What is VPN and how to use it?

If you’re like most people, you know that there are certain risks involved with being online, especially in public. You’ve heard the stories about hackers exploiting wi-fi networks at coffee shops and hotels, and gaining control of unsecured devices. But you probably haven’t done anything about it.

Lucky for you, there is an easy way to make browsing the Internet a little safer: a VPN, or Virtual Private Network. VPNs extends a private network across a public network, such as the Internet. It enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network, and thus are benefiting from the functionality, security and management policies of the private network.

In other words VPN creates a private encrypted tunnel that your Internet requests are sent through and prevents people spying on you when you use the it .This is useful if you travel with a laptop, smartphone or tablet and access Wi-Fi hotspots in public places. It does the same thing when you’re using the internet at home, or in the office.

I never use public wifi networks. Do I still need a VPN?

There are other benefits to using a VPN. Since you’re being redirected through your VPN server — potentially in another country — a good VPN can allow you to circumvent Internet restrictions put in place on the network you’re using.

Say you’re a HBO Go subscriber, and you’re on vacation in a country where HBO is unavailable. Without a VPN, you’d get a message telling you that you must reside in the U.S. to get the latest Game of Thrones episode. But with a VPN, you could route your traffic through the U.S. and get your swords and dragons fix.

How to start using VPN service?

One of the options is to install VPN server software yourself. The best known of these is OpenVPN, which is open-source. It’s available in versions for almost all popular desktop operating systems, including Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. We have already described how to do that in the following blog post: “Setup OpenVPN 2.3.6 on Centos 6.5”

Another way is to use VPN providers. You should be looking for the companies that does not keep logs of users’ activities — which is important for privacy reasons — and it has a drop-down menu that lets you choose which country you want to appear to be coming from, which is important for TV-binging reasons.