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VPN. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Sophos Blog presents – What is…a VPN?

You’ll often hear "a VPN" recommended to boost online security when you’re on the road. But what is it?

VPN. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Over on the Sophos Blog, we’ve just published the first article in a new series called What is….

We thought you might like it, so we decided to tell you about it here on Naked Security.

The What is… articles take a technical subject – one that’s often name-dropped as if everyone, including the writer, knows perfectly well what it means – and present it in plain English.

Indeed, our goal is to cover the key aspects of the topic in no more than 400 words, to make the articles easier to digest, and so that they are handy for referring back to, just like you use a dictionary to look up words you don’t fully understand.

The first topic is: What is…a VPN?

You’ll often hear “a VPN” recommended to boost online security when you’re on the road.

But what is a VPN? And what are its security pros and cons?

Head over to the Sophos Blog and find out!

Image of VPN courtesy of Shutterstock.


What is a VPN… they type of question a child might ask, but not a childish question.


Well a security blog talking about a VPN ( in 2015 ) is ironic in its own way.


Nope, you lost me there. (Do you mean that everyone should know what a VPN is by now, so the article is late? Or that the time is long past to mention VPNs because the NSA reads all our traffic anyway, so the article is irrelevant?)

The problem with abbreviations like VPN, DNS, IoT and so on is that they have become words that everyone assumes are widely and implicitly understood in a consistent way, as are words like “blue,” “cat” and “ferrous oxide” (I am being satirical in the last instance.)

Thus, the article. If you already know very well what a VPN is, spare a thought for the many people who don’t. (And ask yourself, “If I’m so smart I knew this to the point that I figured it was obvious, how come I never invested the time myself to make it actually obvious?” :-)


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