VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network” and originally describes a technology that allows you to securely access resources on your private network from anywhere in the world.
VPN encrypts your Internet connection starting from your network card to a VPN server. This encryption takes place in real time and reliably prevents recording or eavesdropping of the transmitted information. The type of your internet connection (modem, ISDN, GPRS, UMTS, LTE, cable, leased lines, WLan), the choice of your end device or even the location where you are, does not matter – your internet connection is completely encrypted by using VPN. There are many good providers like Ivacy on the market, but make sure to read the vpncomparison review first.
VPN applications for all devices
Most VPN work smoothly on all your devices – whether computer, laptop, smartphone, router or tablet. Conveniently install our user-friendly hidemachine on the device of your choice. You can be connected to up to seven devices at the same time.
How does VPN work ?
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a self-contained subnetwork within a larger IP network in which the participants are physically separated from each other (sometimes thousands of kilometers). Don`t confuse VPN with smart dns provider! They have similar goals but work differently.
The participants connect via a VPN protocol to a login server (login servers are available worldwide) and receive their own, new (internal) IP after the encrypted tunnel has been established. Since the entire connection to the Internet is now encrypted, computers outside this network can no longer read or modify the communication. This ensures that the client computer can communicate with selected other computers in a tap-proof manner.
This is achieved via a virtual network card in the client’s computer. This network card appears in the operating system as a normal Ethernet adapter and is used by the system as well as the programs in the same way, the only difference being that the data transferred via this network card is automatically highly encrypted. In addition, settings of the VPN LoginServer prevent customers from interfering with each other, each customer gets its own tunnel and its own encryption. All data sent or received by the server is then sent to the Internet via a single IP (the IP of the respective VPN LoginServer) – this server IP is valid for all customers and again ensures anonymity. If the computer is not connected to a VPN or to a VPN provider that distributes fixed Ips, everyone is identifiable by their IP, which is unique worldwide at that moment.
Encryption via the internal, virtual VPN network card ensures that the Internet connection is not transparent to providers, data collectors and other computers in the local network and cannot be assigned to the Internet user.
Surfing with VPN encryption
A “normal” Internet connection such as UMTS/ GPRS/ ISDN/ DSL etc. does not include encryption by default: all data you generate (e-mail,surfing, chatting etc.) is split into small packets and sent unencrypted through the TCP/IP protocol to the recipient.
Participants in local networks, e.g. public hotspots, can eavesdrop and record this data with simple means. However, it is also possible to simply park near your apartment and tap into their wifi using a laptop.
The following is an example to illustrate this: You are at home and surfing over your (only) WEP-encrypted wifi. Your neighbor has “Wireshark” running in parallel, a free program for analyzing network communication connections, and is recording everything. Since WEP and WPA are no longer secure, it is easy for your neighbor to generate your WLAN password from the data obtained. In the next step, he surfs over your line and monitors your laptop in real time, obtaining a lot of your private data – your bank/account details, your email credentials, what you shop when and where, who you chat with, and so on.
In many countries the internet is censored by the respective government, so that many offers (e.g. Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia) are not available. In these cases, the Internet cannot be fully used without a VPN connection; only activating the VPN gives you access to all content worldwide again.
Reasons for encryption
Not only since Edward Snowden’s revelations about the worldwide and suspicionless wiretapping practice of American and British secret services (NSA , GCHQ and others), the security of digital communication has become a basic need of society. Digital communication has become an indispensable part of modern life and now covers all areas of daily life.
Sensitive, private information does not belong on a postcard, comparable to the letter that protects the message, strong encryption protects against curious data collectors anywhere in the world. Another reason for the widespread use of VPNs is the ever-increasing censorship – not only in autocratic states. Blocked websites, information that cannot be accessed for political or religious reasons, here too the VPN (Virtual Private Network) helps – because no one can monitor which websites are accessed, no blocking takes effect. This is one of the reasons why VPNs are so popular in MiddleEast and China. But there are also some basic rules to consider when choosing a VPN – like choosing the right provider. There are many VPN providers, and they advertise everything. Cheap, fast and secure – but very few stand up to objective evaluation.
Location of the VPN provider
How much sense does it make to book with an American, English or Eastern European provider? The prices may be tempting, but your data is not safe with such providers. All companies located in the USA have to hand over customer data as well as SSL keys to every user upon request of the authorities – even if the data is stored in Europe. For this reason, the first providers have already discontinued their services in the USA. A serious protection of communication cannot be guaranteed. (see Lavabit and Cryptoseal) Nowhere is data protection more strongly anchored in consciousness and in the law than in Germany – providers that advertise Romania as a location are not there because of security and the rule of law, but solely for tax reasons. In Germany logging is not allowed and there is no data retention, in early 2014 all ambitions of rash “security” politicians were classified and stopped by the ECJ in Luxembourg as incompatible with European law.
Protocols and IPs
Almost all major providers advertise PPTP VPN – easy and quick to set up – and just as quick to decrypt. This protocol has been considered potentially dangerous and insecure for years, even by its inventor Microsoft. Another sore point are static IP’s – providers advertise to provide customers with their own, fixed IP’s. Why? The customer is easily identifiable, it is clear who used which IP, when, for what and for how long. From the point of view of anonymity, it makes more sense to hide hundreds of VPN tunnels behind a server IP – the tunnels protect the user connections and the server IP reliably disguises the traffic of each individual.
Data protection is a fundamental right according to the case law of the Federal Constitutional Court. Telecommunication providers in Germany are obliged to protect customer data from access by third parties and are only obliged to hand over data upon a court order (in the case of serious crimes). The situation is different in many other countries.
Logging / Data retention
We do not log any data regarding what is surfed. We do not store any data about what was done when and how. We only know when someone was online – and that only to keep our billing system running. VPNs stand for maximum privacy and anonymity in a time of increasing surveillance.