Michal Waszak
Michal Waszak voted up Gary Davis' answer

A VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is an encrypted, secured connection that encapsulates communications and allows you to access remote network resources that aren't on the Internet publicly.
It can block some Internet or local resources though, depending on the setup.

Michal Waszak
Michal Waszak voted up Ray Dart's answer

The clue is in the name "Virtual Private Network". It is a mechanism for simulating a point-to-point type network over existing network infrastructure without anyone else outside that mechanism (but using the same infrastructure) having access to it (unless you want them to). Usually implemented in soft/firmware. There is quite a lot more to it … Read more