The definition of a VPN, or virtual private network, according to webopedia is “is a network that is constructed by using public wires — usually the Internet — to connect to a private network, such as a company’s internal network.”

While this definition may seem to be a little bit useless to those of you who are not owning or operating a business that requires a private internal network, VPNs can actually be quite useful to the common man and offer some very unique and useful operations.

A VPN is basically nothing more than a private network that allows you to access stored files etc. securely. This can be used in a number of different ways to help increase your online security and allow you to access otherwise restricted websites and content.

For example if you are an online entrepreneur who uses internet cafes abroad to do most of your work, setting up a VPN on your computer will allow you to do all of your private and sensitive work without worrying about prying eyes or intrusive programs stealing or using your private information.

A VPN can also be used when traveling to see websites and other content that may be restricted in the country you are in. I recently used a VPN to file an insurance claim when I lost my phone in South America because the insurance website was no available on the Chilean network.

Without the VPN I had setup, I would have been completely unable to file the claim and would have been left without any possibility of cheaply procuring a replacement phone.