VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network, is an arrangement of private nodes connected securely on a public network. Companies usually use a VPN to connect over the Internet and network with each other, while maintaining privacy and safety for their data and information. VPN is tremendously helpful in multinational corporate environments where companies have to share data with their offices across the globe and ensure that the data is not intercepted along the way. This sharing can include files, voice notes, video conferencing, images or any other information that is usually shared on the Internet. There is really no difference in the things you can share on a public network and a VPN; the VPN just makes the sharing process more streamlined, confidential and reasonable.

Many companies use the same VPN on their company's intranet, and on the Internet to connect with remote offices. This is possible due to a technique called tunneling, and there is no need for added hardware. VPN's are also used for personal purposes, because a VPN provider can give mask your IP address for private browsing and access to the Internet. Under an IP provided by the VPN, you could mislead any attackers about your location. For example, you could be situated in Chicago but anyone trying to forcefully access your system by hacking into your IP would see your location as Seattle because of protection provided by the VPN.

VPN providers are ubiquitous all over the Internet. Their services range from free to high-cost premium packages. VPN protocols changes depending on the kind of security you want and the type of device you use. The most widely used one is PPTP, i.e. Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol, which provides all the security essentials that a home user or small business would require. Larger networks opt for more sophisticated, and expensive, versions of VPN.

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