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VPNs are tools to create secure tunnels between two networks and allow traffic between them.

Wireguard, OpenVPN, IPSec, and others are considered VPN software (“VPNs”).

Usually the purpose of a VPN is to create a way to access computers behind a firewall which only allows VPN traffic to a server which only allows packets into the private network when they’ve been authenticated. Even though it can be used like this I wouldn’t consider SSH a VPN because it doesn’t really bridge the networks it only create a tunnel for traffic to go through.

Alternatively VPNs also allow you to route all your traffic through another server and use that server’s internet connection to appear to be accessing the internet from there which is what VPN Providers allow you to do when you connect to their services.

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