How Tunneling Works in a VPN

How Tunneling Works in a VPN – Learn how tunneling works in a VPN and the benefits it provides. Also learn about the different types of tunneling protocols and how they work.

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In computer networks, a tunneling protocol is a communications protocol that allows for the movement of data from one network to another. A tunnel is typically used to encapsulate data transmissions between two different networks.

Tunneling protocols are often used to encrypt data before it is sent over a public network, such as the Internet. This ensures that data is not intercepted and read by third parties. Tunneling can also be used to bypass firewalls and other security measures that are in place on a network.

Common tunneling protocols include:

What is a VPN Tunnel?

In computer networks, a tunneling protocol is used to carry a payload on an incompatible delivery network. This tunneling allows private network communications to be sent over a public network, such as the Internet, through a process called encapsulation.

A VPN tunnel encrypts the traffic between your device and the VPN server, making it impossible for anyone to snoop on your traffic and see what you’re doing online. VPN tunnels also provide a way to bypassinternet censorship and geographical restrictions, making it possible for you to access websites and content that would otherwise be unavailable.

Tunneling protocols were originally developed to allow remote users to access corporate networks securely. However, they can also be used to allow two devices on the same local network to communicate with each other as if they were on different networks. This is known as device-to-device tunneling, and it can be useful for troubleshooting or for accessing resources on a local network that are not publicly accessible.

How Does a VPN Tunnel Work?

A VPN tunnel is a secure, encrypted connection between two devices. When you connect to a VPN server, all of your data is encrypted and sent through the tunnel to the server. From there, it is sent to its destination on the internet.

In order for a VPN tunnel to be established, three things need to happen:

1. A VPN client needs to be installed on your device.
2. You need to connect to a VPN server.
3. You need to configure your device to route traffic through the VPN server.

The first two steps are typically handled by the VPN provider, while the third step is done on your device.

Types of VPN Tunnels

Just as there are different types of VPN connections, there are also different types of VPN tunnels. The most common type of VPN tunnel is an IPsec tunnel. IPsec is a suite of protocols used to secure communications at the Internet layer. It can be used with most IPv4 and IPv6 implementations.

Other types of VPN tunnels include SSL/TLS tunnels, GRE tunnels, and PPTP tunnels. SSL/TLS tunnels are used to transport web traffic securely. GRE tunnels are commonly used to connect two LANs together over the Internet. PPTP is a legacy protocol that is still sometimes used for VPN connections.

Benefits of Using a VPN Tunnel

Tunneling is the process of encapsulating Internet Protocol (IP) data within an IP packet. The encapsulation is performed by adding a headers and footers to the original data. This extra information specifies the source and destination of the original data. VPN tunneling is a method of transporting arbitrary networking data over an encrypted VPN connection.

Tunneling allows a remote client to access resources on a private network as if they were physically attached to that network. It is commonly used to circumvent restrictions imposed by firewalls or network address translation (NAT) devices.

VPN tunneling typically uses either Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to secure the communication between the two endpoints. IPSec encrypts and authenticates each IP packet of data that is sent between the Tunnel End-Point (TEP) and Tunnelbear gateway, ensuring that only authorized users can access the network and that all data sent between TEPs remains private and confidential. SSL encrypts all traffic between the TEP and gateway, providing a higher level of protection than IPSec encryption alone.

Drawbacks of Using a VPN Tunnel

One potential drawback of using a VPN tunnel is that your data is not truly encrypted unless you are using an “SSL VPN.” SSL is an encryption protocol that is used in addition to the main VPN protocol. When configuring your VPN, you typically have the option to use either SSL or the main VPN protocol.


Tunneling is a euphemism for encapsulating Internet Protocol (IP) traffic in an outer Transport Control Protocol (TCP) or User Datagram Protocol (UDP) packet. With tunneling, an entire network communication can be encapsulated and transmitted across an IP network. Firewalls that filter based on IP addresses and port numbers can be bypassed since the filtering criteria are embedded in the outer packet.

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