What is a VPN, what does it do, and what are the benefits of using one? #TurnOnVPN’s FAQ has all the answers.

See also: VPN Glossary for a jargon-busting breakdown of VPN terms. 

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. A VPN is an encrypted tunnel between your device and the internet that allows you to enjoy the web free from obstructions and the tracking of network administrators.

Can my ISP see what I’m doing if I use a VPN?

No. Your internet service provider can’t see your traffic as it’s all encrypted between you and the VPN service.

Will a VPN slow my connection?

Most likely, yes. But the security benefits far outweigh the speed inconvenience. Also, in cases where your ISP throttles your bandwidth, a VPN may actually increase the speed.

Are VPNs legal?

Yes, almost everywhere. Using a VPN in censorship strongholds is more ambiguous, but luckily users of VPN services are hard to identify and track down.l. There is little a government can do to stop people using an international VPN.

Is a VPN hard to set up?

No! You’ll need to download an app, but then it’s often just a click of a button. The VPN will run in the background, unnoticed and always working.

Will a VPN affect my internet?

Yes! But in a good way. You will be able to access anything you want, from anywhere. A VPN will have no effect on the way your internet looks.

Free VPN or paid VPN?

Remember the adage, “If something is free, you’re the product”. Free VPN providers must get revenue from somewhere, or they wouldn’t be able to support the VPN. Consider how a free provider generates money. It could be by selling your details to advertisers.

What is a VPN good for?

By disguising your true IP address, a VPN is good for privacy and security. It will also let you see geoblocked content and access the full internet in heavily censored states, like China.

What devices should I install the VPN on?

You can install VPN apps on PCs, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. A router with a VPN will protect any device that connects to it, including IoT products and games consoles.

My Antivirus software warns me against the VPN software

Only download software directly from the website of their creators. Avoid “cracked” or “jailbroken” software, or software downloaded via BitTorrent. Some Antivirus software might still wrongly characterize software. Reach out to the creators of the VPN client as well as your Antivirus developer to find out if this is a known error.

Can I use a VPN to torrent safely?

A VPN helps you hide your torrent activity from your ISP or local government. To torrent safely, remember to avoid downloading software unless you can independently verify its integrity, for example through PGP signatures or secure hashes.

Won’t using a VPN make me more suspicious?

Most people won’t know that you are using a VPN. And those that do cannot see anything you do online. There is nothing to cause suspicion.