A VPN, or virtual private network, is a private network connecting two or more networks by using public communication networks. Generally, VPNs are established using the internet and are often used to connect geographically remote networks, for example, connecting the campuses of a university in different cities using a public network like the internet.
VPNs can be divided in to two main types:
Remote access VPN, as the name suggests, allows individual users to connect to the VPN from remote locations. For example, if you were an insurance officer selling insurance at a client’s home, and you needed information for the client, but that information needed to be retrieved from the company’s internal site or your office computer, which was connected to the VPN. You would simply browse to the company’s VPN through an ordinary internet connection, punch in the log in credentials, and retrieve the information from the internal site.
Contrary to Remote access VPNs, site-to-site VPN allows multiple networks consisting of multiple users to connect. For example, imagine the head of a team of IT technicians working from an office New York, the head of the finance team working from an office in London, and the headquarters are located in Sydney. The boss in Sydney, who wants to find out the progress made by the two teams in NY and London respectively can log in and access our networks and check out the progress.
What is the advantage of VPN and why it should be used?
VPNs are very cost effective as they eliminate the need of dedicated lines for communication. Instead of using or installing dedicated and expensive infrastructures to connect different networks, VPNs can be used to connect the same offices using the public infrastructures already in place. Server maintenance is also cheaper as server support can be outsourced to 3rd party service providers since it’s all about remote access in the first place!
VPNs are inter-connectable and can be used to connect two similar or dissimilar types of networks. An IPv4 network can be connected with IPv6 network, but this needs to be done skill fully as it requires the hands of a skilled technical expert.
Though VPNs are cheaper but it doesn’t mean they’re not secure. They are backed by state-of-the-art security protocols which ensure the protection of data. In order to ensure the security of data while it is travelling across the public network, companies can make use of services like OC Shield and VPN4all to add another layer of security and be 100% sure about the security of their data.
VPNs allow all the functionalities of a network such as access to files, printers, databases and internal sites.
With all the advantages and a long list of users, VPNs are a winner for sure!