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VPN Glossary


Anonymity means that a person cannot be identified. Your anonymity is guaranteed if your name or other characteristics to distinguish you are withheld.


A so-called backdoor is a hidden loophole that allows intruders to access your system by bypassing security and encryption measures. Such “backdoors” are implemented by developers for maintenance purposes. But they can also be used as security holes by hackers to gain access to your computer or read your encrypted data.


BitTorrent is a communication protocol and client software that allows peer-to-peer file sharing, mainly popular for movies, music, and software.

Browser extension

Browser extensions are software modules that provide a web browser with additional features. Such extensions can have a variety of use cases, from ad blocker to password management to VPN usage. The majority of such extensions for the browser are available for a free download.


The cache or caching, also known as cache memory, is a temporary memory that is available via the processor of a computer. Currently, used data is stored here for fast, albeit temporary, retrieval.


The cookies are small text files that are created by visited websites and forwarded to your web browser. They contain information about your computer, your identity, or your search behavior. Unfortunately, cookies make it relatively easy to find out who you are.


The Linux-based open-source firmware DD-WRT is an alternative firmware for routers, which is offered for numerous routers. Since DD-WRT scores with additional functions, you can, for example, install a VPN client on a router with this firmware, but only the alternative Freetz runs on the Fritzbox.


DNS is an abbreviation for Domain Name System. The so-called DNS servers are web servers that link information with the requested domain name and can therefore be compared with address books or telephone books. For example, on request via a DNS resolver, you can use the DNS entries on the server to convert a domain name into an IP address.

Double VPN

With the Double VPN functionality, you will not only be redirected via one VPN server but via two (VPN Comparison with double VPN). Your already encrypted activities on your computer activities are forwarded to the VPN server and encrypted again there. So you are doubly protected.

End-to-end encryption

With end-to-end encryption, also known as “E2EE”, the transmitted data is encrypted along the entire route; only the sender and recipient of communication can see the cleartext.

The Five Eyes

“The Five Eyes” are five countries that work closely together at the intelligence level. They include the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand.


IKEv2 stands for Internet Key Exchange Version 2 and is a technology for exchanging encryption ciphers within the IPSec protocol. IKEv2s is supported by numerous operating systems.

IP Address

The IP address is the abbreviation for Internet Protocol Address. Such an IP is allocated to each Internet connection. They consist of four groups, each containing one to three digits. The IP is an identification code that can be used to send data packets when you are web surfing. It is necessary for setting up Internet connections. However, third parties can also obtain information about online behavior, location, and perhaps even your identity via the IP address. IP addresses are therefore associated with high data protection risks. With a VPN, your IP address remains hidden to protect your online privacy.


IPv4 stands for Internet Protocol Version 4, which is currently used to create IP addresses by default. Since the WWW is growing incredibly fast, the number of IPv4 addresses that are still available is limited.

Kill Switch

The kill switch is an emergency switch that is included in the performance of many VPNs. It closes all connections if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly because the connection via VPN servers is not completely stable. Thanks to the kill switch function, data leaks can be avoided.


The L2TP/IPsec protocol combination brings together L2TP tunneling and IPsec encryption. With the two protocols combined, you get a highly secure and reliable VPN connection.

Open-source software

In open-source software, the source code is available publicly. Usually, such software is the product of the work of a wide network of volunteer developers. Open-source is considered to be preferable in terms of security and data protection since every user has access to the source code and possible backdoors or bugs.


PPTP, the point-to-point tunneling protocol, is a now-obsolete VPN protocol. It is considered to be insecure, even though it is used by default on some computers.