Understand What VPN is and What are Its Main Uses

Understand What VPN is and What are Its Main Uses

Technology helps to improve network security but can be dangerous


  • VPN is the acronym for Virtual Private Network, in free translation “Virtual Private Network”.
  • It is a secure, encrypted connection built “on top of” the public internet network.
  • VPN naming can only be assigned for remote access services.
  • The most recommended VPN services are paid, but there are good free options.

To send and receive a simple message goes a long way. The internet is a place that, depending on the use, can be safe or not, and, in this context, the  VPN, Virtual Private Network or Virtual Private Network in free Portuguese,  is one of the controversial issues that can contribute or hinder your security. To access any website, or app, or just be connected to a network, various protocols, standards, and technologies are needed. VPN is something that many people use without knowing it, and it is more present in our daily lives than we think.

There are many doubts about the subject. What is it? How can I use it to my advantage? When or not to use? Is free VPN safe? Can I only use paid services? What are the indications for investing in VPN? That’s what we’re going to talk about in this article. 

What is VPN

VPN is the acronym for Virtual Private Network, in free translation ” Virtual Private Network “. In a very brief way, it is a set of private communications, built on a public network. To exemplify: the public network would be the internet, while the private network would be access to Netflix. It is necessary to be connected to the network, but that is not enough. The user needs access to their own private account, which uses VPN, to “ensure their account security”.

It is, a priori, a secure and encrypted connection. However, data traffic continues to be carried over the public network, which is used with all traditional protocols and standards. Sometimes, this path may not be so safe, passing through paths that can be cut by people with bad intentions. In this sense, the VPN is very useful to shorten this path, knowing exactly where it goes.


The great benefit of a VPN is to transform insecure networks into protected options for users. This is because it uses encryption and tunneling (or tunneling) protocols. This phenomenon consists of encapsulating one protocol within another, allowing a packet to be sent securely over a public network. This means that they have greater authentication of the data, going through processes of greater confidentiality and integrity of the information being conveyed through this “tunnel”. 

Also, to establish this secure network, some protocols are applied. Some of the more common ones found on most VPN networks are Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP), L2F, Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), and the IP Security Protocol (IPsec). It is these conventions, and rules, that make a secure connection possible, meeting different types of needs. 

Another important point is that the VPN nomenclature can only be assigned for remote access services. An example is Remote Access Service, better known by the acronym RAS, which is found on Windows versions from 2000 onwards. Another option is Secure Shell (SSH), available on GNU, Linux, and other Unix operating systems.

VPN types:

  • Host-to-Network: also called remote access, can connect a single computer to a network.
  • Site-to-Site: Connects a single computer to two networks.

Benefits of VPN

VPNs can be very useful in corporate environments, allowing employees to access data remotely. VPN services are highly sought after by companies, users who want extra protection, and people who travel a lot and work with the internet (or need it to perform their duties), among other things. This is because it is a means of guaranteeing that, no matter which network is used, your connection will be secure. 

For this reason, it is common for the most common users to be those who need to make multiple downloads on their computers. Some even have a preference for using unusual systems to obtain services and, in these cases, the use of VPN becomes even more recommended. Another common user profile is those who seek out, and do, illegal file installations. 

How to use a VPN

Today, there are countless options for companies that provide VPN services – both free and paid. It is important to highlight that it is necessary to be very careful when subscribing to this type of service. 

As just mentioned, to use a VPN, you need to subscribe. The service itself will offer the download to the user. After the installation is done, you need to choose which server to connect to. Ready. Now any website, app, or internet service you choose will automatically be redirected to the VPN.


It is possible to download both on mobile devices – tablets and smartphones – and on PCs. The user chooses and installs the devices he wants. Despite this, the most common thing is that they are done on notebooks and desktops. 

VPN services

Typing the acronym into Google, the user will be directed to dozens of sites and ads that indicate possibilities. But that’s not enough. When the user hires a VPN, whether paid or free, all information is sent to the servers of this service.

