A virtual private network (VPN) is a hardware and software interface between a computer and a connection to the Internet. The VPN server provides the access route to the Internet and the VPN software provides the security for that connection.
Typically, a VPN service will supply the servers for its customers. The server encrypts the information and data passed to and from the VPN server and makes it secure and virtually untraceable. Some companies will have their own VPN servers as part of their company wide network for those that work in a remote location permanently or occasionally.
The VPN server is essentially a firewall. The server carries the data in what is termed as a “tunnel” and provides the secure connection with the Internet. The servers utilize a series of IP addresses and assign an IP address at random to each Internet connection. This masks the identity of the computer in question and prevents the computer and its data transmissions from being monitored and tracked.
The VPN server also carries the data packs that utilize a certain protocol to transmit the information in an encapsulated format to keep it private and secure. “Tunneling” technology extends the privacy of any network by using a VPN offered by a third party or a private VPN server as part of a corporate or even an individual, personal network.
VPN servers have become very sophisticated over the years. The servers not only support desktops and laptops, but they support any device with connectivity capabilities. This allows iPhones, iPads and Androids to connect to the Internet if a safe and protected manner and keep all data protected, as well.
The VPN server does not inhibit connection to the Internet, but actually enhances the connection experience with additional security and a level of anonymity experienced through a non VPN server.