What is a VPN and
Why Should You Get One?

In today's digital age, we spend more time online. Privacy and security on the internet are increasingly important. VPN (Virtual Private Network) has become a key tool for protecting our data through safer connections and anonymous browsing. Perhaps you have heard of VPNs but still don't know how they can help you. Let's explain what a VPN is and how it works. You will discover how to get an encrypted connection and what advantages it offers.

What is a VPN?

VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a technology that enables the creation of a secure and encrypted connection between your device and the internet. This means that all data you send and receive over this network is protected from unauthorised access and espionage. VPN works by routing your internet data through a VPN server which provides you with a new IP address, thereby hiding your real location and identity.

Why was the Virtual Private Network Created?

The internet has become an indispensable companion for us, and our need to use it safely has increased. We want to protect our personal data and maintain our privacy. This is where the concept of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) comes into play. Its goal was to create a secure and encrypted connection between the user and the internet.

Initially, VPNs were designed for businesses that needed to create a secure remote access for their employees. They could connect to the company's private network from anywhere, and the private network ensured that confidential data remained protected. Today, employees often work outside the office (on public Wi-Fi networks, in cafes, at airports, in public transport), where they are exposed to a greater risk of sensitive data leakage. Therefore, it is important for them to secure remote connections.

3 useful facts
  • VPN technology was created in 1996.
  • The acronym VPN stands for Virtual Private Network.
  • It provides privacy protection, security, and online freedom.

How does VPN help users?

VPN acts as a shield against potential risks by encrypting data transmitted between the user's device and the internet, thereby preventing unauthorised access and eavesdropping. Additionally, it allows users to mask their real IP address, making it more difficult for third parties to track their online activities.

VPN thus offers a solution to growing concerns regarding privacy, security, and online freedom. By creating an encrypted tunnel and hiding one's real identity, it provides individuals and organisations with the peace of mind they need for safe and anonymous navigation in the digital environment.


Why Get a VPN and What are its Advantages and Disadvantages?

VPN offers you many advantages that can contribute to a safer online experience. Find out if you need an encrypted connection. Let's go through the most important benefits that VPN networks offer.

  1. Ensuring Privacy on the Internet – VPN encrypts your internet connection, masks your location, and prevents others from tracking what you do online. By using it, you achieve what is known as network neutrality.
  2. Secure Connection on Public Networks – When you connect to a public Wi-Fi hotspot, your data is easily endangered by hackers. VPN provides you with a secure connection even on public networks.
  3. Personal Data Protection – VPN hides your real IP address and replaces it with a new one, preventing tracking of your location and online activity.
  4. Remote Access to Corporate Networks – For employees travelling or working from home, VPN allows secure remote access to corporate networks and data.
  5. Secure File Sharing – If you need to share sensitive files, VPN ensures that they are transferred securely and protected from unauthorised access.
  6. Protection Against Cyber Threats – Only the best VPN providers will offer you additional protection against cyber attacks and malware. In such cases, VPN is part of the antivirus solution. Virtual private networks themselves are not designed to automatically block phishing websites or prevent you from providing personal information to a fraudster or downloading infected files. If you want to be protected from fraudulent websites and malware, it is necessary to use a security solution (e.g., digital protection).
  7. Safe Online Payments – When shopping online or conducting banking transactions, VPN secures the encryption of transmitted data and protects your online traffic from potential snoopers. If you want to be protected from fraudulent websites trying to extort money from users, it is necessary to use a security solution (e.g., digital protection).

What are the Disadvantages of VPN?

Although a virtual private network offers many advantages and is a useful tool for protecting privacy and security on the internet, there are also some things to consider. Before getting a VPN, it is important to be aware of:

  1. Reduced connection speed – Using this network can cause a slowdown in internet connection. Why? Your data must travel through a remote VPN server, which can cause some delay.
  2. Limited server choices – Some services offer a limited selection of servers to choose from.
  3. Paid services – Some services require regular payments. This can be disadvantageous for users looking for a free solution.
  4. Reliability and security – Some services may not be sufficiently reliable or secure. It is important to choose trustworthy and verified providers.

The Most Well-Known Advantages of a VPN Connection

  • Ensuring Privacy on the Internet
  • Secure Connection to Public Wi-Fi Networks
  • Secure Access to Corporate Networks from Anywhere
  • Protection of Personal Data


What to Watch Out For?

  • Speed - A reduction in connection speed most often occurs with free or low-quality VPNs.
  • Server Selection - Limited choice of servers to which you can connect.
  • Weak Security - Limited encryption features.
  • Pop-ups for the premium version.
  • VPN Providers - An unreliable provider may be subject to frequent outages and can compromise the security of your data.

How Does a VPN Network Work and How to Use It?

