VPN Glossary: A List of Online Security Terms to Know

3 min

If you use a VPN, chances are you already know a thing or two about safe web browsing. Naturally, the next step should be to aim higher and be more informed about the problems that hamper safe Internet surfing and their solutions. In that quest, you will come across a lot of online security and VPN terms that may be difficult to understand at first.

So, here’s a glossary of some critical terminology related to virtual private networks, proxy servers, and online security in general. Skim through these terms or refer to them (bookmark this glossary on your browser if needed) the next time you come across a VPN-related phrase that seems familiar but whose definition escapes you.

VPN Glossary

A quick list of key terminology surrounding VPNs and online security:


Short for a virtual private network, it is a safety cocoon created inside the larger world wide web for private communication. VPNs are widely used by Internet users to stay anonymous online or unblock geological restrictions on websites. Here’s a more detailed take on VPNs and how they work.


Also known as a geographical block, it is an event where a website or a service has been blocked by its administrator/provider for users hailing from a specific country. In other words, the site or service will be only accessible to users that are from that certain region.

For example, the recently launched IMDb TV is only available to users in the United States and Canada (as of March 2021).

Residential IP

It is a type of internet protocol (IP) that is generated by a real internet service provider (ISP) and assigned to a physical address (like an apartment or a house). For example, the IP that was given to you by your ISP while setting up an Internet connection at your home is a residential IP.

In the VPN world, a residential IP denotes a VPN application that pools IPs sourced from such real ISPs (and not servers) and shares them among a network of users. Using a residential VPN is a more realistic and efficient way of Internet browsing as it allows you to seamlessly bypass geographical restrictions while staying anonymous. TuxlerVPN is an established provider of such residential IPs.


It is a way to transform data into a cryptic code so that it becomes difficult for a prying eye to understand it. VPNs use different types of encryption and encryption standards (see AES below) to disguise data, which then needs to be decrypted by the receiver to be accessed or deciphered.


Short for Advanced Encryption Standard, it is an Internet security standard used to encrypt data before sending it over a network. VPN companies use standards like AES to perform encryption in their services/applications.


It is a node between two or more networks that allows them to communicate by translating protocols. When you connect to a VPN, you are most likely being directed via a gateway.

Proxy Server

It is a server that sits between you and your destination over a network (like the Internet). A proxy acts as a temporary server on your behalf so that interceptors (if any) cannot directly find and attack you. Their attacks will be absorbed by this proxy server.

Proxy servers are used as firewall elements and are a critical part of some VPNs.

There are countless more VPN-related terms to know about, but these basic phrases will let you keep up the conversation if someone randomly asks you what a geoblock is tomorrow. In most cases, you may be familiar with all these terms but brushing up on them wouldn’t hurt. For more information related to the world of safe browsing and VPNs, follow the TuxlerVPN blog.

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