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What is the difference between SSL and a VPN? Why you would use a VPN when SSL is used everywhere now. Without getting into the finer details of how VPNs and SSL work, below I will provide a simple explanation of when you might want to use SSL and/or a VPN.


The little padlock in your browser and the web address being “https://…” indicate SSL is being used. SSL ensures the contents of any data passing to and from the website you are visiting, whilst it can be intercepted, cannot be deciphered. Basically someone could see you went to but can’t see what page specifically or what your credit card details were when you bought an item.


VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. A VPN enables a user to connect to the internet through a VPN server – as a sort of middle man.

To hide both the content of the pages and what sites you visited from your internet service provider (ISP) and potentially any other intruders you will want to use a VPN.

Through use of a VPN, to the ISP, it seems as if you are simply connected to/communicating with the VPN server. The communication between you and the VPN server is encrypted by SSL anyway, so the intruder can’t open and read the data and find out what websites you’ve been using the VPN to connect to and what pages etc.