What is VPN? Technology and Usage Explained

Edward G. | December 30, 2019

What is a VPN connection? It is a secure connection between VPN users’ devices and networks. Their traffic gets rerouted through a remote server before being delivered to the destination online (like a website). Also, a VPN creates a tunnel for traversing data, and its contents get encrypted. 

These points represent some of the main characteristics of a Virtual Private Network. However, answering the “What is a VPN service?” question requires a deeper dive into its definition.

What is a VPN service? 

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts internet traffic and passes this information along a remote tunnel. Instead of contacting web entities directly, users let VPN servers send requests on their behalf.

To understand encryption, imagine coded messages you share with your friends to prevent anyone from knowing what you mean. Then, it becomes unreadable for anyone outside your inner circle. What is the VPN protection in relation to this? Encrypted traffic is the same as your coded texts. Once encrypted, no one except the intended recipients can understand it. 

Main points that explain what is a VPN connection include the following:  

  • A VPN encrypts your web traffic to protect data from leaking, getting intercepted, or being exploited. It is an essential layer of protection due to unsafe websites, public networks, and invasive tracking. 
  • A VPN changes your IP address to the one belonging to the VPN server you connect to. It means that online entities will no longer extract accurate location details from this identifier. 
  • A VPN can perform other security measures to guarantee safer internet access. Atlas VPN inspires to offer more via its SafeSwap and MultiHop+ servers, offering IP address rotation. Features like SafeBrowse and Data Breach Monitor further protect from trackers and alert users if their email details leak.  

It is also important to note that we explain what is VPN connection in terms of commercial VPNs. Corporations can use VPN technology to guarantee remote access to digital assets from any network. 

In fact, such usage became more prevalent due to the increased number of remote workers, specifically after COVID-19. However, most commercial VPNs are not capable of providing such services. 

What is VPN protection? More than just protocols 

Figuring out what is a VPN service involves learning some technical terms. Modern VPNs abandon protocols like PPTP and SSTP to make room for more advanced solutions.

For instance, you can see what is the VPN connection in terms of protocols Atlas VPN uses. 

  • Traffic encryption. AES-256 and ChaCha20-Poly1305 are some of the most powerful encryption techniques around. Atlas VPN adopts them to ensure that no one can decrypt your internet traffic. 
  • Tunneling protocols. Atlas VPN lets you choose which protocol to use: IKEv2/IPSec or WireGuard. They are equally robust, but there are nuances hinting which are more suitable for certain activities. 

Another important aspect of what is VPN protection is whether the service follows a no-logs policy. The central idea behind VPNs is that they make it difficult for other companies to track you. However, you need to ensure that a VPN protects users from itself. 

What is a VPN service that lives by a no-logs policy? It means that a VPN refrains from collecting details about its clients’ activities. After all, VPNs have the ability to see what you do online as everything passes through their servers. 

Atlas VPN does not collect information that would allow us to trace specific actions to individual users. So, we have no information on what you browse, view, or perform online. We only store information necessary to provide our services (like billing information). 

When do you need a VPN? 

Users typically turn to VPNs in the following scenarios. Possible use cases can also help you understand what is a VPN service on more practical terms:

  • When they do not trust the digital space to treat their traffic discreetly. Knowing that various entities come after users’ data, it is sensible to retain as much privacy as possible. 
  • When they do not trust the website. Many websites still use HTTP instead of HTTPS. A VPN encrypts traffic on such websites, and this is essential for protecting data users might exchange on them. 
  • When they connect to unfamiliar networks. Many public locations offer Wi-Fi to their guests and clients. However, their security is shaky and difficult to evaluate before connecting. What is a VPN app brilliant at is safeguarding data on all networks, be it at home or even abroad. 
  • When they wish to access content unfairly blocked in their region. Internet censorship is more frequent than ever before. VPNs continue to fight the unjust attempts to limit users’ rights to freedom of speech. 
  • When they want to prevent ISPs from selling their data. Internet Service Providers can do a lot with their clients’ data. That includes sharing or selling browsing habits, time spent on sites, DNS records, TV viewing habits, and more. 

These are the most popular VPN use cases. However, some honorable mentions include resolving the following issues: 

  • Price discrimination
  • ISP throttling 
  • Regional-only deals and discounts 
  • Accessing home libraries of streaming platforms when abroad 
  • Blocking ads and malware
  • Safe file exchange and P2P 

What is a VPN app? 

A VPN app is no different from other applications you have. For instance, Atlas VPN designs user-friendly interfaces maximizing its seamless usage. When you use it, data from connected devices like browsing histories gets sent through VPN servers. Its IP address also gets masked with the location you have chosen. 

So, there is no need to master the technical how-to related to what is VPN connection. Atlas VPN makes achieving your privacy, security, and access goals easy with a tap or click. 

Atlas VPN currently supports Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV/FireStick. 

Premium subscriptions (going as affordable as $1.99 per month) give users unlimited bandwidth and unlimited simultaneous connections. 

A 30-day money-back guarantee protects each purchase, but we highly recommend contacting our 24/7 support if you encounter issues. Our team is more than happy to resolve problems and help you enjoy Atlas VPN to its full potential!

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Edward G.

Edward G.

Cybersecurity Researcher and Publisher at Atlas VPN. My mission is to scan the ever-evolving cybercrime landscape to inform the public about the latest threats.

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