A virtual private network (VPN) extends a Private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. (“In the simplest terms, it creates a secure, encrypted connection, which can be thought of as a tunnel, between your computer and a server operated by the VPN service.”) Applications running across the VPN may therefore benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network.
VPNs may allow employees to securely access a corporate intranet while located outside the office. They are used to securely connect geographically separated offices of an organization, creating one cohesive network. Individual Internet users may secure their wireless transactions with a VPN, to circumvent geo-restriction and censorship, or to connect to proxy-servers for the purpose of protecting personal identity and location. However, some Internet sites block access to known VPN technology to prevent the circumvention of their geo-restrictions.