- When you connect to a virtual private network service, it authenticates your client with a VPN server.
- The server then applies an encryption protocol to all the data you send and receive.
- The VPN service creates an encrypted “tunnel” over the internet. This secures the data traveling between you and your destination.
- To ensure each data packet stays secure, a VPN wraps it in an outer packet, which is then encrypted through encapsulation. This is the core element of the VPN tunnel, keeping the data safe during transfer.
- When the data arrives at the server, the outer packet is removed through a decryption process.
What is a VPN?
VPN stands for “virtual private network” — a service that protects your internet connection and privacy online. VPNs create an encrypted tunnel for your data, protect your online identity by hiding your IP address, and allow you to use public Wi-Fi hotspots safely.
Why do I need a VPN?
No one likes to be watched or tracked – even if they have nothing to hide. That’s why it’s important you step up your privacy game. Here’s when you need a VPN:
For secure online entertainment
Like gaming online? You can forget about DDoS attacks and bandwidth throttling with NordVPN. It’s a VPN gamers love: you’ll get the fastest connection speeds, and easily set up secure virtual LAN parties with your friends with our Meshnet feature.
Want a more relaxed evening of sitting back and enjoying a show? Watch your favorite TV series and movies without slowdowns — NordVPN can save your movie night by preventing your ISP from throttling your connection.
For private internet browsing
Government agencies, marketers, and internet service providers would all love to track and collect your browsing history, messages, and other private data. Best way to hide it? Using a VPN to keep your data to yourself.
NordVPN will guard your back every step of the way. Our Threat Protection feature will make sure you don’t accidentally download malware or land on a malicious website while blocking intrusive ads and third-party trackers.
For safe traveling
Use NordVPN to secure your connection on public Wi-Fi, so you can browse in full privacy even when you’re far away from home. Hackers have many methods to steal your data on public hotspots, but with a VPN your online traffic is invisible to them.
If you want to access your home content while traveling around the world, a VPN can also help. Install NordVPN on your device, and never miss a friend’s post on social media.
How does a VPN work?
VPN works by creating a secure encrypted connection between your device and the remote server so that your data can travel in secrecy.
How to set up a VPN
Set up your NordVPN account and have an encrypted VPN connection wherever you go in three easy steps:
Download the NordVPN app to your device.
Open the app and tap “Sign up” to create a new account or “Log in” if you already have one.
To connect to the fastest server immediately, tap the “Quick Connect” button.
VPN encryption protocols
When people use a VPN, privacy and speed are their main concerns. That’s why we offer several different types of VPN protocols — you can choose one that’s best for your particular needs.
Frequently asked questions
Can you be tracked if you use a VPN?
A VPN is not an all-in-one solution for anonymity but rather an extra layer of security that protects your internet traffic.
Is using a VPN legal?
Are there any alternatives to VPNs?
So if you want a service that protects your privacy, gives you a new IP address, and encrypts your data at the same time, opt for a reliable VPN provider.
Is a virtual private network safe to use?
Which VPN providers you can’t trust? The one that says it’s free. It will track your online activity, what websites you visit, the content you interact with, and sell it to the highest bidder. Why? Because they must maintain hundreds of servers in different countries and hire people to take care of the infrastructure. A service that big has to make money somehow, so you end up paying for it with your data. Besides, it’s doubtful a free VPN will properly encrypt your connection and it might even contain malware or spy on your entire local network.
However, if you do your research and choose the best VPN provider out there, you’ll find that using a VPN makes your digital life much more comfortable.