Virtual Private Networks Explained
A virtual private network (VPN) is a special type of secured network. As the internet continue to expand so does the threats on data and personal information. VPN is used to provide a secure connection across a public network, such as the internet. Extranets also can use a VPN connection to provide security in the transfer of information between a company and its external users or offices.
VPN connection provides authentication, confidentiality, and integrity in providing a secure connection between two sites or devices. VPN uses virtual connections called VPN tunnels instead of a dedicated layer 2 connection (leased line), which are routed through the Internet from the private network of an organization to the remote site or employee host.
Types of VPN Connection
There are two types of VPN access:
Site-to-site VPN connects entire organization's network to each other, for example, they can connect a branch office network to a company headquarters network. Each site is equipped with a VPN gateway, such as a router, firewall, VPN concentrator, or security appliance.
Remote-access VPNs enable individual hosts or clients to access a company network securely over the Internet. Each host typically has VPN client software loaded or uses a web-based client.
Benefit of VPN
The various benefits of VPN include the following:
i. Security: Virtual Private Networks provide a very high level of security by using advanced encryption and authentication protocols that protect data from unauthorized access.
ii. Cost savings: Virtual Private Nnetworks enable organizations to use the global Internet to connect remote offices and remote users to the main corporate site, thus eliminating expensive dedicated WAN links and modem banks.
iii. Scalability: Because VPNs use the Internet infrastructure within ISPs and devices, it is easy to add new users. Corporations are able to add large amounts of capacity without adding significant infrastructure.
iv. Compatibility: VPN technology is supported by most broadband service providers such as DSL and cable, so mobile workers can take advantage of their home high-speed Internet service to access their corporate networks.