The ExpressVPN macOS application.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It’s computer and mobile software that achieves three key benefits when you connect to the internet: stronger security, improved privacy, and greater freedom.
When you connect to the internet using a virtual private network, the software creates a secure connection between your device and a remote VPN server.
A VPN encrypts your web browsing data and hides your public IP address.
Good personal VPN services (not to be confused with business/corporate VPNs) let you access free public WiFi securely, unblock geo-restricted websites and applications, and mask your internet traffic by hiding your IP address.
The three key advantages of using a VPN are:
- Masking your IP address to hide/change your location from the websites you visit.
- Encrypting your web traffic to protect your data transfers on insecure WiFi networks.
- Preventing your ISP and other third-parties from monitoring your internet activity.
VPN services aren’t just for computers or laptops. You can also install a VPN application on your smartphone and tablet. The best VPNs even work on smart TVs, games consoles, and routers, too.
In this beginner’s guide to virtual private networks, we explain in detail what a VPN is, how it works, and why you need one.
We’ll also cover the advantages and disadvantages of VPNs, how much they cost, and what you need to look out for when choosing a safe VPN service.
What Is A VPN: Video Explainer
To help you understand the basics of VPN software, we created a short video explaining what a VPN is and how it works: