VPN stands for a Virtual Private Network. As the name suggests, it hides the user’s IP address, blocks their location, and even removes their browser history, allowing them to share and receive sensitive data on the public network more privately.
VPN is useful while sharing something sensitive because when you share something on the Internet or you search about something on a web browser, you leave your digital footprints behind in the form of browsing history and cached data. Due to these digital footprints, anyone can track you and what you are searching. But you should also be aware that your IP address can still be collected even if you use private mode.
When you enable VPN and then download some files, it gives you privacy by hiding your identity and encrypting the traffic. However, hackers and cyber attackers can still see the IP address of the remote VPN so. Still, VPN prevents them from accessing your location, your browsing history, and all the personal information that you may have entered during the ongoing session.
The things that a VPN can protect are mentioned below −
VPN can hide your search history, including what you typed, which links you clicked, or what data you entered, along with masking your original IP address.
Since we know it masks your original IP address, and from IP address, one can quickly point your location, so VPN helps hide your location and makes you appear from some other part of the country and not your actual site.
There is certain information in some job sectors that needs to be protected; for example, in the health sector, you will have to encrypt the transmission of clients from third parties, so VPN allows doctors and patients to access that information confidentially safely.
When you are browsing for some travel bookings, those websites will record your IP address once you visit them, so if you see them again to find better deals, the cookies are most likely to show you the same locked price until you refresh that website again and hence enabling VPN can help you browse for those bookings anonymously.
Since VPN can mask your IP address, it can also protect your own PII that is personally identifiable information and saves you from getting hacked.
In our country, torrenting isn’t legal, but still, if you want to, you will require VPN as, without a VPN, your IP address could be tracked, and you may have to pay heavy fines to the government.
Now let’s understand how a VPN can hide your IP address.
We already saw how VPN protects our location by masking our IP address. It uses the "The Onion Router" also referred to as TOR, which works by sending your data encrypted through all the intermediate nodes on the internet.
Each completed pathway is valid only for 10 minutes. Then, it again generates new random paths. But in VPN, your data is encrypted throughout the entire transmission. So, instead of sending your information directly through your IP address, it sends through the VPN server’s IP address, and in this way, let’s say you are sending data from Delhi, it makes you look like you are in Jersey.
In this way, VPN helps you stay protected and hides your IP address.