What is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?

When you are using Blokada, you can be sure your data is handled with privacy in mind. Just like in the past, we still committed to protect your data and privacy. This is why we introduced the VPN feature in v4. But what is VPN, how that helps you to be anonym and security on the internet?

The VPN acronym stands for Virtual Private Network. Usually companies use this technology to make their internal servers (e-mail, intranet) and systems available for their employees offsite or abroad, securely: the person connects to the VPN server (a gateway to enter to the company’s network in this case), which builds up an encrypted channel with the client (the employee) and then forwards the packages the client transmits to the systems and servers that otherwise wouldn’t be accessible from outside the office. The benefits? Because the communication between the client and the VPN server is strongly encrypted, third party person or system cannot listen into the data stream, thus, confident information (the company’s e-mails) also can be exchanged.

But why would you use a VPN service in your private life? In this case, the VPN server is a gateway to access content privately, without worrying where your device is connected. Just like in the above situation, the device (your phone or tablet) connects to the VPN server and the channel between this two parties is encrypted immediately, nobody between them can read your transmitted data: your messages, usernames, passwords, neither the web addresses you visit (Internet Service Providers can see this information). Because the server acts as a gateway, your own IP address isn’t visible from the other side, the VPN server replaces that with its own, hiding your identity. Typical use cases are the followings:

  • While using open or free WiFi spots (shopping centres, conference rooms, etc)
  • While being abroad
  • Accessing content that is restricted in your region

If you connect to an open WiFi, or you are abroad and who knows what the hotel’s WiFi stores and what they do with your connection, you cannot be sure your username and password isn’t compromised when you login on your bank’s website, for example. Most mobile applications are communicating with their servers as soon as you have internet and it’s better to be safe when they start exchanging messages.

Usually the question in this case is “what the VPN server stores about my connection?”. Blokada’s VPN stores nothing about your connection, the information you give when you subscribe for our service is necessary and processed only for the successful payment and in case you discontinue the subscription. Blokada’s servers do not store your internet activity nor identity, we only see your account is connected and disconnected to one of our gateways.

Let’s see how your phone communicates in a typical setup, for example if you are connected to an open WiFi network:

Another example, if there is a firewall or proxy that filters content:

Using a VPN tunnel, however, can help to protect your data and privacy: