While most of us may have heard of the term VPN, most of us don’t know the exact meaning of this term. This article explains VPN and how it can help to you.
What is VPN?
VPN is the abbreviation of Virtual Private Network. In very simple terms, a VPN is a private network established while you are using public infrastructure. This allows users to access their data across different platforms when they keep changing their location in different parts of the globe.
The innovative use of VPN has enabled companies to set up offices in remote locations so that they can have a wider business reach. It also allows users to access any information or program of their choice worldwide, which is otherwise allowed to be viewed only in their home country.
Once you use a VPN in a public network, it begins to act like a private network and you get all the corresponding benefits. In other words, you use passwords, tokens and other methods of identification that will help you to protect your personal data and hardware when you are using it elsewhere.
According to Bestonlinereviews.com, VPNs play a major role in current times to ensure the safety and security of web traffic that is conducted over public networks. Hence, it is imperative for us to understand that ignoring this wonderful facility will have severe repercussions on our personal privacy and make our personal devices vulnerable to hacking, snooping and malware.
Why Was it Developed?
With the rise of globalization and all the setup of offices all over the globe, it became very difficult for corporate offices to conduct all their work in the same geographical location. This is because it became inevitable for them to have branch offices that would help them in conducting their business efficiently.
This gave rise to new technology, like VPN, that would help them to conduct business through remote control that would not restrict their geographical location. The use of special encryption and other tools for protecting the identity of the user gave rise to this innovative technology that would revolutionize the way we work around the world.
This use of the VPN makes it possible for companies to use their company applications and resources that will help them make use of them all around the world without fear of security.
How A VPN Is Created
The most effective way of creating a VPN is to establish a point-to-point connection between the networks. This can be done by encrypting the traffic, following protocols for virtual tunnelling and making use of dedicated connections.
You can avail of the same benefits of a Wide Area Network (WAN) while using a VPN that is being used in the public Internet. This allows the users to access all the resources of the network from afar.
The only limitation they have is that they may not have all the advantages of a local area network (LAN). In order to overcome this limitation, the designers of VPN have developed certain variations among the VPN like VPLS i.e. Virtual Private LAN Service or L2TP i.e. Layer 2 Tunneling Protocols so can to circumvent this limitation.
Types of VPNs
In the beginning, earlier networks were a precursor to the current VPN technology but they used to do it passively. Hence, it was not a true VPN connection. With the advent of fiber optics and DSL (digital subscriber line) technologies, new VPN technology was made using IP and MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) as the cost of the technology has reduced and the available bandwidth has increased.
There are mainly two types of VPN. One of them connects a computer to a network and is called a remote-access system. The other one connects two sites and is called as a site-to-site network. When used by corporate employees, VPN lets them see their Intranet when they are outside their home or their workplace.
Two employees of the same company working in different geographical branches of the company can use the same VPN by making use of the site-to-site network. If there is a different middle network in between two similar networks, then VPN can be used in order to connect them together.
There are many parameters used when classifying VPNs depending on the tunnelling protocol, termination point location, topology of locations or the level of security being provided.
The best use of VPN is that it enhances security and protects your data and privacy. When using remote access, the VPN utilizes encryption techniques and tunneling protocols to ensure full privacy protection. They do this by using confidentiality, sender authentication and message integrity.
The VPN protocols include Internet Protocol Security Transport, Transport Layer Security and Datagram Transport Layer Security. They help in personal privacy protection.
The endpoints of the tunnel are authenticated and then VPN connection is established. Biometrics, passwords, two factor authentication and cryptographic methods are used in order to identify the users and then establish the connection.
Passwords and digital certificates are used in network-to-network tunnels so that they can be used automatically without the system administrator intervening in between.
A point-to-point network topology is technically not considered a VPN because it is supposed to support changing networks. But in practice, as most routing systems support a tunnel interface, the VPNs that provide to the needs of customers are just ordinary tunnels with conventional protocols for routing.
The building blocks of the VPN that are provisioned for the provider include Customer C devices, Customer Edge Device, Provider Edge Device and Provider Device that helps them to link the networks together.
Using VPNs with Mobiles
When the VPN is used in a mobile setting, it does not get restricted to a single IP address but it roams across a wide area like cellular carriers or Wi-Fi access points. This helps the police and intelligence agencies to catch data travelling along different networks and ensures public safety. It also helps law enforcement agencies create and tally criminal databases through computer-assisted dispatch. This data can be made use of by field management and healthcare officers.
In the current times, professionals who are always globetrotting and need a mobile environment are adopting mobile VPNs. This helps them roam seamlessly across different networks and in and out of areas that have wireless coverage. This helps them avoid the loss of application sessions and ensures that the secure VPN session does not get dropped out in between. At present, a conventional VPN system cannot support this system and the communication channel keeps getting disrupted causing the connections to fail time and again.
VPN plays a major role in safeguarding our privacy across public networks. Therefore, its role must never be undermined and we must make the best use of this facility when we are using our personal computers elsewhere for our optimal safety and security.