Computer Networking: Virtual Private Networks: An Introduction, Benefits & Others
4. Virtual Private Networks: An Introduction
1. What is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
A VPN is a network that is constructed by using public Internet (or any other public media) to connect systems (also called as nodes) for transporting data. These systems normally use encryption and other security mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users can access the vpn network and that the data cannot be intercepted.
2. How a Virtual Private Network (VPN) differs from an ordinary Internet connection?
i. VPN typically uses Internet and allow only valid remote user to access the Corporate network whereas an ordinary Internet connection can only be used to access public services such as web service and email service.
ii. A VPN secures the data through encryption as the data is transported over the public Internet. An ordinary Internet access normally doesn't involve any encryption.
iii. The central office typically requires a Remote Access Server (RAS) to login to the Corporate network.
3. How a Virtual Private Network (VPN) differs from an Intranet using leased line connection?
An Intranet using WAN connection requires a leased line connection where as a VPN uses public media (such as Internet) as medium. Normally, leased lines are more expensive compared to Internet access.
4. Benefits of Virtual Private Networks
- Cost Savings - VPNs enable organizations to utilize third-party Internet medium to connect remote offices or users to the main corporate site, thus eliminating
expensive dedicated WAN links. Cost-effective, high-bandwidth technologies like DSL improve the connection bandwidth while reducing the connectivity costs.
- Security: VPNs provide the desired level of security using advanced encryption and authentication protocols protecting the data from unauthorized access.
- Scalability: VPNs enable corporations to utilize Internet infrastructure with the ISPs and allow for the easy addition of new users. Therefore, organizations can add large
amounts of capacity without adding significant infrastructure.
- Mobile Connectivity: VPNs allow mobile Corporate employees such as sales and service people to access the head quarters with ease by using high speed broadband connections
through local ISPs.