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How a VPN Works - Everything You Need to Know About VPN Services

Found out about VPN services recently but aren’t sure about how a VPN works nor about the benefits and negatives of using a VPN? In this guide, we are going over everything you need to know about VPN services before you decide to get started.




How a VPN Works - Explained Briefly

A VPN is essentially an underwater tunnel between two islands. Without the tunnel, you can swim to the island, but it’s not going to be secure, and you will be seen. Meanwhile, a tunnel protects you while also making you invisible.


VPN services allow you to change your location to be anywhere in the world, virtually, by changing your IP, hence why they are popular for unblocking entertainment services such as ESPN+ in Canada or the UK.  That IP change mixed with encryption is also the reason why they can keep you safe on the internet.


Except, while this is how a VPN works briefly, being safe on the internet and accessing blocked entertainment content isn’t at all as simple as this. Here’s everything you need to know about VPN services:



VPN Services Won’t Keep You Fully Safe

A lot of VPN services lie to you telling you that using a VPN will keep you fully safe on the internet. 


Yes, it’s true, you are better off with a VPN on rather than not because a VPN will overall keep you safe, just not fully safe, in all instances. A VPN will protect you from someone getting your data in the cafe you are in or at the airport. It will also protect other people from accessing what you are sending, however, if you are looking for nobody to be able to trace you on the internet, a VPN is not enough, and in some circumstances nothing is.


Why?


Well, let’s assume you send messages on Facebook. Those are encrypted because of a VPN. As it is, those messages will be safe. Except, what if there’s some sort of a Facebook data breach? Then that encryption is for nothing as Facebook is the receiver of the messages.


Of course, the possibility of such a specific leak is little, but leaks, where private information was exposed, happened before on platforms like iCloud.


That’s something to be aware of since we are talking about everything you need to know about VPN services. You will be protected in a lot of situations, just not in every single situation.


Furthermore, if you don’t want to be tracked on the internet, changing your IP and being encrypted isn’t enough as modern web browsers and sites have hundreds if not thousands of micro trackers that all can be linked to you, and if you don’t eliminate those, you can still be tracked. 


For most VPN services will be enough as VPN services will prevent our data from being easily stolen by hackers and what not which is the bigger risk to you, meanwhile your internet provider won’t be able to access those mini-trackers, but it’s worth knowing that before you get started with a VPN service.



Do Not Use a Free VPN If Looking for Safety

One of the things you need to know about VPN services is that YOU CANNOT USE FREE SERVICES!


We often say that when something is free, you pay with the currency of privacy. That’s the case with free VPN services, except the issue with this is that VPN services are meant to provide you with privacy.


Of course, having a VPN is another subscription which means more monthly costs. We get that. But a free VPN service is most likely going to sell your data to 3rd parties as it has to make money to run. VPN services aren’t a charity, after all.


PrivateVPN is never going to be free, but we do have a 7-day risk-free trial that doesn’t even require a card. Just provide an email and a password, and you are good to go. After that, you can get it for just $3.82 per month, which is most likely less than your cup of coffee.



Things to Look out for When Choosing a VPN for Safety

Just because you aren’t using a free VPN service doesn’t mean that you are automatically safe either though.


You know how a VPN works now, but the small details between VPN services make a huge difference when it comes to safety.


The biggest thing you need to know about VPN services when it comes to safety you can get when using them? Whether they store logs.


Logs are little pieces of data about your usage that can be used to expose you.


The issue is that a lot of companies tell you they don’t store them while in reality, they do.


PrivateVPN? It’s Swedish and because of that, even if wanted to store logs about you, we legally can’t. And that’s a lot safer than a company telling you that they don’t store logs. After all, why should you just trust us or anyone based on words?



After logs, what safety features the VPN client comes with matters too. IPv6 and DNS Leak Protection are crucial to have as while leaks shouldn’t happen, neither should plane crashes yet they sometimes do. 


The PrivateVPN client comes with both means of protection, but also with the likes of App Guard and Kill Switch which will either turn off your internet in the event of a VPN disconnection or otherwise will kill certain apps.



Not Every VPN Is Able to Unblock Entertainment Services

A common VPN service tactic is to advertise how many services a VPN service comes with.


After all, we are far more likely to buy a service that offers 3,000+ servers over less than 200 servers.


What these ads don’t tell you is that having access to 3,000 servers doesn’t automatically make any of them work with entertainment services.


PrivateVPN is a great example of that. We “only” have a few hundred servers, yet we are able to unblock the most Netflix regions on the market. Coincidence? 


Nope.


That’s what happens when you invest in quality over quantity. Whether you want to unblock American Netflix, BBC iPlayer, DAZN, Hulu, Hotstar, or many other services, PrivateVPN is able to unblock them. That’s the result of focusing on quality over quantity.



Don’t believe us? You are right. You shouldn’t. Try out for yourself with our 7-day trial. Best case you unlock the most entertainment possible on this planet, and worst case you decide that it’s not for you and go on with your life.



Not Every VPN Works Everywhere

Countries with censorship like China block VPN services from working.


And frankly, that’s pretty easy to do if you want to.


That’s because VPN services don’t blend in with normal traffic.


China can easily just block all the internet connections that don’t fit. The same applies to all the other countries that block VPN services.


That’s where a function called Stealth VPN comes in.



If you are planning to travel to countries with censorship and will want to use blocked services, it’s worth looking into having such a function.


PrivateVPN comes with it.


Just be aware that while this function allows you to blend in with normal traffic resulting in a VPN working in countries with censorship, it does slow down your internet connection. That’s a sacrifice you will have to take in exchange for the use of a VPN in countries where they don’t work though.



That’s How a VPN Works and Everything You Need to Know About VPN Services

Of course, there’s a lot more that you can learn about VPN services whether that’s on our blog or on the internet, but this covers the briefs of everything you need to know about VPN services.


Ready to try out a VPN for free? 


Make sure to read some of our great guides about how to unblock platforms like Hulu, DAZN, or ESPN+ as it’s not as easy as just getting a VPN.


Written by Michael Smolski.