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Definition: VPN service


A third-party provider that offers virtual private network (VPN) services for businesses and consumers. Providing anonymity and privacy, all requests go to the VPN server first, and all responses come back through the server. A major feature is the number of devices that can access the VPN servers simultaneously. For example, several family members may be using computers, tablets and phones at the same time.

There Is a Delay
Another important feature is the delay introduced by the service because the data must go through the VPN provider's server. The more servers the provider has, the less likely a user will perceive any slowdown. It also depends on the connection speed to the user's ISP and the ISP's performance.

Unblocking Restrictions
VPN providers have servers in many countries. By selecting a foreign server, users may be able to gain access to news, sports and programs they could not obtain by making the requests from their ISP's servers. See VPN and anonymous Web surfing.




Anonymity and Privacy
The website only sees the IP address of the VPN server and not that of the user. Depending on the service, the data may be encrypted all the way to its destination or just from the user to the VPN server.