A virtual private network(VPN) acts as a proxy server, and hides your IP address. Additionally it encrypts the data from your PC client to the VPN server, and releases that data in a non-encrypted state to THE website you pointed your browser to. It is in these ways a VPN protects your privacy.If you saw my more recent post where I talked about TOR, you know what the limitations of the TOR exit point are. Under TOR, data is encrypted from your PC to the TOR exit point where it is released in a non-encrypted state to the world. A VPN on the other hand encrypts data from your PC to the VPN server, where it is then released to the world non-encrypted. The difference being is you know ‘who’ the VPN server is. Rather than being released to a TOR exit node that can belong to anybody, your data exits a known provider that you pay to keep your tracks private.
Only two disadvantages lie in using a VPN to keep you private over the internet. One, is that VPN services cost money; at least those worth their weight in salt, and operates without adds. The second being you need to be able to trust your VPN provider not to divulge your internet traffic activity logs to any requesting source.
In my next post I’ll talk about the advantages and disadvantages between using a VPN vs TOR, and the advantages of using TOR over a VPN.