If you live outside of your country (how is my case), have you wanted to see Netflix in the USA or work remotely for your company, surely this acronym tells you something. VPN (Virtual Private Network) connections have different uses, so let’s see how to configure a VPN connection on our devices.
What is VPN?
The acronym VPN corresponds to Virtual Private Network. It is a network technology that allows you to configure a secure extension of the local network (LAN) over a public or uncontrolled network, such as the Internet. So two machines can communicate securely and privately by means of a user and a password.
That is, an encrypted tunnel is created through the internet with which we connect to a server. For this we need a server that offers a VPN service and another device from which we connect, be it a computer, a smartphone, a tablet, etc. So when we have a VPN connection all the traffic that we send over the internet will be encrypted until we reach the VPN server.
In this way, when we search for something online or when accessing a page through a VPN, the IP address of our device will not appear but we will use the IP address of the VPN server. It is something similar to a proxy but with more security since it is encrypted between us and the VPN server.
What is a VPN for?
One of the usual uses of VPN technology is to encapsulate a private IP of a corporate or corporate network within a public Internet IP, so that employees working from home can connect to the network of the office accessing their documents, services, resources, etc.
Another very common use is to use VPN to encrypt our traffic (passwords included) when we connect to an open Wi-Fi network. In this way, they will not be able to spy on us locally, since in an open Wi-Fi there are usually criminals looking for our information.
Advantages of VPN
Use a different IP than the one we found
One of the advantages offered by a VPN connection is to be able to use a different IP address than the one we connect to. For example to download an application that is only available in a specific country or to access the television of your country when you are abroad.
Connect to open networks with security
In open or free networks there is some risk that someone connected to the same WiFi network may be tracking traffic to capture our passwords. If we connect immediately with a VPN server, everything that goes through this open network will be encrypted until it reaches the VPN server.
Access a local network through the Internet with security
This is a more business application. With the VPN connection we can connect to a local network through the internet with security.
Disadvantages of VPN
Security, free or paid VPN?
For the VPN connection to be completely secure we must trust the VPN server. There are many free VPN services that track the traffic they receive from users. They do not do it to collect our passwords (which is illegal), but to have usage statistics and navigation profiles that they can sell to third parties such as advertising agencies or other companies dedicated to consumption.
In general, VPN payment services give us total privacy and ensure that they do not track the traffic of users, but it is very advisable to read carefully the conditions of use before hiring.
More data usage and lower browsing speed
When we connect to a VPN all the data is encrypted so the amount of data we transmit increases. In a slow network this translates into lower browsing speed and if we are connected to our data rate, we will spend our monthly package faster.
How to configure a VPN network?
From the settings
Before we can enter the credentials of a VPN server we need to enter a password or pin to block the device if we had not already configured it.
Now we just have to access the Settings menu and in the connections section in More . In this section you will find an option called VPN on which you will have to press. At the top right we will have a sum symbol to add a connection.
To enter a new VPN connection we must fill in several fields. We will give you a name to know later where we are connecting (for example: office, home, company, Rapsberry Pi, etc.). We will introduce the type, PPTP (faster but more insecure) or L2TP / IPsec (higher encryption, more secure but a little slower). And finally the server address. Normally these last two data type and address must be provided by the administrator of the network with which we are going to connect.
Then we can connect to the VPN network using a user and a password that must also be provided by the administrator of the network to which we are going to connect. Once connected, our smartphone will indicate it by means of a notification and a symbol in the notification bar. To disconnect, we only have to click on this notification.
From now on, through this process, you can navigate through insecure networks by diverting all traffic from your smartphone or tablet to a trusted network through the VPN.
Through an application
There are many applications of VPN services (some even free although they track our traffic) with which the process is greatly simplified. We just have to install your application to configure the connection automatically and from it we can activate secure browsing.