What Is a VPN? And How Does a VPN Work?

6 Mins read

What Is a VPN? And How Does a VPN Work?

I had been blessed just to be able to subscribe to AT&T internet service and would suggest it to everyone I know without a second opinion. They give free Wi-Fi hotspots around the country and a free internet security suite to their customers. It may sound reasonable, but I love the idea of free Wi-Fi because that means I can save some bucks every day on my data. If there’s a security suite installed on your device, your data is a little more reliable. Therefore, if there are so many other bills to pay, why not save what you can.

While it may be evident that I am a writer, I can work from home or travel. Indeed, it is as dreamy as it sounds, especially for travel lovers like me. So yeah, I keep traveling around often, also, which means that I finish up using public Wi-Fi more often than not, so of course, I had to figure out methods to preserve my data while on a public network.

Some friends and even family members have told me that I should not be using public Wi-Fi so often because there will come a day to become a victim of a cybercrime and regret my choices. However, I genuinely believe that even though bad things can happen to anyone, people who are not fully prepared are more prone to cybercrimes. That is how I found out about VPNs or Virtual Private Networks.

An Overview of VPN

Now, as a lock on the door is your first line of protection against a thief, a VPN is your first line of defense against a cybercriminal. Anyone with a bit of cybersecurity sense will agree that a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is your help against cyber-attacks. It is remarkably suggested for people like myself who gradually rely on public Wi-Fi hotspots.

A VPN can help you in many forms, including:

  • Hiding your IP address from hackers attempting to pry on your data. The VPN produces an encrypted network to transmit your data to be ideal to everyone else on the Wi-Fi network.
  • Hiding you also from your Internet Service Provider. Because your IP address is masked, your ISP will not throttle your bandwidth during heavy usage activities like streaming and gaming.
  • Encrypting all the data being transmitted in your device and remote servers can only be decrypted if you provide it.
  • Providing access to restricted websites or applications in countries with internet censorship regulations. Because you do not exist in the country, the rules do not apply both.

Choosing a VPN what does a VPN do

There are many free VPN options available online, and some of them are good too. However, if it comes to my data security, I would not go for a free VPN. My first option would be a paid version that offers much better protection. Still, though free VPNs may look good, they are all supported by ads that kill the purpose of keeping your data exclusive.

Therefore, I would very much suggest that you go with a paid version when it comes to VPNs. Check out the things discussed here before signing up for a VPN service to ensure that you find an excellent option for your data security.

  • Paid VPNs can be purchased for as cheap as $3 per month, so you will find something that fits your budget. Free VPNs make money by trading your data to companies for targeted marketing campaigns. Therefore, the emphasis on getting a paid version.
  • Constantly watch out for reviews before signing up for anything. Ask friends or family for suggestions, and explore online forums for neutral sources to get an idea of a VPN’s usefulness.
  • Agreements are long and tiresome, and we all hate reading them. But, it is essential to read the permission agreement and the service terms of your VPN. You need to know what the VPN will store information about you and how it will be used. Watch out for complex agreements. If something does not seem right, do not subscribe.
  • Choose the highest level of encryption you can find. This will help you provide only a limited number of devices to access your data and use it just if you let it.
  • A built-in shut-off is essential. Any software or app can encounter glitches, and so can your VPN. Although, if your VPN shuts down all data transmissions in case of encryption failure, it will ensure that your data or device is not left vulnerable to threats.

Now that you know how to use a VPN and what to look out for in a VPN service, and How Does a VPN Work? we hope you make an informed decision and conduct all your online activities actively. 

Best VPN Service for Mac in 2021

Now that we’ve established the advantages of using a VPN let us now look at some of the most advanced VPN services for Mac in 2021. Making a VPN means getting another layer of security, plus a lot of extra benefits. If you’re concerned about your own privacy or you love the unblocking function of a VPN, you can subscribe to any of the services noted here.


