How a Consumer VPN Works

Categories VPN

More and more internet users are tunneling their traffic through a consumer virtual private network (VPN). It’s a simple and effective way to safeguard data sent and received over the Internet from prying eyes. If you’re thinking about getting a VPN, though, you might be wondering precisely how it works.

Overview of VPN Technology and How It Works

A VPN creates a secure private network on a public Internet connection. Usually, data transferred over the Internet is vulnerable to interception. If you provide a website with your personal information, for instance, a tech-savvy criminal may steal your data and sell it on the black market. A VPN prevents this from happening by tunneling your traffic through an encrypted private network.

You still need regular Internet service when using a VPN. The VPN merely is applied over your Internet service. Once you are connected, it tunnels your traffic through the provider’s secure private network, thus offering a higher level of security.

There are different types of VPNs, including corporate and consumer. Also known as a remote access VPN, the corporate flavor allows a company’s workers to access a secure private Intranet from a remote location. A consumer VPN, on the other hand, connects the user to a secure private network which tunnels his or her Internet traffic.

Benefits of Using a Consumer VPN


The most significant benefit of using a consumer VPN is privacy. According to a Statista online privacy study, only 12 percent of the U.S. adult population is confident in the federal government’s ability to protect their personal information. When you use the Internet, it opens the doors to a world of privacy concerns.

Cybercriminals can intercept anything you type and submit to a website online. They can also easily capture any data a site sends you. Thankfully, a VPN ensures that no one other than you and the website you are visiting can read this data. VPN traffic is encrypted using protocols like PPTP, L2TP, SSDTP, and OpenVPN. So, even if a cybercriminal hacks your connection, he or she can’t read the data you tunnel through a VPN.

Wi-Fi Security

A VPN is particularly useful when connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots. Whether you’re at a local coffee shop, mall, hotel or airport, Wi-Fi hotspots are notorious for their lack of security. Hackers can connect to the hotspot while snooping on the activities of other users. With a consumer VPN, you can enjoy a secure Internet connection on these otherwise vulnerable networks.

Preventing Geo-blocking

In addition to increased security and privacy, a VPN can also bypass internet protocol (IP) address restrictions. Many websites, apps, and online services employ these. Netflix, for example, shows different content in different regions. A consumer VPN allows you to mask your real IP address by displaying the provider’s IP address instead. If an online service is blocking content or features because of your region, a VPN may allow you to bypass this restriction.

Consumer VPNs are also surprisingly affordable. Depending on the provider, you’re looking at a small fee every month to use the service. For the most part, free services should be avoided. If you decide you no longer want or need the VPN, you just cancel it.

Unless you’ve used one before, you may assume that VPNs are challenging to set up and use. The truth, however, is that it takes just a few minutes to connect. Every provider supplies their version of client software, which is as simple to install as any other application. These are but a few reasons to use a consumer VPN.

The Art of Picking a Good VPN Provider

Categories VPN

When it comes to VPN providers, there are many out there pick from. That is both good and bad. It’s good since as a consumer, you have a choice. It’s bad because out of all those providers, you somehow have to settle on one. And if you don’t know what you’re looking for exactly, your head can start to spin very quickly.

There are checkboxes every decent VPN provider should hit. Among others, they should have a good selection of protocols, a whole lot of servers to choose from, the right security and privacy features, and offer good bang for the buck. We will talk in greater detail about these important aspects below, and we will help you make the right choice.

Selecting the fastest VPN service


A VPN protocol is a bit like a language that your computer uses to talk to a VPN server. Some of the more common options include OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, and IPSec. The primary purpose of these protocols is to provide you with a secure and encrypted connection.

Each protocol has its advantages and disadvantages. These include issues like security, speed, and easy of use. Most VPN providers will provide you with several choices.

We recommend using OpenVPN whenever possible. It is by far the most secure protocol of the bunch and will keep your data safe in situations where other protocols may not. While not native to most operating systems, OpenVPN is widely supported and easy to use.


VPN providers maintain servers in many parts of the world. Some may offer servers in 3 or 4 countries, while for others, that number can be 60.

Before you pick a provider, you should know which countries you would like to connect to. For example, if you’re keen on watching the BBC’s streaming service, then servers in the UK are a must.

The other aspect to consider is server speed. No matter what purpose you’re getting a VPN for, fast performance is a must. As part of your selection process, take a look at several high speed VPN tests to make sure you don’t end up with a service that’s frustratingly slow to use.


Your primary reason for using a VPN service could be privacy. If that is the case, the first thing you should check with each provider is their logging policy.

Using a VPN will hide your online activities from outside onlookers. However, the VPN vendor can always know what you’re up to. They can easily figure out when you connect to which site and what resources you access.

If the VPN service keeps logs, then there exists a history of your activities that can be turned over to third parties. On the other hand, if there are no logs then even if the provider were required by law to turn over your data, there would be nothing for them to give.

VPNs help improve online privacy


Because a VPN uses encryption, it protects your data transmission from eavesdroppers. However, this will not protect you from things like malware.

If you’re confident in your abilities to navigate the web without getting into virus trouble, you have nothing to worry about. However, if you’re even a little unsure, opt for a VPN provider that includes anti-malware scanners and NAT firewalls as part of their service. These features will keep you safe.


There are several free VPN providers, but we recommend you stay away from them. Their features will never be as complete as the pay services, and free providers cannot be trusted to keep your data private.

The good news is that there are pay vendors for any budget. Typically, the more you pay, the better the service will be. But even the cheapest of the bunch will still be a much better choice than a free VPN.

If you find a VPN provider you’re happy with, remember that most offer significant discounts if you commit for a longer period. The price may sometimes drop as much as 50% when you compare paying month to month with prepaying for an entire year.

These tips should make your VPN selection process a little easier. Just remember that if you end up with a provider you are not happy with, you can always cancel and go with someone else. Don’t worry too much about making the absolute perfect selection the first time you try.