What is VPN? What are the Types and Benefits? How to use?

VPN is defined as virtual private networks. It is used as an abbreviation for Virtual Private Network. In general, it aims to provide secure communication by encrypting the communication between the branches of the companies.

Virtual Private Network

VPN uses many different protocols and technologies together. A secure tunnel is established by encrypting the communication between one computer and the other computer on the opposite side.

Since the data passing through this tunnel is encrypted, your security is ensured as people who intervene or try to enter can only see the encrypted data. The better this level of encryption, the more secure your privacy will be. At the same time, if you put all your data flow (including your DNS requests) into this tunnel, you will have full protection.

The term Virtual Private Network can be translated into Turkish as " Virtual Private Network ". In its most basic sense, it is a service that allows you to hide your real IP address and connect to the internet through a different IP address. VPN secures your connection and also ensures that you cannot be identified by encrypting your connection when connecting to any network. You can access the banned, restricted sites or IPs in your country through VPN tunnels, since the communication is encrypted and it cannot be determined where you are going while surfing. The VPN tunnel can also be used as a security system that does not allow third parties to see what you are doing, as it encrypts all the data you send and receive.

What Are the Types of VPNs?

When we separate VPNs according to their structures, we can divide them into hardware -based solutions and software -based solutions. VPN solutions are installed on your computer or mobile device as a specialized network driver. In general, various VPN protocols are also embedded on operating systems. All you have to do is enter your VPN provider's settings and connect to the VPN.

VPN support is also provided on firewall devices. At this point, a virtual network adapter is created and all your traffic is transferred over the VPN. You can access the internet and browse through the VPN server you are connected to. By its nature, when you connect with a VPN, your current IP address is hidden and you access the Internet through the IP address of the VPN server.

Basically, the VPN connection is designed so that you can log out to the internet from the computer that functions as a VPN server, while ensuring confidentiality with encryption of your data up to the opposite computer.

VPN Usage Purposes

VPN was originally used to secure communication between institutions. It has become a popular application preferred by end users as results such as tracking on the Internet, privacy violations and similar results emerge. In the early days of the Internet, VPN aimed to secure the communication between institutions in different locations.

Let's explain with an example:

Imagine that you have created a chain of stores with several branches, these branches need to communicate with the central branch and you want to contact your branches over the internet for sensitive data such as accounting records. Unfortunately, you are not safe while receiving and sending this data. You can encounter cyber attackers at every point, from the modem you connect to the internet to the service provider and even to other companies that provide the communication in between. If you connect your branches to your company's headquarters via VPN applications and transmit the incoming and outgoing data in an encrypted manner. You provide both security and privacy. Intervening companies or an attacker who can intervene will only see encrypted data that is unreadable.

Security and privacy on the Internet: VPNs ensure the security and privacy of data flow on the Internet. You can safely transmit your sensitive data to the other party without interrupting your communication.

Internal communication: Institutions communicate with other institutions or with other branches and headquarters of companies using VPN protocol. In this way, the security of corporate data is ensured.

VPN Usage for End Users?

The Internet's becoming increasingly dangerous, cyber attacks that eliminate the concept of privacy, viruses, trojans, bans and many similar problems have started to direct end users towards VPNs. Particularly, many users, united under the concept of freedom on the Internet, tend towards VPNs in communities. We have begun to see that even many high school students who have just stepped onto the Internet are knowledgeable about VPNs. The reasons that push end users to use VPN can be listed as follows.

1. Prohibitions and restrictions: In many countries of the world, including our country, and even in many regions, including Europe, we may be faced with the restrictions and prohibitions of the governments. Such restrictions can lead many users to VPNs in the name of circumventing bans or bypassing internet censorship. Since VPN technology encrypts all your traffic along with your DNS requests, it can prevent the tracking of governments or intelligence services. Regardless of who is interfering or who wants to watch you, by getting a VPN service, you can connect to the internet through a server in any country in the world and access banned sites such as Wikipedia.

2. Private networks such as Torrent or Tor: We see that Torrent and similar networks are banned in many countries. People who want to download illegal content such as music or movies via torrent can choose to use a VPN to bypass these bans.

3 . Fear of secrecy and tracking paranoia: It is revealed that many countries, especially the USA, have established special monitoring structures for intelligence services in Wikileaks and many similar scandals. At this point, we can see that end users have started to use VPNs due to privacy and privacy concerns on the internet.

How Secure Are VPN Solutions?

It would not be correct to say that every VPN application is secure. We can say that there are many security differences or privacy questions between VPN types and types. Although the purpose of the emergence of VPN was to provide security and privacy, unfortunately, the question of security and privacy began to come to the fore for many VPN solutions in today's technology age. The main reason for these questions arises from the companies that provide VPN services. There are many companies that stand out in VPN service. Companies that provide services for end users or institutions provide VPN services to end users for a fee or free of charge. 

They can be activated immediately by simply installing them with a small software that you download to your computer or mobile devices. However, almost all of the companies that provide VPN services promise privacy and security to their customers, claiming that they do not keep any traffic information.