ExpressVPN One of the great Mac VPNs in 2021, Express provides all-around protection for your device. This has a dedicated macOS client, which is very intuitive and user-friendly. It is also available for iOS, Windows, Android, and Linux devices. This app features a one-click option to connect, a kill switch, split tunnelling, and 256-bit encryption over OpenVPN UDP. This supports up to five simultaneous connections so that you can maximize its security.

You can also install these iOS apps and Safari browser extensions for a complete express VPN experience. And it has features that are dedicated to Apple users. For example, if your Mac makes a wired internet connection, you can do it as a hotspot for your other devices, then you don’t have to connect them to your VPN individually.

ExpressVPN has 160 servers in 94 countries, providing you a wide server selection. This VPN costs $12.95 per month and $8.32 per month for the annual plan.


This sincere and secure VPN offers double data encryption, which means your data gets twice the protection since it passes your traffic through two separate VPN servers. It has a client-dedicated for macOS, though it is also available for other higher platforms, including Android, Windows, and Linux.

NordVPN‘s other security features add encrypted chat, web proxy extensions, zero-logs policy, and others. You can select Nord VPN from its vast network of more than 5100 servers located in 59 countries. It allows a maximum of six connected devices and unlimited bandwidth.

Nord VPN costs $11.95 per month. However, you’ll save a lot when you avail the 3-year plan at only $3.49 per month. If you need to check out the service, you can subscribe to the 30-day free trial with a money-back guarantee.


CyberGhost is one of the best popular VPN choices for Mac users, and this service has the features to back up its claims. This has over 6,000 servers located across 80 countries, with a few of them dedicated to torrenting. It has a zero logs policy, convenient live chat support, safe encryption, and a kill switch.

That has clients for iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android devices. If you do much streaming, CyberGhost should be your top selection because it automatically connects you to the best top server designed for streaming plans. You also don’t have to trouble about ads, trackers, and malicious websites because they are automatically blocked.

CyberGhost provides up to 7 simultaneous connections and has 24/7 support. This monthly subscription costs $12.99 per month, which is a little pricey. Still, the 18-month plan cuts down the cost to just $2.75 per month. You can also get a 45-day money-back guarantee, which is higher than the usual 30-day trial period.


Surfshark is currently the various affordable VPN for Mac now. It costs $11.95 per month, though the 24-month subscription plan only costs $1.99 per month, which is the most economical subscription package on the business right now.

This has a dedicated client for Macs, as well as other essential platforms. Despite the low price, you’ll be surprised at how fast the connections are regardless of which server you connect to. It has a single and easy-to-use interface plus mighty Netflix unblocking capability.

Whatever makes Surfshark perfect for Macs is the extra layer of security it gives. This allows OpenVPN UDP and TCP, IKEv2 security protocols, with AES-256 encryption. Here’s a bonus: you can connect as multiple devices as you want because it can help unlimited simultaneous connections.


The brilliantly-balanced VPN for Mac features a neat user interface and robust security features. It has the best features such as a kill switch, Netflix unblocking, automatic IP switching, and split-tunneling function. These servers are high-speed, and can automatically connect to the fastest server available. Most maximum of its servers is also optimized for torrenting.

Apart from the macOS client, you can also use IPVanish on other major platforms. You can connect up to almost 10 devices at the same time without experiencing a significant speed drop.

IPVanish does not log your activities, and you can try the 30-day money-back guarantee to observe how the service works. A recurrent subscription costs $8, though you can enjoy a more economical rate ($5.20) if you get the yearly plan.

Thinking of Getting a Free VPN?

If you love the advantages of a VPN for Mac, however, What Is a VPN? And How Does a VPN Work? you don’t have the money, you can try Hotspot Shield instead. It is the free version of the premium Hotspot Shield VPN. You’ll have to bear with the ads and the limited features, though, as it is free. At least, you yet to get military-grade encryption to preserve your data.


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