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VPN explained | Glossary | Internet knowledge

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VPN stands for virtual private network and is an encrypted network connection that allows the user to surf anonymously by hiding the IP address. For a private person, it can be a good idea to use a VPN service for both security and privacy reasons.

Also called: Virtual Private Network , Virtual Private Network (English)

What is VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and is a service that creates an encrypted network tunnel for your internet traffic. This means that the VPN tunnel hides your IP address, and everything you do online for outsiders by encrypting your activity.

When you use a VPN service, the traffic goes through a server located elsewhere in the world. This protects your computer from both tracking and intrusion attempts. Also, your real IP address (which is a unique address for your connected device) is not displayed.

VPN is good to use to surf securely when connecting to open wifi networks. These can otherwise involve major security risks because the person who has set up the network has full insight into everything that happens on it. Here you can read more about the security risks with open wifi networks.

Use VPN to get around geoblocking

It is common for movies and series on various streaming services such as Netflix and SVT Play to be watched only in the country where the person using the service resides. To geographically restrict content to a specific country’s users is called geoblocking. It is a consequence of how rights agreements limit the right of display for different works.

Many Swedish play channels and Swedish streaming services, for example, are limited for viewers who connect from abroad, especially if you are outside the EU’s borders.

By using a VPN tunnel, it is possible to get around geoblocking for various streaming services such as SVT Play, Netflix, HBO Nordic and Via Play. When you start the VPN app on your computer or mobile, all traffic from it is tunneled via the VPN service’s Swedish servers. For the streaming service, it then looks as if it is the VPN servers that want to stream movies.

It is important to choose a good VPN service

A VPN tunnel can be physically set up with a VPN router or through an Internet service. One recommendation is to avoid downloading “free” VPNs from the web. They tend to work poorly or, in the worst case, misuse your data. The best VPN services are not free.

To find secure VPN services, a tip is to check current guides with reputable media. for example, the newspaper PC for Everyone’s test of VPN services (from 2021).

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