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VPN (Virtual Private Network) – How it Works, Best VPNs, Are VPNs Legal

VPN or Virtual Private Network helps in providing a secure connection over the Internet. This post will discuss about Virtual Private Network, How it Works, Best VPNs of 2021, Why we need it, Are VPNs free and legal, Advantages & Disadvantages.

What is VPN (Virtual Private Network)

Virtual Private Network is a private network that helps in online privacy of the user over public network i.e., Internet. VPNs encrypt your connection by masking the IP (Internet Protocol) addresses which ensures data security.

What is VPN

Fig. 1 – Introduction to VPN

The online activities of the user over VPN are virtually not traceable. Any intruder will not be able to know your location, device you are using, IP address, browsing history etc. For example – If you are in America, VPN can make your traffic appear to come from Africa.

VPN helps in routing traffic on another network which helps in securely accessing applications, websites, and entertainment. Virtual Private Network blocks malicious websites and ads. It also lets you connect to multiple devices with single account.

Features of VPN

Fig. 2 – Features of Virtual Private Network

Best Virtual Private Networks for 2021

The Best Virtual Private Networks for the year 2021 include:

  • ExpressVPN
  • CyberGhost
  • Surfshark
  • IpVanish
  • Private VPN
  • NordVPN


This service is provided by British Virgin Islands-registered company. It has user friendly interface and is free to download. It is compatible with almost all Windows versions, including Windows Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8 / Windows 10.

Link: ExpressVPN


The servers of CyberGhost ranges from 6500-7000 servers. With CyberGhost you will have access to Netflix and Torrent and other geo-restricted content.

Link: CyberGhost


This is easy to use VPN which provides Whitelister feature where the user can select applications or websites which will not be routed through the VPN connection. This feature is very helpful for banking applications and websites.

Link: Surfshark


It provides multi-platform protection like Windows, Linux, Android, Mac, Chromebooks, Ubuntu computers etc. Like any other Virtual Private Network, IpVanish also provides anonymous Torrenting and access to geo-restricted content.

Link: IpVanish


PrivateVPN also provides multi-platform protection at high speed. They are providing their service to 63 countries currently. They claim that they follow military-grade 2048-bit encryption and it shields you from governments and hackers.

Link: Private VPN


One account lets you connect to a maximum of 6 devices. It provides you with features like multi-factor authentication. They have 5282 servers across 59 countries.

Link: NordVPN


Fig. 3 – Best Virtual Private Networks

How does VPN Work

As previously discussed, VPN is a private network provided on public network. The public network may be Internet, ATM Network, Frame Relay, Public Voice Networks (PSTNs). Virtual Private Networks allow remote users to connect securely using Tunneling technology. VPN provider will have many servers worldwide. Servers are computers which are running the VPN company’s software.

The user subscribes to his/ her preferred VPN provider and downloads/ installs application with the security settings and thus the secure connection is established with the desired server. VPN software on the user’s computer encrypts the data and sends it through ISP to the VPN server through a secure connection.

How VPN Work

Fig. 4 – Working Principle of VPN

VPN server decrypts the data which is received and sends it to the desired destination on the Internet. The Virtual Private Network Server receives data from the Internet which is again encrypted and sent to the User. The software on the User’s device decrypts the data and the required information is received on his/her computer. This entire cycle of encryption/ decryption makes it secure.

Are VPNs Free and Legal

Most of the VPNs come with a price. There are few who claim to be free, but are provided with hidden costs such as your data or frequent advertisements or even your privacy. So it is safe to concider the fact that VPNs at present are not free. You can get free trials though.

Now coming to its Legality, many countries consider the use of Virtual Private Networks legal. However, there are 10 countries which have banned the use of Virtual Private Networks. They are:

  1. China
  2. Russia
  3. Belarus
  4. North Korea
  5. Turkmenistan
  6. Uganda
  7. Iraq
  8. Turkey
  9. UAE
  10. Oman

VPN IllegalFig. 5 – Virtual Private Network Considered Illegal

Advantags of Virtual Private Network

The advantages are:

  • Browsing history is kept private without which you would receive recommendations based on your search history.
  • It masks your IP address and location.
  • It offers high speed and unlimited data usage.
  • Virtual Private Networks provide Data Security.
  • They also protect user from identity theft.

Disadvantages of VPN

The disadvantages include:

  • Usage of Virtual Private Network is considered illegal in some countries.
  • Some VPNs reduce the speed.
  • It is expensive.

Our Youtube Channel’s Video on VPN

Author’s Suggestion

Since not all Virtual Private Networks are created equal, choose VPN wisely according to your needs.

Also Read:
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Laxmi Ashrit
Laxmi Ashrit
Laxmi is a B.E (Electronics & Communication) and has work experience in RelQ Software as Test Engineer and HP as Technical support executive. She is an author, editor and partner at Electricalfundablog.


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