A Privacy Focused Perspective on VPN and its Solutions
Let’s start off with the basics.
What Is A VPN?
It stands for Virtual Private Network and its function is to encrypt your network traffic from your home or work to prevent people from potentially sniffing or spying on you.
How Does It Work?
Imagine a tunnel where one can drive or walk through from one end to the other. People from outside the tunnel will not be able to see what is happening in the tunnel – only the people inside the tunnel knows the situation. This tunnel is like your internet connection between your home or work, and the people inside is like your ISP (Internet Service Provider). Lets name this, tunnel A.
Now imagine having a tunnel within tunnel A. Lets name this, tunnel B. There you have it – this is exactly what a VPN does. It creates a ‘sub-tunnel’ and prevents people from outside tunnel A, and the people (the ISP) from seeing what’s inside tunnel B. This is to say, that tunnel B is now your newly encrypted internet connection which is supposedly very safe. Or is it ?
Is It Truly Safe?
Think back to the example above. The people inside tunnel A knows what is happening in tunnel A. Likewise, people in tunnel B knows what is happening in tunnel B. This is to say, no matter how many ‘sub-tunnel’ you create, there will always be a third-party that can see your information.
In the case of VPN solutions, that third-party can very well be the VPN provider (e.g the company that offers the VPN services), or the ISPs that the VPN providers make a deal with (ultimately, VPN providers do not own the internet connection – they pay others for it).
Having a VPN is definitely a good thing. It however, does not mean that you won’t be caught if you attempt to do things that are against the law. If the law enforcement sends a letter down to the ISP, your pretty much over. For that to happen though, you must have done something really big.