What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) protects your online privacy by sending and receiving all of your data through an encrypted tunnel. Most people use VPN encryption to defend their information at public WiFi locations like coffee shops or airports, but many are using the service to hide their locations, ensure private browsing, and a lot more.

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What Does a VPN Do For You?

A VPN Hides Your Location by Hiding Your IP

Every device on the Internet has an IP address that everything you do online is associated with. Think of it as your computer's license. Using a VPN masks your IP address so any and all of your online activity is completely private.

As a Switzerland-based VPN company, we do not keep records of what IP addresses you connect to, nor what IP you were assigned while using our VPN service. Your online privacy is paramount, and your IP address is the easiest way to pry open your secrets online.

Helps You Unlock Content

Depending on your geographic location, it's not always possible to securely access all your online content. PrivadoVPN unlocks blocked web pages by making it appear that you're connecting from a location censored content is available. A VPN provides you the security necessary to safely access data anywhere in the world.

A Virtual Private Network Keeps Your Data Safe on Public WiFi

There are countless ways for people to snoop on or steal your private communications and information when you connect to public WiFi hotspots. A VPN will encrypt your hotspot connection and block any would-be thieves. There are so many ways that encryption through a VPN can foil Internet spies and hackers.

VPNs Protect Your Privacy from Hackers and Unwanted Intruders

Without a VPN, your privacy is most vulnerable while it's in transit. PrivadoVPN blocks black hat hackers, governments, corporations, and even your ISP from accessing those transmissions. Don't give up a single bit of your data without permission. Always use a VPN.

How a VPN Works

What is a VPN capable of doing? A VPN functions as a combination of bridge and firewall between you and the Internet.
It can protect your privacy and security while you're connected to the service in several ways.

Choosing a Server

With a VPN, you have the unique ability to pick which server you connect to. Using PrivadoVPN as an example, we have a server network of more than servers in Countries around the world. You can connect to a server in any city where we have one located, and your IP address will make it seem as if you are physically there.

Of course, a VPN server also has an IP address. Taking the time to connect to a VPN server increases your privacy by masking that information so nobody else can easily identify you on the Internet.

Strong Encryption

Beyond hiding your IP address, a VPN also uses encryption to keep your connection secure. VPN encryption uses computer algorithms to scramble your data before it leaves your computer. It can then be unscrambled when it reaches the destination so that anybody who is snooping on your Internet connection won't be able to use any data they collect.

In fact, a VPN can even prevent them from getting to your data at all with encryption tunnels. VPN protocols usually have rules that help to establish secure tunnels between computers, which will encrypt the transfer itself, making it nearly impossible to anybody to watch what you're doing online.

Cyber Attack Protection

The Internet has become a more dangerous place lately, and your privacy isn't the only thing at risk. Your VPN provider can actually be an important bulwark against many of the most common cyber attacks.

For example, a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack aims to shut down your server by making countless little requests. They are small, but if too many come in at once, it can force a computer to freeze or a server to crash. This can be done to your video game console as easily as a website if you're not using a VPN.

By connecting to your VPN, you have the security of knowing that their equipment will take the brunt of the attack. VPN servers are some of the most robust computers on the Internet, and frequently they have the power to withstand these kinds of threats.

Types of VPN

Corporate VPN

It's not uncommon these days for a business to have their own corporate VPN. A business VPN has become even more important with the rise in remote work. It allows employees to connect directly to a VPN run by the company, securing their connection as if they were physically at the office. They provide encryption that meets company standards and keep propriatary documents secure.

It's important to note that connecting to your company's VPN server isn't about protecting you. A corporate VPN protects the business. Your Internet connection will still be visible to the company itself in most cases.

Consumer VPN

The type of VPN that you are most likely to deal with is the commercial or consumer VPN. This is a VPN run by businesses like PrivadoVPN who offers access to their service. Generally you will either have to pay a certain amount to use a consumer VPN or have specific restrictions placed on your account.

In an increasingly vulnerable Internet, a strong connection to a VPN service can go a long way toward increasing your Internet security.

