virtual private network


plural virtual private networks
: a private computer network that functions over a public network (such as the Internet) and usually utilizes data encryption to provide secure access to something (such as an internal business server or private network)
He persuaded its users to communicate through a virtual private network, or VPN, a secure channel that sends encrypted messages between computers …James Verini
Tony, like all savvy Internet thieves, uses a virtual private network that masks his computer's true Internet Protocol address every time he logs on.Joe Light

called also VPN

Examples of virtual private network in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the letter, Nissan North America said a bad actor attacked a company virtual private network and demanded payment. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, 15 May 2024 That allows the footage to be seen outside the country and by Australian users who use a virtual private network (VPN) to change their online location. Patrick Frater, Variety, 13 May 2024 But given that the network can continue broadcasting from Gaza and that its mainly Arab audience can still view the channel using virtual private networks or YouTube, many Israeli commentators called the move symbolic at most. Liam Stack, New York Times, 9 May 2024 Md Abdur Rouf/Getty Images Setting up a virtual private network on your phone or laptop means a much better level of privacy and security for you and your data. David Nield, WIRED, 25 Apr. 2024 That’s helped apps like Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat dominate domestic usage, though Chinese users can still employ virtual private networks to view foreign media. Mark Gurman, Fortune Asia, 19 Apr. 2024 Though Tinder is one of many foreign apps that are blocked in mainland China, residents can access it using virtual private networks. Larissa Gao, NBC News, 16 Mar. 2024 Avoid public Wi-Fi To minimize the risk of data interception by cyber criminals, use a virtual private network (VPN) or your mobile data instead of public Wi-Fi networks. Ebony Flake, Essence, 3 Apr. 2024 But a small number of Chinese people – typically city dwellers who are more educated and tech savvy – still access it via virtual private networks to keep up with the world beyond the Great Firewall. Nectar Gan, CNN, 18 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'virtual private network.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1983, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of virtual private network was in 1983

Dictionary Entries Near virtual private network

Cite this Entry

“Virtual private network.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

virtual private network

: a private computer network that functions over a public network (as the Internet) and usually uses data encryption to provide secure access to something (as an internal business server)
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!