VPN acts as an intermediary between your device (computer, smartphone, or tablet) and the internet. When you connect to a VPN, your internet data is encrypted by the VPN client and travels through a special encrypted tunnel to the VPN server. The VPN server decrypts the data and sends a request to the target server where the website is located. The data then travels back in the opposite direction in the same way. This creates a private and secure connection to the internet. Your real IP address remains hidden and you browse the internet with a new IP address provided by the VPN provider.

What are the Types of VPN?

  • Remote Access VPN: This type allows employees to access the company network remotely. It is useful for workers who are travelling or working from home.
  • Site-to-Site VPN (also known as router-to-router VPN): This type enables the connection of two or more company networks, allowing the sharing of data between different branches of the company.
  • Mobile VPN: Specially designed for mobile devices, this type ensures privacy on smartphones and tablets.
  • Peer-to-Peer VPN: This type allows direct connection between individual users and ensures secure communication.

Is it Worth Using a Browser-Integrated VPN?

Some web browsers have their own integrated VPN function (for example, Opera or Firefox). Usually, you can find this function in the browser settings in the privacy and security settings section. After enabling VPN in the browser, an icon appears in the toolbar. When you click on the icon, a window pops up for connection and server selection.

Keep in mind that VPN extensions in browsers provide protection only for browser activity. If you want to secure the entire device and all traffic, it is recommended to use a separate VPN application or an integrated VPN throughout the operating system.

A number of integrated free VPN add-ons are often very limited. For example, they offer only a few servers, limit the maximum speed or the number of users connected to one server. In the browser offer, you usually find the option to switch to a paid version, which removes these limitations.

A few tips for proper use

  1. Make sure your VPN is always updated to the latest version so you have access to the best features and security updates.

  2. If you're having trouble connecting, try restarting the app or even the whole device. You can also try switching between VPN servers to see which one offers a faster connection.

  3. Pay attention to warnings and alerts that may appear when you change the VPN status. Sometimes, some apps may be able to track your activity when you turn off the VPN.


How to use the VPN app on Windows, Android or iOS?

Once you have a VPN installed on your computer, phone, or other device, you will most commonly work with it by turning it on or off as needed. Let's go through how to do this.

How to Turn on VPN?

  • Step 1: Open the client application on your device.
  • Step 2: Select the server you want to connect to. You can usually choose from a list of available servers based on geographic location.
  • Step 3: Click on the 'connect' button and wait until you are successfully connected to the selected server.

How to Turn off VPN?

  • Step 1: Open the client application on your device. You often find the icon in the notification area or toolbar.
  • Step 2: Choose 'disconnect' in the application menu. The button for disconnection is usually located at the bottom of the application window.
  • Step 3: Wait until the device disconnects from the private network and you return to your regular connection.

How to Choose a VPN?

When choosing a VPN, it is important to carefully select a reliable and high-quality service that meets your needs and provides real protection for your privacy. Here are the key parameters you should focus on:

  1. Security and Encryption – Find out what type of encryption the VPN offers. It is recommended to choose a service with sophisticated encryption algorithms, such as the currently among the safest 256-bit AES-256 encryption.
  2. Protocols – VPN applications usually support various protocols such as OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec, or SSTP. Each protocol has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of speed and security. The OpenVPN protocol is generally considered the best available protocol.
  3. Paid Services vs. Free VPN – Caution is advised when using free services as some may collect your personal data and sell it to third parties. Paid services usually offer better security and speed than free VPNs.
  4. Speed and Performance – Check the speed and performance of the VPN servers, especially if you plan to stream videos or play online games.
  5. Number of Servers and Locations – Check how many servers the VPN has and in which countries they are located. The more servers and diverse geographic coverage the network offers, the greater flexibility you have in IP addresses.
  6. User-Friendliness and Technical Support – The service should be easy to use and have a user-friendly interface. Reviews can easily be found on the internet in computer online magazines. Also, ensure that the service provides adequate technical support if needed.
  7. Data Logs – Find out what data the provider stores about your internet activity. If you prefer maximum anonymity, look for a service that keeps no records of its users' online activities.

VPN is an important tool for protecting our privacy on the internet. With it, we can safely navigate the online world, access online services, and protect ourselves from the theft of sensitive data. You can choose from various types of VPNs according to your needs and preferences. Remember, choosing a reliable VPN provider is key to ensuring your security on the internet.

Top Criteria for Choosing a Virtual Private Network

For a VPN to be effective, it must use the strongest available encryption methods (regardless of whether it is a paid or free service). Only then is your online security guaranteed.

  1. Quality of Encryption
  2. Amount of User Data Stored
  3. Speed
  4. Price
  5. Clarity of the Application

Part of ESET HOME Security Ultimate

ESET's VPN is part of ESET HOME Security Ultimate. Its advantages include: high internet connection security and reliable data encryption.