When discussing the topic of Virtual Private Networks, or VPN in short, it is important that we first and foremost understand what a VPN is. A VPN is a private connection that one makes over the internet. The keyword here is “Private” and this means that one is able to make a connection to the internet in a kind of a private manner, and this makes it easy for one to be anonymous as they browse the internet. By anonymous, it means that you can browse the internet on a public network without anyone detecting who exactly you are or where your real location is, hence the need for the word “virtual” in VPN.
When was the first VPN used?
Well, the VPN history dates back to the year 1996. In this year, a peer to peer tunneling protocol or PPTP was developed by a Microsoft employee known as Gurdeep Singh-Pall. Through this discovery, he made it easy for people to work from home securely through the internet through the PPTP. This was truly a big invention and effectively, the PPTP was the precursor to the modern VPNs as we know them. How did the PPTP work? Well, this creates a secure connection between the internet and the computer that is connected. The purpose of the VPN was and remains to secure the data when one is connected to the internet.
The Need for Virtual Private Networks
As of present, 1 in 4 internet users makes use of the VPN technology around the world. There are many reasons these people prefer to use a VPN. There are those who are motivated by the desire for privacy, security or overcoming censorship from governments. There are others who want to improve their streaming experience and all these are valid reasons that require people to use the modern day VPNs.
The major purpose for which people use VPNs is to create a private connection while they are browsing the internet. This can be a private connection between devices and people across the internet. This means that these people who use VPNs or the devices that are connected through VPNs will be secure from any kind of prying eyes hackers, malware and generally anyone who may be interested to know what you are surfing or even where you are surfing the internet from.
Now, the VPN technology has been in existence for two decades. It was originally intended for the big businesses and big companies as well as governments that needed to secure the information that was being channeled through the internet. This way, the information that passed around could be secure and no one would have been able to hack it for their use. Companies will staff working in the field could pass information in between them securely through the VPN. The VPN was definitely the solution to all the security needs for company data and files. The same case applies to governments and even individuals who require exchanging information online securely.
The fact that hackers are interested in any computers or devices that they can penetrate and steal data, there has been the need to grow the VPN industry. Tunneling protocols ensure that the origin of data is not revealed. There is also a developed system through which information is encrypted such that even if such info were to be lost or stolen, it would be useless to a person whom it was not intended for.
Geo restrictions and Censorship
Censorship, mainly by governments has made the growth of VPNs to spur and the need for improved VPN technologies. The history of censorship is varied and applied by various people and entities. There are countries that can block social media platforms, block partly the access of media catalogs as well as denial of internet access to computers and devices. Censorship can also mean the monitoring of people’s emails and even the tracking of user activities while online. With all these forms of censorship, the VPN world has changed and progressed to counter these challenges. This has also made the demand for VPNs to soar with time.
The Evolution of Online Privacy Technology
The VPNs do connect remote locations through a public network such as WiFi. However, this is done in such a way that these remote locations are secured and no information can be lost to the outside world. The VPNs provide security of the information passed through these remote points in 3 layers:
The tunneling protocol
The Authentication of the data
The Encryption of information
The tunneling protocol of the VPN creates the connection and data that is passed through is encrypted so that when it is sent to the end point, it can be authenticated and finally decrypted for the consumption of the end user.
Basically, there are three types of VPN technology. There is the IPsec, the SSL, and the mobile VPN technology.
This stands for Internet Protocol Security. This is the standard type of VPN that is used for the creation of connections between devices in a network as well as in the connection of two networks. The traffic that passes through this VPN is encrypted as well as authenticated. The fact that it works at the IP layer means that this kind of VPN is the best for all the general purpose needs of VPN. You can be assured of a general end to end security at all the levels of your connectivity.
SSL, Secure Socket Layer
This is a type of VPN that most of the internet users may have used but are unaware of it. It is used to connect single users to website portals such as e-commerce. This kind of VPN creates an encrypted connection so that transactions and data are never stolen. The fact that SSL VPN uses web browsers as its interface makes it easy for small businesses to deploy it with ease.
Mobile Private Networks
A mobile VPN or mVPN is able to persist during sessions even when there are changes to the physical connectivity, the IP address, and change in point of network attachment. It is known as mobile VPN due to the fact that the VPN can change its points of attachment to the network. The mVPNs are used in places where the workers will need to keep their sessions open all through the day even when they change wireless networks or eve when they encounter some form of gaps in their internet coverage.
What Is The Future Of VPNs?
Well, we can say that the VPN future is very bright! The earlier types of VPNs were often vulnerable and were not as safe. However, they were able to do what they were intended for; allow access to a remote home safely. However, nowadays, the level of vulnerability of data is so high that VPNs are here to stay. With the present day VPNs, internet users are assured of safety and they need not be vulnerable at all. The current crop of VPNs is also versatile and desirable and adaptable tools that all the people who want to safely surf the internet should have.
The internet users are many and varied. There are the good users and the bad users such hackers and thieves who are out there to steal information. For this reason, all internet users cannot afford to be vulnerable when there are thousands of VPNs available for all!