September 30, 2023

A array of tech terms that comes in to picture. When a word VPN arises. Let’s see them one by one

A virtual private network is a way of connecting to the internet in a more secure or private way, by sending your data through an encrypted tunnel and hiding your true IP address — making it harder for someone to track your online activity.

When deciding on a new VPN service, the following terms can help you navigate the field and understand what a provider offers.

Using an algorithm to securely encode data so that it appears like random, digitally illegible information. Once your encrypted data reaches its destination, a cipher is used to decrypt it. There are multiple types of encryption used by VPNs, which vary in strength. Popular algorithms is AES -256.

Geo blocking
The process of blocking access to online content, or restricting that content to certain locations. One measurement of a VPN’s strength is its ability to circumvent the geo blocking practices of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu so you can access the content you’ve paid for, no matter what country you travel to.

IP Count
The number of IP addresses used by a VPN provider. VPNs that have a larger supply of IP addresses can offer higher speeds to individual users. Those with a smaller number of IP addresses may offer slower speeds to users.

The country in which a VPN provider is headquartered, and to whose laws it must adhere. This all about privacy laws and terms.

Kill switch
A must-have feature offered by most VPNs that kills your internet connection if your VPN connection is dropped for any reason, in order to prevent your data from suddenly becoming visible to others.

When a VPN service fails in some way, and exposes what could be personally identifying information or unencrypted user data to either a website, network members or an internet service provider. During its review process, CNET tests VPNs for the following types of leaks: IPv4, IPv6, DNS and WebRTC.

There are two kinds of logs a VPN provider might keep — connection logs and usage logs.

The act of making internet traffic passed through a VPN look like regular, non-VPN internet traffic. This is important in countries where VPN use is outlawed, but it is also key to accessing some streaming services and websites that bar VPN use.

Perfect Forward Secrecy
A widely hailed encryption function that uses one of two established key exchanges to create an additional level of security. A good VPN uses Perfect Forward Secrecy to ensure that any stolen encryption keys can’t be used to decrypt past or future internet sessions.

Proxy Service
Often used to get around content geo blocking, a proxy service can hide your real IP address by getting in between your IP address and the website you’re trying to access and making you appear as though your IP address is one of its own. Proxies are usually not encrypted.

Server count
The number of servers maintained in a VPN’s network. A larger number of servers in a larger number of locations is often a strong indicator of increased speeds.

Creating two kinds of VPN tunnels at once, sometimes using different methods. Often, one VPN tunnel will be used to protect the internet activity you create in your browser, while another will be used to protect the internet activity created by internet-connected apps on your phone or computer.

An abbreviation for The Onion Router, or The Tor Network. Tor is designed to allow completely anonymous communication on the internet by encrypting your data and bouncing it off of several volunteer-run receiving points called “nodes.”h6

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