Re: WiFi/Network

Jim Stutsman

A VPN is a Virtual Private Network. It's designed to keep your information private as it's flowing through the Internet. Every piece of data going out of your computer is encrypted. That prevents anyone listening through WiFi or other means from seeing what is being sent. It goes to a VPN server somewhere in the cloud which decrypts the information and sends it to the intended destination. You've probably seen a VPN in action on TV when the good guys are trying to find the bad guys. It seems to go all over the world, through many different VPNs, so it's really hard to locate the source. This type of software is also used by people who want to seem like they are in a country other than where they actually are. For example, maybe I'm in Texas and I want to stream video from the BBC. I can use a VPN based in UK, so it looks like I'm a proper Brit. Most of the streaming services are wise to this, and use techniques to block it, but at one time VPNs were widely used this way. Now anglophiles in the US have BritBox and Acorn to get our fix of British TV so no subterfuges are needed.

But I digress. A VPN is really great for going on the Internet, but your machine isn't on the Internet. It's local. There should be an option in the VPN software to not encrypt local traffic. That would allow you to use the safety of the VPN without confusing the machine with encrypted messages.

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