Therefore, before hiring a service, do your research. Look for videos, testimonials, and complaints from users who have already hired this VPN. It’s worth doing searches on social media and asking friends for referrals. Some of the safest options are:

ExpressVPN :
This is one of the most popular services available right now. Its evaluation score is 9.8, according to the top 10 VPN
websites. It is a paid service with 24/7 technical support. It currently has an active community of around 9,000 users. Works as an extension for Chrome and Firefox browsers.

is also considered a high-performance VPN offering 24-hour support. It is a paid service, rated 9.4 by the top 10VPN
website. It offers connections to more than 90 countries. Works via an extension for Chrome and Firefox.

Another option is paid Surfshark. It is also a paid service, with the same support as the others mentioned. It promises to be an excellent solution for privacy needs, without sacrificing speed. It is rated 9.0 by top 10VPN and works with extensions for Chrome and Firefox.

NordVPN promises to be a good balance between speed and privacy. It is also a paid option and offers the same full-time support. It is available for Chrome and Firefox and has an 8.0 rating on the top 10VPN website.

This is the option that promises to have “the largest amount of server locations worldwide”. It is also a paid option with full support. It is rated 7.8 by the top 10 VPNs

It is possible to notice that the most recommended services are also paid. In general, people rely more on services that require payments, whether monthly or annual, depending on each option. 

Free VPN Services

Despite this, there are some free options that have good reviews. If you still want to use free services, it is at your own risk. 

It is worth noting that many of the paid versions offer free trial periods. If the user is afraid of not adapting to the service or does not like the choice, he can cancel the subscription before the end of the free period (generally one month) and there will be no charge. 

Free VPN options:

  • TunnelBear
  • WindScribe
  • VPN Gate
  • hide. me

There are some other secure options that use VPN. An example is the Opera browser. It already uses built-in technology options, without the user needing to register in another system. Obviously, if someone already uses their own service and wants to port it to the browser, they can do that without any problems. 

“To activate the free VPN for the first time, enable it in Menu -> Settings -> Privacy -> VPN. From then on, you will see an icon in the address bar that shows the VPN status. Just click on it to activate and deactivate the VPN service. You will be able to select the desired virtual location and also see the statistics of the data used

– Description of Opera on their official website

Is VPN important?

VPN has many uses, particularly in the business sector. Despite this, when a non-specialized user looks for this solution, it is quite common for it to circumvent some systems. The main one is access to streaming catalogs from other countries, to have greater access to available movies and series. 

The uses are much larger and can be essential for developing jobs. For a user who just wants to protect his data, and make a more secure connection – but doesn’t have very sensitive information – Opera itself can meet the needs very well. Now, if there is a need for even greater protection, one of the many services available may be able to meet the security demand. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, several sectors of the industry were affected. Several companies began to do their jobs remotely and adapt to their needs. The use of VPNs was one of those that registered a lot of increase in this period. That’s because, using technology, employees can connect to the company’s private network, even though they are geographically distant from it. 

The use of a VPN guarantees that all information will be encrypted and will not have interference from possible hackers and/or sending data in general. This is an extra protection, which guarantees more secure information. Despite this, it is worth some additional care, as we have already mentioned throughout this article and we will talk about it again.

Cautions when using a VPN

There is a famous phrase on the internet that says “If the service is free, the product is you”. This basically refers to the profits that companies make from selling data. This saying became very famous after the Cambridge Analytica scandal when it was discovered that Facebook had been trading the information of its users for years. 

Where does this apply to VPN? Let’s remember that the service has access to all user information to make it “safe”. However, some services can use this data to get their profit. So, what you would use for greater security ends up having the opposite effect. 

Therefore, when hiring a VPN service – whether paid or free, but even more attention to free services – it is good to make sure that it really is a serious and secure option. Do research before subscribing to any service, viewing videos, and comments from existing users. 

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