Entering the world of VPN providers can be a daunting experience for many people. To help you, we have compiled a list of words with the most recurring terminology in this “VPN dictionary”, we have given answers to the most common questions, and we have tried to explain the operation and importance of the current encryption protocols in a clear language for any Internet user.
It is the abbreviation for Advanced Encryption Standard (in Spanish: Advanced Encryption Standard). The AES, developed in Belgium, was adopted as a world standard in 2001 and succeeded DES (Data Encryption Standard), which was widely used by governments to protect their data, especially the United States government.
A software also known for its “peer-to-peer” function that allows file sharing between a specific set of computers. The protocol cuts large files into smaller parts, distributes them to computers and reassembles them once the downloads have been completed. By sending small files over several connections instead of a large file, the software greatly reduces the network load. Bittorrent is just one of these peer-to-peer systems that are often used to share illegal files that violate copyright regulations. Please note that copyright holders keep records of the IP addresses associated with Bittorrent downloads, and Bittorrent users are expected to face criminal charges in the near future as the service itself does not protect addresses. IP.
Abbreviation for Domain Name Server (in Spanish: Domain Name System); The server that registers which IP address belongs to which domain name or URL: the name of the website you visit.
A computer error that accidentally “filters” your IP address to third parties. Technically, the error occurs when a VPN service provider does not support certain applications, and these applications are active while configuring your VPN to connect to the site. Applications will connect to a web domain on a regular basis despite their VPN configuration, exposing their IP address. Another example of DNS leakage is when your VPN connection suddenly breaks down or fails but the connection to a web domain remains operational. Many VPN providers offer ‘killswitch’ functionality to avoid this error.
General term for a variety of methods that are used to protect computer data. It is the coding of data with mathematical algorithms that make the information intelligible to people who do not have access to the algorithm. Think about your bank details online: both you and your bank know how to “decipher” the information sent between you (through small bank readers) and your bank, but others do not. It is a very useful and used security protocol.
End to End Encryption
Encryption form in which only the sending party and the receiving party have access to the data, which excludes even your provider from seeing exactly what makes up the information you have sent or received.
A geographical block or ‘geoblocking’ ensures that certain online content is only available to people in a predetermined territory. Well-known examples include area-specific content on YouTube or Netflix, platforms widely known for offering content by territory, which makes Netflix United States very different from Netflix available in Australia or Germany, for example. Geoblocks are circumvented (if desired) by changing their IP address to one that belongs to the specific territory of the content you wish to access. Most VPN and Proxy servers are able to do this for you.
The most recent protocol to exchange security keys between computer systems. This Internet Key Exchange system works in combination with the IPsec to secure VPN connections, and also ensures that no one has access to the encryption keys needed to decode the data. At the time of writing this information, the IPSec and IKEv2 combination is considered the safest method to connect to the Internet through a VPN server.
Internet Service Provider or Internet Provider (ISP)
Commercial part that offers, among other things, Internet services. Think of your online telephone services, digital television, etc. Generally, the ISP provides the necessary hardware to connect to routers, modems and TV decoders, and sometimes also the cable lines needed to connect a client to a larger Internet infrastructure.
All devices that seek access to the Internet are marked with an IP address by the Internet provider, usually through their Internet router, which gives the same IP address to other devices that connect to it.
IP addresses act as private addresses: they identify the place where the information needs to go, be it an email, an Internet voice chat or your Netflix movie.
IPv4 and IPv6 protocols
Current IP addresses are usually based on an earlier Internet traffic protocol, called IPv4. The composition of the addresses has four series of (maximum) three numbers. The number of possible IP addresses with this configuration is limited, and humanity has almost used each and every one of them. The new IPv6 protocol was designed to counteract the problem: it has longer sequences that allow both numbers and letters, greatly expanding the number of possible IP addresses.
Automated security measure of last resort. Eliminate your Internet connection at the time your VPN server fails. If not available, the VPN server failure would leave your computer open to attacks from outside and expose your IP address. This feature is available for several VPN providers (but not for everyone!).
Abbreviation for Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol. A protocol used to connect devices to a VPN server. It is an insecure method by itself; The L2TP is simply used for the configuration of the VPN connection, but it does not protect it. The use of encryption protocols is therefore mandatory; IPSec is a common option (and quite secure), but users are not limited to it.
L2TP / IPSec
The IPSec encryption method is in use with most VPN providers. The abbreviation means “Internet Protocol Security” and the method is responsible for encrypting data, verifying the integrity of data transfers and transferring encryption keys between your device and the VPN server. Today, IPSec is considered to be a very secure option, but it is advisable to control the news related to encryption: the documents published by the Snowden programmer clearly show how secret services like the CIA are trying to crack the IPSec code.
Each computer or server keeps a diary of what happens on the machine. These ‘records’ store a number of things, such as the time someone logged in or the duration of an Internet session. The services of VPN servers are generally different: they often apply a non-registration policy to their servers, to keep government officials in the dark about what happened on the servers, in case they ask. Note that not all VPN services have the same registration policy, so you should check their statements on this topic.
Device that connects digital equipment (i.e. computers) to the Internet, usually through analog data lines (i.e. telephone cables). Currently, most modems are combinations of modems and routers.
A software to configure VPN connections without using the applications of VPN providers. It works with its own encryption protocols (an exchange of TLS encryption keys), and is open source and free, making it an ideal program to configure your own VPN connections.
Abbreviation for Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (in Spanish: Point to Point Tunnel Protocol). It connects two computers and theoretically blocks the rest of the Internet, although it is almost never used due to serious security flaws.
Specialized type of server that hides the user’s location to websites and services that you visit online. Think of it as a VPN server: your IP address is hidden from others, but proxies do not offer the type of encryption security that VPN servers offer.
A piece of computer hardware that distributes data packets from the Internet to the correct computing device. Set up a local network to do this and increase the Internet signal whenever necessary.