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VPN security: how do VPNs ensure safety?

  • Encrypt your internet traffic
  • Obfuscate your VPN use
  • Maintain your online privacy
  • Protect your sensitive data
A man in a green sweater looking at a Surfshark logo with a VPN connected sign in front of him.
Is a VPN secure?

Is a VPN secure?

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) ensures a secure online connection by using industry-leading encryption protocols and IP masking. A VPN creates an encrypted communication tunnel between your device and the internet. That means the data sent through the secure tunnel is encrypted and nearly untraceable.

How does a secure VPN work?

Before you browse, you should remember to turn on the VPN app. Once you hit Connect, this is what happens:

  1. Your device connects to the VPN provider’s server with specified credentials.
  2. The credentials are authenticated by the server.
  3. Your VPN app sets up a tunneled connection to the server and manages the encryption.
  4. A secure VPN connection is established and maintained by your device.

Mainly, two things happen after you turn on the VPN — your IP changes to the server’s IP you’re connected to, and all of your online traffic is encrypted.

Let’s say you start browsing after turning on the VPN. 

Now that the app and the VPN server have an “agreed upon cipher,” every bit of data is encrypted before it reaches your ISP (Internet Service Provider). When the data reaches the VPN server, it gets decrypted.

That’s how your internet connection is made more secure and private.

How does a secure VPN work?

What are the main VPN security features?

Obfuscation

Obfuscation

Obfuscation hides your data and the fact that you’re using a VPN connection. This technology ensures that even your ISP won’t know you’re connected to a VPN.

Kill switch

Kill switch

If your VPN connection drops, a kill switch shuts off your internet connection. This way, you don’t stay online without VPN protection and don’t leak any sensitive data.

Split tunneling

Split tunneling

VPN split tunneling allows you to choose which apps and online data should go through the VPN's encrypted tunnel and which can be transmitted directly, without encryption.

No user tracking

No user tracking

A premium VPN doesn’t track users by keeping usage logs. In other words, a “no-logs VPN” doesn’t log your online activity.

Latest protocols

Latest protocols

VPN protocols define how a VPN works. Protocols authorize, authenticate, encrypt, and transport traffic. A VPN service should have the latest industry-standard protocols — Wireguard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN.

DNS leak protection

DNS leak protection

DNS (Domain Name System) servers are databases of all public domains on the internet. A DNS server changes URLs like surfshark.com into IP addresses. A good VPN protects you from leaking your DNS requests.

Why do you need a secure VPN?

Use public Wi-Fi safely

Use public Wi-Fi safely

Free public Wi-Fi isn't secure, and hackers can easily compromise Wi-Fi hotspots. If you connect to a fake or compromised hotspot, you risk sharing your credentials, log-ins, and credit card info. A VPN will encrypt your data before it leaves your device, making it useless to the hotspot hacker.

Avoid censorship

Avoid censorship

Staying in countries where governments censor the internet could infringe on our right to freedom of speech and expression. Use a VPN with obfuscated servers to avoid censorship and access the free web wherever you are.

Protect personal data from snoopers

Protect personal data from snoopers

Your online activity benefits data brokers, internet providers, and the government, who can inspect your data traffic anytime. A VPN encrypts your internet traffic, so no snoops or extra pair of eyes can spy on your online activities.

Access home entertainment

Access home entertainment

Some internet content may not be available in certain regions because of restrictions and censorship. When traveling, connect to a VPN server in your country and browse as if you were at home, with access to your favorite content and media sites.

Remove bandwidth throttling

Remove bandwidth throttling

Your ISP can slow down your connection if you’re streaming shows or downloading files. Connect to a VPN to binge your favorite series in the privacy of your home without internet throttling.

Disclaimer: Please note that using Surfshark services for any illegal activities is strictly forbidden and violates our Terms of Service. Make sure that any use of Surfshark services for your particular activities conforms to all relevant laws and regulations, including those of any service providers and websites you access using Surfshark.

Get the best VPN for online security worry-free

Get the best VPN for online security worry-free

Surfshark is plenty secure, and you can try it out before committing long-term. Giving it a go will be easy with Surfshark’s 30-day money-back guarantee. If you want a refund, request it within the first 30 days of your subscription. No harm, no foul, right?

Enjoy online security
whenever and wherever
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FAQ

What are the security risks of VPN?

Common VPN security issues are related to free VPN providers and data leaks. Some free VPN services are known to sell or leak user data. Some VPNs aren’t transparent about collecting user data. So, it’s best to pick a premium VPN provider and avoid such risks.

Does using a VPN look suspicious?

Not really. The right to privacy is no grounds for suspicion, and using a VPN is legal. Moreover, VPNs with obfuscation hide that you’re using a VPN.

However, using the Tor browser with a VPN may attract attention from your ISP because of Tor’s association with the dark web.

Am I safe from hackers while using a VPN?

Thanks to a VPN, you are safe from some of the hackers. But remember that if you click on a malicious link and download a virus (or some other malware, god forbid), a VPN can’t help you. A VPN only protects your online connection.

Are free VPNs safe to use?

You should stay away from free VPNs because, in the worst-case scenario, it can harm your online security by selling your data to third parties or infecting your device through malware or malvertising.

How do I make sure my VPN is secure?

To test if your VPN is working, go to what is my IP and check if it’s different from your original one. To see if your VPN works securely, you can check if it’s leaking your data by doing a DNS or WebRTC leak test.

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