However, when you read the end user confidentiality agreements, it is clearly stated that they share information in cases that constitute a crime according to the laws and laws of the states they are affiliated with, if deemed necessary. At this point, unfortunately, it would not be correct to say that these companies do not keep records. It would be more accurate to say that companies that provide free VPN services in particular record all your traffic from the moment you start using this service. Naturally, the concepts of security and privacy have disappeared. We can give an example of the role of the VPN company in the story of the capture of hacker groups that made cyber attacks on large companies . Hackers can be deciphered by the VPN companies they use during the cyber attack.

Another security risk is VPN encryption mechanisms. If you are using a VPN service that uses strong encryption, you can be safe. However, if you are using free services that use weak encryption, we recommend that you think twice about getting security and privacy.

Although VPN applications provide security and privacy, unfortunately, in today's internet world, we can face many risks when using VPNs. Free VPN services are at the forefront of these dangers.

From the moment you connect to a VPN server, you allow that server to manage your internet connection for you. Because the communication is encrypted up to the server and there is no security measure after the server. Naturally, people accessing the server can manage your internet connection as they wish or direct you. You should not forget that many VPN providers published under the free name record your internet traffic and use this information for commercial or intelligence purposes. At the same time, do not forget that the VPN server you are connected to is operated in accordance with the laws of that country, depending on the laws of that country. On the other hand, you should not forget that they can direct you by interfering with your internet traffic.You should not forget that many VPN service providers, which provide paid services, keep your traffic and DNS records under record, even if they provide security and privacy.

On the other hand, you may also see that VPN providers with free or limited service restrict your bandwidth. When you use a free VPN while having an internet speed of 50 Mbit, your internet speed may drop to 3-5 Mbit . They offer limited bandwidth and at some points may also display their own advertisements on your browser. Of course, in addition to these limitations, your Ping time will increase and you may receive your DNS responses late. Because you are connecting to a very remote computer on a different continent. Naturally, VPN usage is noticeably slower when surfing or gaming.

There are different types of VPN services that basically provide an encrypted tunnel. Although simple to use, some VPN services provide internet access over different protocols. This inter-protocol communication can sometimes cause errors and sometimes cause your VPN connection to be cut off suddenly upon high demand. Unless your security and privacy are suddenly disabled and you don't realize your VPN connection is disconnected, you are at risk.

You should also remember that VPN services only encrypt your internet traffic. There are many dangers on the Internet. Viruses, trojans, dangerous web pages or similar threats can also infect your computer with a file you download with VPN services or through a web page you enter.

We should also not forget about geographical barriers. Some web pages do not serve different countries or may restrict their services. In other words, from the moment you connect to the VPN, you may encounter restrictions applied to that country and you may experience problems.

How to Install VPN Apps?

Almost all of the VPN services available on the market are designed to be activated immediately by simply installing them on your system with a small setup file. You can make your internet secure in a few seconds by installing the installation file that you will download from the company you receive VPN service on your computer. At this point, the part we want to draw your attention to is the correct configuration of the VPN service.

Some VPN services will not pass all your traffic over the VPN protocol by default. For this reason, your DNS records (the IP address or domain name of the website, server or service you want to go to) will come and go over your standard internet connection instead of the secure tunnel. Naturally, you can follow even if you are on VPN. Against this situation, after installing the VPN, you should not forget to confirm the " Remove All Traffic Over VPN " section in the settings of the application you use . Otherwise, privacy issues will arise.

In addition to these installation files designed for computers, VPN services are also available as add-ons for browsers.

Many VPN service providers are now designed to work through browser add-ons rather than a setup file. Your surfing traffic can also be set to use VPN through the add-ons you download for browsers such as Chrome or Firefox. In this usage, you should remember that VPN can only be used on the browser where you installed the add-on. So if you use a different browser, the VPN will not be active.

You can also use VPN services on Android or iOS mobile devices.

For this, you need to download the application from the Google Play store specific to the Android operating system or the Apple Store that is specific to the iOS operating system. Almost all of the VPN services you receive support Android and iOS. VPN applications that you download from the store can be activated by installing them on your phone or mobile device with a few taps.

What are SSL VPN and IPSec VPN? What are the Differences?

The protocol used on the VPN can be one of the IPSec (Internet Protocol Security) Internet Protocol Security or SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocols. They are VPN types according to the purpose used and the desired level of security.

SSL VPN (Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network) is defined as “Secure Sockets Layer Based Virtual Private Network”. In addition to remote access to corporate networks and facilitating information sharing, it is aimed to increase efficiency by reducing the cost in terms of use of resources.

IPSec VPN (Internet Protocol Security Virtual Private Network) "Internet Protocol Security Based Virtual Private Network" provides a secure connection with the IPSec protocol it contains. However, the difficulties in its implementation and its high cost make it difficult to use this technology.

For this reason, IPSec VPN has lost popularity to SSL VPN technology, which is easier to manage and more economical.

SSL VPN can be used to encrypt any protocol at the application layer level. It is a type of VPN that works with the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol and can be accessed via web browsers and HTTPS protocol. Although HTTPS is known as the most common web communication encrypted with SSL, it has a wide range of uses such as POP3 and FTP protocols encrypted with SSL.

SSL VPN technology allows a secure connection to a network by using internet browsers provided by operating systems without the need for software or hardware on the user's part. Especially in institutions with many external users, ensuring the healthy operation of the VPN software in each user means a great service load for the institution. In addition to being easy to set up and manage, it also provides the security of the connection, making it more preferable than other VPN types.