What is a VPN?

What is a VPN? Read more as we explain the ins and outs of Virtual Private Networks

An active VPN on a tablet

by Jack Barrell |
Updated on

More so than ever in 2023, navigating the world wide web has become an essential component of everyday life. We use the internet to obtain information, communicate, and for business and personal motivations. Despite the endless possibilities and functionalities of daily web use, there too comes an equal number of hazards and roadblocks – and this is where the best VPN services come in.

What does it do?

As with most things techie, VPNs sound far more complex than they really are. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and it’s a service that encrypts a user’s data in order to protect it. Additionally, when a user activates a VPN, the system reroutes encrypted data via remote servers, essentially carving out a tunnel from one end of the server to the other. This airtight tunnel guards the user’s online activity from the prying eyes that are lurking in the wings of internet usage, allowing users to effectively fly under the radar.

Other benefits?

Total data protection is one of the greatest benefits of a VPN, and not only does it keep personal information safe through encrypted tunnels, but also hides a user’s location.

In addition to a VPN being able to conceal a user’s location, it can actually change your location entirely. With this feature, VPN users can get around geo-blocks. Geo-blocked content is media that are strictly available in specific countries. A VPN can bypass these blocks, enabling users access to content anywhere in the world.

This feature is mostly used when it comes to streaming. You can use a streaming service that may be unavailable in your home country, or access content from your home country when you go on holiday.


Owning a VPN is a no-brainer in 2023 - after all, you wouldn’t send a letter without the protection of an envelope. It’s the simplest yet most effective way to ensure your data is secure, and the services are accessible to anyone. There are dozens of VPN services available, all coming in with different pricing structures and features. However, at their core, they offer the same thing – VPNs that can be used by anyone to ensure online privacy and access to regional content.

Jack Barrell is our resident VPN expert. He's hands-on when it comes to producing best-of articles, how-to guides, and product reviews for Virtual Private Networks. In his spare time, Jack enjoys cars, festivals and fitness.

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