A VPN network or Virtual Private Network is defined as a network technology that helps create a more secure network connection on a public networking such as the web or a network that is owned by your internet service provider. Institutions such as companies, schools, and even government agencies use this technology in order to allow remote users to connect safely to a private network.
Just like a Wide Area Network or WAN, VPNs enable you to connect to several sites over a remote distance. More often than not, VPNs are used to spread information and news to an extensive user base worldwide. Schools and universities use VPNs in order to connect to satellite campuses or sister schools and exchange information easily and securely across the country or worldwide.
For you to be able to access a private network, you need to be able to get authenticated or authorized by using a unique username and a personal password. Authentication tokens are frequently used to gain secure access to the network by a personal identification number (PIN) that users should enter. This PIN is unique that it actually changes according to the desired frequency of the administrator; usually, it changes every minute or so.
What are the Protocols of Private Networking?
VPNs are used according to several protocols that enable secure communication of information through a public network infrastructure. These protocols vary in a way according to how this information is securely kept.
- IP Security (IPSec) is primarily used to secure exchange of information over the web. You can either use transport mode or tunneling in order to encrypt information traffic in a private network. The difference between these two is that transport mode translates the information within the data packet; tunneling, on the other hand, translates the entirety of the data packet. IPSec is otherwise referred to as “security overlay” due to its usage of a security layer for various protocols.
- The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and the Transport Layer Security (TLS) makes use of cryptography in order to safely secure communications on the internet. These protocols use the handshake method of authentication which involves conciliation of network parameters between the user and the server. In order to successfully connect, you may have to undergo authentication procedures which basically involve certificates that are found on the server and the client as well.
- The Point-To-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), on the other hand, is also a tunneling protocol which is used to connect a client that is on a remote location to the private server using the internet. This protocol is actually one of the most popularly used protocols primarily because its configuration and maintenance is easily understandable and done. Aside from that, it also works with the Windows operating system which is also widely used worldwide.
- The Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) is another tunneling protocol used to communicate information between two websites on the internet. It is most frequently used with IPSec in order to secure the transfer of data packets. In comparison to PPTP, a VPN that uses L2TP/IPSec will require you to share keys or use certificates in order to be authenticated to access the network.
Advantages and Disadvantages of VPN Technology
The VPN technology is one of the inexpensive ways of creating a private network at home or at the office. You only need to have access to the internet in order to communicate between sites making it a cost- and time- efficient substitute to expensive private lines. Companies only need to pay for the network authentication hardware and the software that will be used in authenticating users, as well as the additional mechanisms like authentication of tokens and other devices. For those companies who need flexibility, the ease, speed, and flexibility that the VPN provides make it an ideal option to use. With this, the company can change the number of sites in the private network in accordance with the changing requirements for authentication. You can read top 10 vpn service ranking and review on bestvpnservicemag.com
Note, however, that there are also a number of potential disadvantage with the usage of VPNs. VPNs actually lack the Quality of Service (QoS) management on the internet; this puts the data at risk for loss and performance issues may arise. As a matter of fact, adverse network conditions which actually occur just outside of the private network cannot be controlled by its administrator. And because of this, several large companies pay for the use of a trusted VPN that will guarantee their network QoS. Another potential disadvantage is also vender interoperability. There are actually instances wherein one VPN technology from one vendor may not be compatible to that of another vendor; thus, you only have to stick to one brand or type of technology. On the brighter side, neither of these two disadvantages have prevented the general acceptance of VPN technology.