What is a VPN? Is a Virtual Private Network Tunnel Necessary?

and how does a VPN protect you from…

page last updated: Dec 16th, 2022 16:48

Avoid censorship, hackers, and spies when using the Internet. Privacy, anonymity, access, and safety are just a few benefits of using a VPN while active online.

Why Do You Need a VPN?

The World Wide Web delivers on-demand services and information resources limited only by your imagination. Being online provides a wealth of entertainment while also helping you connect to others.

Access the Internet from any remote location, any time, and on any device with a connection. Desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets all connect to the best of this world.

The virtual world may be our new modern reality, but is Internet security a safe bet?

Security on the web is by no means perfect. Your identity, location, and data are vulnerable online unless you're using a VPN to protect your privacy.

Advertisers, government agencies, corporate services, and even your Internet service provider are eager to take full advantage of access to your data. Those are the hackers with legal access to your information when you fail to protect it. Many hackers also exist without legal oversight.

VPN Provides Security

Make your personal experience on the Internet safer with the help of a VPN (virtual private network). A secure and private solution costs far less than the alternative. Many people learn this the hard way every day.

Being safe and smart with network services proves essential every day. VPN usage has expanded beyond corporate network communications. Taking advantage of VPNs, whether at home or traveling abroad, has become all but non-optional. Vpns are the best way to protect yourself while browsing on your mobile or desktop devices.

Moreover, we all want to access the Internet without having prying eyes identify, monitor, and track us. Keeping private data safe isn't possible without a secure, encrypted VPN.

How does a VPN Help You?

Here's a VPN definition in the best non-technical terms for the layman. For accessibility, I've broken it down into simple bullet points.

  • A VPN is an app connected to a service designed to keep your internet connection private and secure.
  • The best VPNs help keep you anonymous while browsing or streaming online.
  • The Anonymity provided by a VPN allows you access to geo-blocked and censored websites.
  • Best VPNs provide a temporary IP address, hiding your actual location from every site you visit.
  • The VPN tunnel encrypts private email client data so prying eyes can't read your messages.

VPNs provide a virtual private network connection to any website, service, or device online. Any secure VPN uses a network of private VPN servers located all over the globe.

What is an Internet Protocol Address?

Your IP (Internet Protocol) address is an identification number, much like your home street address or phone number.

Internet Service Providers assign these numbers to network connections through your modem or router. Within the local area network, all Android or iOS smartphones, tablets, and computers receive individual tracking protocol numbers.

Without an Internet protocol number, you can't connect. Your IP address makes it possible for anyone to track your identity, location, and activities. When on the road or accessing the Internet through a hot spot Wi-Fi network, you receive a different tracking number.

Remote public Wi-Fi networks are especially susceptible to theft and hacking if you aren't protecting your privacy with a VPN tunnel. We'll have more on that in a moment.

VPN Hides Your IP Address and Data

A VPN app encrypts all data sent through your connection and decrypts that coming back in. The remote VPN server decrypts what you post and encrypts the data upon return.

The name of this secure virtual space between your local VPN app and the remote network VPN server is VPN tunnel. WHat appears to be digital noise within the tunnel is essential to your online security and remaining anonymous.

All online snoops and spies can see is a stream of random ones and zeros. These include the Wi-Fi system administrator at your local coffee shop along with your ISP and government agencies.

Why are VPNs necessary?

  • Anyone running public WiFi hotspots can see and record all your online activities. They can then hack into your accounts with little trouble.
  • Government agencies track and spy on people by accessing information made available to them by ISPs.
  • Marketing agencies and other businesses monitor all activity coming from your Internet protocol addresses to track you online.

All the above hackers learn your unique interests and traffic patterns of behavior by tracking your activities across the network. Any website you visit or service you use also has this ability.

Many networks restrict access to specific sites based on the origin of your connection. That's right; your IP address triggers censorship and the blocking of server content from you.

Avoid Wi-Fi and Network Hackers

Another growing threat to privacy is that of network hackers. They break into your device through its internet protocol address, gaining access to your private passcodes, banking information, and other data.

Many system administrators for public Wi-Fi hotspots start by innocently collecting customer data and using it for server security. They then turn to the dark side upon realizing the goldmine of free activity data they have access to.

Hot Safety Tip: Always ask the manager at a public Wi-Fi hotspot for the network name (SSID) and have your VPN app running before you connect.

Many hackers set up fake hotspots within range of free Wi-Fi networks. These free access points are then given names that appear to be an official one.

Test Question: If you see networks named "Starbucks Public Access" and "Starbucks Free Wi-Fi," which should you choose?

The correct answer to the above question is neither. Get your VPN connected and ask the manager which one is theirs before using either.

A Virtual Private Network Provides Equal Opportunity

When you go online using a secure VPN network app, you counterbalance the negative aspects of a virtual connection. Using a VPN protocol instantly provides the following layers of security.

Relax with more security and privacy.

Visit any website without your ISP tracking your activity. Trackers won't see your device or location.

Make noise with encryption.

The best VPN encrypts (encodes) all your Internet activity, making it unreadable while in transit. Your data appears as nothing but random noise to eavesdroppers.

Gain access to more free content.

Connect freely to websites and services that are no longer blocked or censored. A VPN can assign you an IP address outside of your geo-restricted area.

Become invisible online.

The best VPNs replace your real IP address with a different Internet protocol number. This can be located right next door or in another part of the world entirely. Your actual location will be impossible to track unless you permit it.

With anonymity, you'll be able to go about your business on the web without anyone monitoring or recording everything you do.

Your Internet experience remains the same, except you'll be in command of your own access and privacy. You can connect, watch, read, view, and buy whatever you want, whenever you want, from wherever you want. All this is possible without anyone tracking you or logging your activities and other data.

How to Pick a VPN Provider

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Would you like help with choosing the best VPN for your needs? I've done extensive research that can help simplify your selection process.

Please note you do not need to switch your home or office Internet provider. Nor do you need to buy even one new device, like a router or modem. There is also no need to hire some tech geeks to hook you up.

You can set up your own VPN in a matter of minutes online.

  • Sign up online for a securely encrypted VPN service.
  • Download the best VPN service's app for your Internet device.
  • Log into the app with your VPN subscription account info.
  • The VPN service will assign you a new IP address.
  • You can optionally choose your server location.

The open Internet is neither safe nor private.

I've reviewed nearly 200 VPN services over the past few years. My research showed that Surfshark VPN has the best mix of affordability, speed, and privacy. That's why it is the only service I offer on this site.

The combination of military-grade 256-bit AES GCM encryption backed by their 30-day money-back guarantee allows you to try Surfshark VPN services without risk.

Even if you decide not to continue protecting your Internet connection, you still got to try the best top-tier VPN free for 30 days.


It doesn't matter how hard web tech experts, service providers, and others try to safeguard against cybercrime. We aren't guaranteed true privacy or security on any web or streaming server used.

Without doubt, securing your connection with an encrypted VPN is a smart idea no matter how you're using the Internet. Whether shopping, surfing, streaming or socializing, on a mobile or desktop, a good VPN keeps you secure.

I genuinely hope this non-technical VPN 101 lesson for the layman was helpful. For a more in-depth explanation of how VPNs work, feel free to read the VPN article at My True Media.

Now, enjoy all the Internet has to offer safely, securely, and anonymously with the protection of your VPN.

Thanks for reading!

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