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What is a VPN?

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) provides users with safe and secure internet access. It does so by routing your online connection through a private server. (Commander Candy suggests using a private server in Introduction to LAMP Cartoon.)

Breif Overview

The following is a very brief description, allowing you to visualize the concept. Later lessons will describe the tech in greater detail.

VPN services encrypt your data before your internet service provider can capture it. Once your data is safely encrypted, you are routed to a private server. When you type a web request the private server makes the request. No one can see that it was you that made the request, because it came from the private server instead of your local machine.

VPN Services Protect User Data

Virtual Private Network (VPN) Diagram

Who are VPN users?

VPN users are a subset of everybody! They are a diverse group of individuals and organizations who value privacy and security. Yes, a lot of people utilize VPN services!

Why use a VPN?

VPN services provide many perks! Here are some reasons why individuals and organizations use VPN services:

  • Hide User Data: This is especially useful when accessing sensitive data, such as banking information, online payments and employment data. The VPN encrypts data so hackers can't see or trace it.

  • Hide User Location: Some users do not want anyone to trace their IP address. If you input a web address through a VPN, no one will know who went to the page or where the person lives.

  • Facilitate Network Connections: If multiple users need access to the same network or environment, VPNs make it easy for everyone to connect!

  • Improve Professional Marketability: Many techies learn and use VPNs because they are commonly used at corporations, especially in IT departments.

  • Anonymously Download Content: Users download content (free or paid) without getting on marketing or government lists.

Who is the best VPN provider?

Just like everything else in life, there is no one-size-fits-all option. The best option for you (or your organization), depends on on many factors including:
  • Budget: Does price matter?

  • Users: Who will use the service? How many users are there?

  • Operation System: Is the client software compatible with my operating system?

  • Nature of Data: Will speed count? How secure do I want my data?

  • Teach Savvy: Will the users be able to set up and use the client software?

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