HomeAPPS & SOFTWAREVPN What It Is And What Are The Best Services

VPN What It Is And What Are The Best Services

What is it for, and under what conditions to initiate a confidential server or resort to outsiders? Information encryption conventions and start-to-finish encryption are apparatuses that assist with safeguarding your data when you move information utilizing an intrinsically shaky medium like the Web.

A VPN ( Virtual Confidential Organization or virtual confidential organization ) is a media communications network which, albeit in light of a public and shared transmission convention, permits you to safeguard the information traded between two hashes (the client and the VPN server) found even at the huge number of kilometers away.

In the wake of laying out a VPN association, information courses through a scrambled passage: waiter and client “concur” on the conventions to use to avoid man-in-the-center (MITM) assaults, making all the data traded neither interceptable nor editable from outsiders.

A VPN is a virtual confidential organization because, by utilizing it, the gadget being used turns out to be important for a LAN inside which the devices associated with it can or can’t speak with one another, relying upon the design set by the organization director VPNs.

VPNs For Business And Professional Use

VPNs are born in the business environment, and until recently, they were used almost exclusively in these environments. Regardless of the Internet connection, company personnel can remotely connect to the company’s local network and access all shared resources on the LAN in total security.

Even if the client device uses a public WiFi network that is therefore insecure, establishing a secure connection to the company’s VPN server will protect all the data transferred, preventing third parties from monitoring and possibly altering it.

The VPN server assigns a private IP address (what it is and how to find it ) to the remotely 

connected device so that the user can “ping” all systems on the corporate LAN and access shared resources.

However, using a VPN is not only the prerogative of businesses: professionals and home users can easily install and configure a server in the office or at home. We have discussed it in many of our articles, presenting the various solutions that can be used for this purpose.

VPN For Everyone: Not Only To Connect With The Office But Also To Secure The Connection And Overcome Geographical Limitations

In addition to the possibility of installing your VPN server to protect data traffic when connected remotely, remotely accessing shared resources on the local network, and navigating with the public IP assigned to the router installed in the company, office, or home, it is possible to choose from many third-party services that use the VPN system to protect the information transferred over the network (for example when using public WiFi) but also to overcome geographical limitations and censorship.

What is a VPN: everything you need to know to choose the right one and make the most of it

Below we summarize what we believe are the most important aspects to know about VPNs, networks that today find their raison d’être not only in companies but also among private 

Which Devices Can Be Used To Set Up A VPN Server VPN

networks can be created using various devices installed in the company, in the office, or at home: you can use routers capable of offering VPN functions, NAS servers, appliances of various kinds, or simple servers/workstations.

In the articles VPN server, how to create it using a NAS and Making the VPN on Synology NAS servers more secure we have seen how to use a NAS server to configure the VPN server, while in the article VPN connection in Windows with OpenVPN, we have explained how to set up a 

VPN server with Windows.

In the article OpenVPN server with the graphical interface: how to install it, we saw how to take advantage of a particular ISO that allows you to install and configure the OpenVPN server via a convenient web interface. The software will be installable on a physical or virtual machine.

In pfSense, firewall, and VPN all in one: how to try them with Virtualbox, we have seen that the pfSense package directly supports OpenVPN and allows you to create a server with just a few steps.

Still, on the Linux platform, it is possible to use WireGuard to set up a fast and secure VPN server: WireGuard, how to create a VPN server at home or in the company. We’ll discuss the main differences between the OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols later.

Without turning to this software, you can also use the features built into Windows: VPN Server in Windows 10 and Windows Server: How to create it without installing other software. However, greater guarantees in terms of security can only be obtained using IPSec on Windows Server.

Why It Is Useful To Create A VPN Server In Your Company, Office, Or Home

Setting up and using a VPN server in your company, office, or home is very useful because it allows you to connect remotely (from networks managed by other parties, even public or even open WiFi), in complete safety, to your LAN network.

By reaching the public IP address on which the VPN server responds from the remote VPN client, you can establish a secure connection and access, for example, shared resources on the local network as if you were physically present in front of the various devices on the LAN.

All data exchanged through the VPN will be automatically encrypted, making it unreadable to third parties. What better way to access a document stored on one of your PCs while on the other side of the world? By correctly setting up and configuring a VPN server, it will be possible to avoid exposing other ports on the public IP, with the possibility – for example – of connecting to your video surveillance system in complete safety, exactly as if you were related to the local network.

Using a VPN connection and connecting with the server’s public IP installed in the company, office, or home, the latter will assign the client a private, local IP address. Typing, for example, ping or ping, will send requests to the router of your LAN despite being physically on the other side of the globe (see also what Ping is, how it works, and what it is for ).

By typing in the browser bar, for example, the local IP of a video camera, a NAS, or a server inside the LAN, the connection can be made without any problems.

By activating the Remote Desktop server on the individual Windows systems connected to the local network, it will be possible to administer them remotely, as if you were sitting at your office desk: Remote Desktop with Windows 10 Pro or later and VPN. By appropriately configuring your VPN server, you can browse the Internet in complete security from the public IP assigned to the router installed in your company, office, or home.

What Data Is Protected While Using The VPN

When you start the VPN client on your device (be it a PC, tablet, convertible, or smartphone), all sent and received data will automatically be protected thanks to encryption. Whatever application you run, the data it transfers will pass through the VPN connection.

When And Why To Use Third-Party VPN Services

While it is true that you can install your VPN server in your company, office, or home, the market offers countless VPN services, some free, some paid. Among the free ones, we mention ProtonVPN, which offers excellent guarantees in terms of anonymity and does not keep logs of users’ browsing sessions.