Private VPN

It is possible for Internet-savvy users to set up their own, private VPN. This, like a corporate VPN, allows you to access the Internet remotely as if you were at home. In fact, many modern routers have built in VPN functionality.

The problem with a private VPN is that it's not actually secure. You don't get the benefit of a global server network to hide your IP address, you don't have shared IPs to mask your identity, and you don't have the security infrastructure of a consumer VPN, to name just a few drawbacks.

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Importance of Using a No-Log VPN Connection

PrivadoVPN is a "no-log" virtual private network. This means that we don't keep records of your online activity, so it can never be traced back to you. We base our free VPN in Switzerland, which has the best consumer privacy laws in the world, so that even if an ISP or government agency tries to access your data, we can keep your information private and safe.

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VPN Basics

VPNs work by taking your Internet connection and data, encrypting them, and transferring that information to the intended destination via a secure VPN server somewhere else in the world. This ensures that all online activity and all data leaving and coming to your device, whether it's an email or file you're sending or receiving, a website you're browsing, or an online chat you're having, is safe from prying eyes.

VPN Protocols

A VPN Tunneling Protocol is the technological system that allows you to securely send your data over the Internet. There are several VPN protocols that are used for different purposes, balancing connection speed and security, based on your specific needs.


OpenVPN is one of the most common protocols. It's open-source, very secure, and ideal for long distance communication.


IKEv2 is best suited to transfer over shorter distances. It's less secure than something like OpenVPN, but very fast for tasks like watching online video.

PP2P and LT2P

PP2P and LT2P are older, outdated VPN protocols that still exist, but we don't recommend using. We don't support them because they are no longer considered secure.

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Download the PrivadoVPN App to Your Device

Setting up your free VPN is as simple as downloading the PrivadoVPN app on your computer or mobile device, creating a free account, and connecting to a server.


Manually Set Up PrivadoVPN

If you want to set up a VPN manually, you can do so on many routers or within most operating systems. Our guides will walk you through the process step by step.

VPN Setup Guides

Frequently Asked Questions

Because the most valuable commodity right now is information. Most Internet services are free at the point of contact because they record your data and sell it to other companies. There has been a major push among world governments to make it easier to spy on you. Hackers have become more sophisticated and data thieves better at stealing your identity. A VPN can help you combat these intrusions onto your privacy so that you can take back control of your information.
There isn't one. The "best" protocol is the one that meets your needs. OpenVPN is great if you want to ensure the maximum amount of security for your communications, but it can also be somewhat slow. If you wanted to play an online multiplayer game, you'd be better off with a protocol like IKEv2, since it's less important to hide your activity, but you can enjoy a faster connection. WireGuard® shows a lot of promise, but is still reasonably new and hasn't really been tested. At PrivadoVPN, we recommend trying different protocols for different tasks, then using the one that works for you.
It's impossible to be absolutely anonymous online. Just being online means giving up some of your privacy. However, a good no-log virtual private network like PrivadoVPN is a powerful tool to make it as difficult as possible to identify you. Without a VPN, you're leaving dozens of avenues open that can lead right to your personal data.
All of them. If you have a device connected to the Internet, you should make the effort to ensure that it is as secure as possible. This is especially true with Internet of Things items like video doorbells and digital assistants. Even if you can't set up a VPN directly on them, there are still ways to ensure data goes through a secure portal.
There are a lot of factors that go into answering this question, so let's start with "yes", but with a caveat.

Technically, there is a slight drop in speed because all of your data is being routed through another computer at a different location. However, many ISPs use a practice called "speed throttling", which means that for certain activities like streaming movies or downloading through peer-to-peer networks they will artificially slow your connection. With a VPN, however, they can't tell what you're doing, so there is a chance that your speeds will actually increase.
In most cases, no, it is not. You can perfectly use a VPN in most places on Earth with no legal issues whatsoever.

There are, however, countries that restrict the use of a VPN, particularly ones that have strict controls on Internet content. Frequently, these countries will have a list of approved VPNs that you can legally use and generally don't bypass state Internet rules and allow them to watch your connection. Using an unapproved VPN can result in significant legal consequences, so make sure that the country you're in allows your VPN.