Virtual private network (VPN) contains the word “private network” and “virtual”. During the time of the writing of this article, a public network is just another term to the Internet while private networks are outside of the Internet. Example nodes residing in the public network are Google and Youtube. Example nodes residing in the private network are clients or users accessing Google and Youtube. This situation exists because the current Internet infrastructure is too small to host all the computers in the world. Therefore, clients and users are mostly outside of the Internet where they need to go through mediaries to communicate with those in the Internet, I like to call them gateways (see my simple introduction to computer network to understand the basics).
While the Internet or public network is like the streets and outside world where we can go out and travel, a private network is like our house where it is private and only us can enter. A vritual 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. Analogically, it is like an open house where other people can enter but ofcourse with the permission of the house owner. For example, when we are at home or outside but we need to access our office’s internal network, we usually need to run back to our office, but with VPN, we can access on the spot.
When we enter a VPN, we are subjected to different rules. It is unfortunate that most Internet connection today have enforcers. When we want to access a website, we always ask that enforcer and the result is whether we are granted access or not. The role of VPN other than privacy is censorship resistance. When we go to a VPN, our enforcer changes or if we are lucky, we have our enforcer removed. For example in Indonesia, access to anime, manga, and reddit are prohibited, but if we access from Japan, it is granted. Then what is the difference between VPN and proxy server? Proxy server is just one server while VPN is a whole network which contains routes and servers.
Setting VPN Client
Interestingly, setting a VPN can either be easier or harder than setting dns and proxy. That is…