What is a VPN?

Get answers to the most common questions about basic VPN use including information about streaming, torrenting, and mobile devices


What is a VPN?

VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network,” a way to create an encrypted internet connection that keeps your internet use entirely private. When you use a VPN, you remain completely anonymous to the websites that you. There is no way to track your browsing history back to you.

Is it safe to use a VPN?

Yes. VPN providers provide a service to countless peoplelooking to browse the internet securely and anonymously. As long as you go with a reputable VPN provider, you do not have to worry about viruses, malware, or your financial information being stolen.

Are VPN’s difficult to use?

No. Most VPN’s will only require a simple one-time download. After that, you can configure the VPN the way you want and simply turn it on whenever you want to browse the internet securely and anonymously.

Does a VPN remove my ISP connection?

No. Your ISP allows you to connect to the VPN, which then encrypts your internet connection so you can browse anonymously. The two are not interchangeable; they complement one another. Without an ISP, you cannot connect to a VPN.

Will using a VPN slow my internet connection?

No, not in any way that you will notice. You can still connect fast enough to use sites that offer streaming video and music without any problems. In fact, sometimes using a VPN will actually increase your connection by bypassing internet service providers that impede certain kinds of traffic.

Can I use a VPN for mobile devices?

Absolutely. A VPN can be used on your mobile device to get around work firewalls or surf anonymously the same way you would on your desktop computer. Nearly all VPN service providers offer an iOS/Android/Windows application for download.

Can I use a VPN for streaming video?

Yes. A VPN will allow you to remove content blocks and geographic restrictions that keep you from watching your favorite shows on Netflix, Hulu, and more. You will be able to watch restricted content without any problem.

Should I use a VPN while torrenting?

Without a doubt. Because your IP address is visible while torrenting, copyright holders often look at who is downloading content in an effort to uncover their identity. By using a VPN, you ensure that your P2P downloading history can never be traced back to you.

What is the difference between a proxy and a VPN?

A VPN is much more secure than a proxy. VPNs completely encrypt all aspects of your connection with the internet, while proxies will act as a go-between for a request to connect to a website.

What countries can I seem to connect from using a VPN?

This will depend on where the VPN provider that you choose has servers. Generally, you can be sure that any reputable VPN provider will have servers in the United States. Any VPN service provider you are considering should have a list provided on their website.

Will a VPN keep my ISP from seeing my browsing history?

Yes. A VPN is an entirely encrypted connection. Your ISP will see that there was an encrypted connection between your computer and another server, but will not be able to know what information was passed along that connection.

Will a VPN provider be able to see my browsing history?

No. Although VPN providers will often keep track of the volume of data that is passed along your connection with their services for pricing purposes, they will not be able to see what the information being passed along the connection is.

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