundreds of thousands more blocked websites, though. 

Is a VPN legal?

Yes, VPN is legal in most countries in the world, including the UK, Europe, Australia, and the U.S. However, in some parts of the world VPN is banned. This includes Belarus, U.A.E., Russia, China, Iraq, and North Korea. VPNs remain legal as long as you are doing legal actions on the internet. If you are doing something that is illegal, then it is also considered illegal if you’re using a VPN to do it. 

You should watch out for the free VPNs that are out there. They might seem appealing but they could be dangerous because they could be selling your private information to some third parties. 

How does VPN work?

A VPN redirects your computer’s connection through VPN’s private servers instead of through your internet provider’s server. Because of that, when you are using the internet, data is being transmitted through VPN’s server instead of your internet provider’s. 

Once you are connected to a VPN, it hides your IP address which protects your identity. Imagine it like a tunnel that is made for your data and it is fully protected until it reaches its’ final destination without anyone interrupting or seeing what are you transferring in the tunnel. 

Can I still be tracked if I use a VPN?

Other people can still trace you with some other methods. Just because VPN changes your IP and encrypts your data, it does not mean that you can’t be tracked. One of the following ways can be used in order to track you:

  • your IP is not the only thing that identifies you on the internet
  • if someone hacks a VPN that you are using, they can simply track you 
  • it happens that your VPN leaks your IP sometimes
  • malware can be secretly installed into your device without you knowing that and that means that your private information will be leaked through the malware

If your goal is to be safe, then your options are to install an anti-virus, anti-malware, and a firewall. Do not rely much on the free versions because you will most likely get what you pay for in this case. However, VPN is still highly recommended as an extra layer of protection and remember that if someone wants to track you and they are smart, they can do it.

Should I keep a VPN on all the time?

If your main priority is security, then yes, you should have it turned on anytime you are accessing the internet. If you are connected to a VPN, it is very likely that your internet speed is going to slow down a little, so you should connect to the closest possible server in order to make it as fast as possible. Also, if you are connected to a public WiFi, then make sure you are connected to a VPN because cybercriminals can access your information so easily if you don’t. 

How much does a VPN cost?

There are many different companies that provide VPN. One of the most popular choices is NordVPN. Their one-year subscription plan costs $7 a month ($84 billed at once for the year). However, they offer a three-year subscription that gives you a 70% discount, so it only costs $3.49 a month. Most VPNs are pretty much the same price, so it is up to you which VPN will you choose. 

Should I use a VPN on my smartphone?

Regardless if you own an iOS device or an Android device, you should still use a VPN whenever you are connected to the internet. Our smartphones are constantly connected to the internet, exchanging data, receiving new emails, Facebook messages, etc.

So what if somebody decided to get your credit card information, social media passwords, browsing history, or some other important piece of data? It is highly likely, especially if you are connected to a public WiFi that offers no encryption and doesn’t protect you or your data. 

How can I know if I am connected to a VPN?

Once you have purchased and installed the VPN it is time to turn it on. As soon as you connect to a VPN, it should show you your new IP address that you are currently connected to. In case you are using a smartphone or a tablet device, you should check for the ‘’VPN’’ icon on the top of your screen. Those methods should be more than enough to make you sure you are indeed connected to a VPN. 

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