Virtual Private Network (VPN)

MAY 10

Preliminary   > Science and Technology   >   IT & Computers   >   IT & Computers

Why in news?

  • Virtual private network (VPN) service providers are up in arms against a new directive of Computer Emergency Response Team or Cert-In that mandates they must maintain all customer data for five years.

More about the news:

  • Cert-In also wants VPN service providers to maintain data such as the purpose for which the customers used their services, their validated addresses and contact numbers, and the ownership pattern of the customers.

What is an IP address?

  • An IP address is a unique address that identifies a device on the internet or a local network.
  • IP stands for "Internet Protocol," which is the set of rules governing the format of data sent via the internet or local network.
  • In essence, IP addresses are the identifier that allows information to be sent between devices on a network:
    • They contain location information and make devices accessible for communication.
    • The internet needs a way to differentiate between different computers, routers, and websites.
    • IP addresses provide a way of doing so and form an essential part of how the internet works.
  • It is this IP address that helps websites, law enforcement agencies and even companies track down individual users and their accurate location.

What is Virtual Private Network (VPN)?

  • A Virtual Private Network (VPN) when switched on, essentially creates a safe network within the larger global network of the internet and masks the IP address of the user by rerouting the data.
  • Acting as a tunnel, a VPN takes data originating from one server and masks it in a different identity before delivering it to the destination server.
  • In essence, a VPN creates several proxy identities for the data and delivers it safely without disturbing the content of the data.

Why is VPN important for users?

  • The main reason why privacy or anonymity is important for both VPN service providers and users is that it helps to avoid being tracked, mostly by websites and cybercriminals.
  • Since VPN masks the location of a device from everyone, it also prevents government and law enforcement agencies from accurately identifying the location.
  • VPN has also been of vital importance in countries that try to suppress dissent. By using VPNs, dissidents are able to spoof their location and stay safe.

PRACTICE Q UESTION

Consider the following statements:

1. Internet Protocol (IP) is a set of rules governing the format of data sent via the internet or local network

2. Virtual Private Network enables internet users to hide location of their device.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer