A virtual private network, or VPN, is a private network that utilizes the Internet to connect remote sites or users together. This gives users on-the-go the flexibility to connect to their corporate servers wherever they are and gives the corporation the peace of mind that their data is secure. Businesses that incorporate a VPN into their current intranet configuration can extend all the resources to remote offices.
VPNs no longer needs to rely on an expensive leased line. There are now several companies that offer VPNs as a service. Rates are determined by business needs such as type of protocols, anti-spyware features, exit locations, and if the company needs them, mobile app functionality.
The core of the matter is stated in PCWorld, “…VPNs can be helpful tools for protecting online privacy, and you need not be an office drone to enjoy their benefits.” Hamachi, OpenVPN, and even Windows 8 can help a user to create his own VPN right at home. Creating one at home can allow gamers to create a local area network (LAN) and connect friends from other areas without having to go through third-party sites or servers. Before long, everyone will have personal, secure networks for home, work, and play.
Some of the advantages to this include:
- Improved security for data exchanges
- Improve productivity of freelance employees that work via virtual workplaces
- Functionality and resources shared from a corporate office to all employees
- The VPN can grow as quickly as a business does, which allows the purchase of extended VPN service packages to facilitate sizing as needed
- If data is intercepted, it will be encrypted and will not be readable to outside hackers
The greatest advantage is the flexibility of the VPN and there are many types of service applications to set up the network. There are also several protocols used to tunnel the traffic, security mechanisms to protect the data, and authentication methods to allow the tunneling of data to be transferred. Unless a user or business is following a specific model to set up their VPN, each VPN is unique to that user.