However, the free profile needs some limitations: the servers made free by users are few, located in a limited number of countries, and often quite congested.

The best third-party VPNs are useful when you want to protect all the data exchanged while using any application on a WiFi network managed by third parties, therefore potentially unreliable or even dangerous. The VPN services provided by specialized providers also allow you to change your geographical location (and therefore also your public IP address) in such a way as to appear connected from other countries.

In the article ” How, when, and why to use a VPN connection, ” we focused on the choice of third-party VPN services. In the VPN study, what it is, and how to choose the best ones, we have seen when it is useful to set up a private VPN server and when you can choose third-party VPN services.

Is It Legal To Use A VPN Service?

In most countries, it is legal to use any VPN service. Exceptions are countries such as Russia, Turkey, Iran, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. Here, those wishing to use a VPN service must equip themselves with one of the solutions expressly approved by the government.

These products track user connections and keep logs of online activities (thus moving away from the intrinsic nature of true VPN services).

Is It Possible To Overcome The Geographical Limitations Of The Main Online Streaming Platforms?

We have said that VPN services allow you to appear connected from countries other than your own. Many users use the most reliable VPNs to access content offered by the main online streaming platforms that cannot be accessed from Italy. The platforms generally use a single authentication system: users authorized to access the service can connect from any country.

However, depending on the country where the connection is established, the online streaming platform can offer a different catalog. Subscribers to various platforms have started using VPNs to access content that is not normally available in Italy. Just check what content is being presented to subscribers in which country, then change your public IP using a VPN service.

Is all of this legal? 

It depends on what is stated in the contractual conditions and the terms of use of the service. Some online streaming services tolerate VPNs, while others are more “hard-fisted” oriented.

Some providers, such as ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN, publish basic guides for accessing streaming platforms from any country.

It must be said that platforms explicitly block some VPNs. However, around 30% of them can  guarantee access today: see Cross-border portability: what it means and why providers are fighting VPNs. We suggest reading the article VPN connection: how it helps to access otherwise unusable content.

Do VPN Service Providers Log User Activity?

When choosing a VPN service, it is good to analyze the content of the privacy policy published by the provider. Here you will find all the information on data processing, and you will find out if a VPN, for example, keeps a log of user connections and the activities they carry out on the net.

When Edward Snowden published the secrets of the US National Security Agency (NSA).

He learned of the mass surveillance programs put in place by the US and British governments to exchange intelligence information, including the browsing history of any user residing in their respective national territories. An agreement to this effect would have been stipulated between the governments of 14 countries ( Fourteen Eyes ). Using VPNs based in countries outside the Fourteen Eyes allows you to count on an even greater level of confidentiality.

Have All Network Traffic Go Through The VPN

By appropriately configuring some routers, it is possible to ensure that the data traffic generated by all devices (notebooks, desktop PCs, tablets, smartphones, convertibles, consoles, smart TVs, IoT devices,…) and by all applications used in the local network transits through the VPN service.

In the article Configuring a VPN client on the router and overcoming the DNS leak problem, we saw that it is possible to use updated routers with DD-WRT, OpenWRT, Tomato firmware, or devices that support this feature.

The Type Of VPN Matters: Which Protocols Are The Most Reliable

When setting up your VPN, it is essential to use the OpenVPN, WireGuard protocols, or sufficiently secure alternatives such as IPSec, as indicated at the beginning. VPN services provided by third parties may also use more “agile” protocols to guarantee high performance: VPN networks: differences between PPTP, L2TP IPSec, and OpenVPN. 

Using them, however, you cannot have maximum guarantees regarding the security and confidentiality of personal data. The successor of OpenVPN will almost certainly be WireGuard ( free VPN: what it is and how WireGuard works with AzireVPN ) which is based on only 4,000 lines of code (instead of 120,000) and therefore on an overall very lean and more performing architecture.

ExpressVPN recently launched Lightway, a lightweight and secure protocol with a lot in common with WireGuard: ExpressVPN launches its Lightway protocol: differences from WireGuard and OpenVPN. As mentioned in Windows, you can use the built-in support offered by the operating system to start a VPN server: VPN server in Windows 10 and Windows Server: how to create it without installing other software. However, the advice is to focus on using the IPSec protocol with Windows Server.

When using a VPN service at the software level, it is also a good idea to check that the WebRTC protocol, possibly activated on the browser side, does not detect your real IP address: Secure VPN services: how to prevent them from leaking your real public IP.Furthermore, it is good to ensure that the VPN does not expose the DNS leak problem and, in this case, does not lead to the exposure of the public IP address: Configure a VPN client on the router and overcome the DNS leak problem.

The Best Third-Party VPN Services

Comparing the many VPN services available today, some stand out for their performance (download and upload data transfer speeds), security and privacy protection features, timely distribution of updates, no logs, support for networks like Netflix and Torrent, usability, technical support, and cost.

Among the absolute best are NordVPN, SurfShark (among other things, very cheap; we talk about it in the VPN article, which features are the most useful: Surfshark example ), ExpressVPN, CyberGhost VPN (see CyberGhost VPN unblocks new content and protects privacy ) and IPVanish.

None of the services mentioned keeps a log of the connections, and the performances are excellent: in many cases, there will be no differences – or they will be very small – between the bandwidth made available by your connection and the bandwidth available on the VPN network.

Finally, one last note: services such as the one made available by Opera on desktop systems and mobile devices are not VPNs but operate as a proxy ( Opera VPN is also in the Android browser: however, it is only a proxy ). 

Similarly, Cloudflare WARP is also not a VPN: Cloudflare WARP from today for everyone: what it is and how it works. But it’s not a VPN. So be careful not to fall into the trap of considering what is not a VPN at all.

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