What is a VPN Tunnel, and How It Works?

Ruheni Mathenge  - Streaming Expert
Last updated: December 5, 2023
Read time: 12 minutes

A VPN (virtual private network) tunnel helps cloak some of your activities online by encapsulating and encrypting traffic between the VPN server and your device. How does it work? This article explains all.


All the reliable VPNs available today employ some protocols for the online protection of internet users, known as VPN Tunnel. It is an encrypted link established between your device and your chosen VPN server as soon as you connect with a VPN. In VPN tunneling, the VPN will first encrypt your online traffic and then route it via intermediary servers with a newly generated IP before it reaches the destination. That’s how it provides an anonymous and secure route to your online stream, which no one can trace. Learn more about VPN tunnels in this guide.

The increasing regulations and censorship are threatening internet freedom around the world. At the same time, there has been a surge of technologies to protect people’s online security and privacy. One typical example is the Virtual Private Network (VPN).

This handy tool will encrypt your traffic and route it through an intermediary server before reaching its destination. The encrypted channel between your device and the server is called the ‘tunnel.’ So, as long as the VPN is active, your ISP and other third parties cannot see what you are doing online.

Read on to find out how VPN tunneling works, the types of VPN tunnel protocols, the best VPNs that use tunneling, and more.

Best VPNs that use tunneling – Quick list

  1. NordVPN: A reliable VPN service that uses leak-proof encryption and offers various tunneling protocols like OpenVPN, NordLynx (Wireguard), and IKEv2.
  2. ExpressVPN: A superb VPN service with speedy servers, and it supports various tunneling protocols, including IKEv2, OpenVPN, L2TP, and Lightway.
  3. Surfshark: A budget-friendly VPN provider that allows unlimited simultaneous connections and offers multiple tunneling protocols such as IKEv2, OpenVPN, WireGuard, and Shadowsocks.