A VPN, or virtual private network, works by using a public network to route traffic between a private network and individual users. It allows users to share data through a public network by going through a private network.
VPNs are very popular with businesses who want to secure private data while making it accessible remotely. However, they are also popular with private users, especially those who use torrents. The other reason VPNs are popular is because they spoof location as well. This enables users to bypass website content filters that use location as a filter. The user's IP address is replaced with one from the VPN. A VPN acts as a firewall on a computer. The firewall protects data on the computer, but a VPN protects sensitive and private data online.
Companies that sell VPN service allow it be used on an individual device or set up on a router to extend to all devices on the network. Both options allow a user to use the VPN in nearly any situation, from working at home on a network to accessing a public network with VPN credentials.
VPNs secure and encrypt data to guarantee that both sent and received data is not intercepted or spied on by other parties.