Millions of people all over the globe use VPNs to access their favorite websites that are blocked in their countries or regions, surf the internet anonymously without revealing their true identity and actual location to websites, government authorities, agencies and bodies as well as from hackers. On the other hand, very few of us know the history of VPN, how it started and how it developed over the years. In this article we’ll talk about the past and the future of VPN.
Before we move to the next part, let’s just clear what is the purpose of VPN and what it actually is.
What is VPN?
VPN refers to Virtual Private Network that is a technology to create a single private network of users located in different geographical locations over the internet. In other words, VPN is just a network within the internet but it is private, secure and encrypted. VPN uses different tunneling protocols to operate and features from different VPN providers may vary but the basics remain the same.
VPNs and the concept behind this technology have drastically changed over the last couple of decades. This technology was originally developed by big companies and organizations and it wasn’t meant for the end users. Companies needed secure and private network to join their offices situated on different physical locations because only a private network with security can hold their secrets and sensitive information they don’t want to publicize. Now the questions was, how to access company’s internal files from different offices in different buildings or from outside of the area of business?
Here comes the VPN that was exactly like having a local network over internet. VPNs provide access to a private network securely without considering the physical boundaries as if you were in the same building. As companies wanted to keep their internal communication as private as possible, powerful encryption standards were implemented on VPNs to make them impossible to penetrate.
Although the idea of VPN was developed for companies exclusively but considering the benefits of this technology, VPN providers came into market to provide this technology and its advantages to the end users. Meanwhile the internet evolved and it brought some unwanted products, features and problems like blockage of certain websites like MySpace or other entertainment sites in universities and schools, censorship implemented by government authorities and ultimately these problems led to need of anonymity.
VPN providers offered solution of all these issues in a form of VPN services we see today and that was the time when VPN started to be used widely by end users, not only by companies. The demand of VPN has been increasing ever since because of censorship policies implemented by government authorities, need of online anonymity and geo-restricted contents. Different VPN providers started to offer more and more advanced and sophisticated services and features. VPN providers and services got overnight popularity because of these three reasons.
- After some biggest spying scandals in history like Wikileaks and Edward Snowden, people started to think about their own online privacy and governments agencies who spy on their own citizens by breaking constitutional laws.
- Video content websites like Netflix, BBC and Hulu came into existence because of faster internet speed but these websites have geo-restricted contents too. People all over the globe use VPN services to access those contents from anywhere.
- Some countries and regions like Russia, China and Middle East have strict internet usage policies as well as lot of censorship that can be bypassed with the help of VPN services.
VPNs and e-commerce are still two very distant ideas but they won’t in the near future because of the global marketplace and its necessities. Despite the fact only a fraction of internet users use VPNs nowadays, the future of VPN is bright because of its scalability, security, flexibility and more importantly audibility toward newer technologies.