What is a VPN
A VPN, otherwise known as a virtual private network is a secure tunnel between two endpoints for communication. This tunnel is built through Transport Layer Security and Secure Sockets Layer (TLS/SSL). All data passed between the two endpoints are encrypted and can only be decrypted by the two parties on either side of the endpoint. This means that all of the data shared between the two is secured and cannot be tampered with or read by another party.
A VPN can also be used to perform IP spoofing, which is the process of hiding IP Address behind the VPN network. This is because the computer on either end of the endpoint speaks to the tunnel in between them, not directly outside of VPN network (i.e. Internet). This means that the machines sitting inside the VPN network have private IP addresses, and the outside of the VPN network sees IP Address of the machine from the external IP address provided by the VPN server.
A VPN provides a secure tunnel to allow both security and privacy. It can also allow one to change their IP address' location to a different one based on the geolocation of the VPN server which they connect to. This allows a user to bypass Internet Censorship, a region-locked content.
What is a Router and How Does it Work
A router is a small network device which functions as an interface to a network, and terminates layer 3 of the TCP/IP network. This network acts as the connector between a machine and any other and as such, it is the face of a device connecting to another network. This process can be accomplished by either a wired or wireless connection and they can be various types of routers for various needs. For example, a router used at home would connect local smart devices (i.e. PCs, Smartphones, Tablets and IoT devices. Enterprise and business routers can also come with added security and offer more robust performance over home routers.
In the process of connecting to a machine to a router, a series of processes must be accomplished which ultimately gives your device an IP Address from the router (via DHCP), which comes from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). From here, your router will send your requests to communicate with a specific machine to a modem, a layer 2 device which facilitates the data link layer of the TCP/IP stack. An application data passes through TCP, IP, Network and Data Link layers of the path through the physical ethernet layer to send and receive data between the networks. This is, at its core, a simple overview of not just how a router works but how the data traffic passes across the TCP/IP network.
Reasons Why You Would Setup a Router to a VPN
Most personal VPN providers offer an option to connect a router to their VPN network. By connecting a router to a VPN, every machine connected to the router will have the same benefits (i.e. security and privacy) provided by the VPN without individually connecting the device to the VPN network separately. So long as you're connected to a VPN'ed router, you will now automatically use the VPN with ease. This makes it the perfect solution for a home-based network to use and browse the internet with. All of their data immediately becomes encrypted and protects the company's interest and movements.
There are small downsides of setting up a VPN on a router. For starters, running a VPN creates a processing and bandwidth overheads as transporting a secure encrypted data requires encryption and decryption, as well as added TLS/SSL protocol data. By having the VPN connection at the router level, everyone inside the network would utilize the encryption and secure data layer, but at the expense of added overhead. Due to the technology advancements in recent years, the traffic and processing overheads from VPN has now considered a tiny and overall network delay is barely or not noticeable.
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