Virtual Private Network (VPN)

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A virtual private network is programming implemented to create a safe and encrypted network for maximum security over less secure internet. VPN uses tunnelling protocols which encrypts data at the sending end and decrypt data at the receiving end. To increase the security of the data, the addresses of the sending and receiving ends are encrypted to make it difficult for the man-in-the-middle attacks to be executed.

VPNs provide remote corporate employees and freelancers’ access to software applications hosted on proprietary networks. Before you gain access to restricted resources via VPN, you must have security authentication factors like passwords, biometrics and security tokens.

VPN apps are available for people who want to access geographically restricted sites or those who want to access websites via mobile devices through the protected transmission. Secure access to isolated networks or websites through mobile VPN should not be confused with private browsing or software applications for those who have hadNordVPN experiences in facilitating the use of internet securely and anonymously, because more often than not private browsing does not involve encryption techniques. It only prevents identifiable data like cookies from being collected and sent to third parties.

VPN simplified

VPN creates a point-to-point connection that is strictly guarded against unauthorized users. To create a VPN tunnel the endpoints need to run on a VPN client normally a software application that is hosted on the cloud or locally. It runs in the background without the possibilities of end-users noticing them unless when there is a performance issue.

VPN performance can be affected by several issues; common amongst these issues are internet speed and connectivity. Others include the protocols used by the internet service provider, the encryption type used by the VPN and the poor quality of service, which is beyond the control of the IT department.

VPN protocols

VPN protocols are measures that ensure an appropriate level of security to the connected systems is provided when the underlying network cannot provide. Several protocols are available to ensure security and encryption of user data which include the following; IPsec, SSL and TSL,  point-to-point tunnelling protocol, layer2 tunnelling protocol and OpenVPN.

Types of VPN

As a network administrator, you will have several options of deploying VPN which include;

Remote access VPN

Remote access clients connect to VPN gateway server. The gateway will require devices to authenticate before access is granted to access file resources, intranets and shared printers. This type of internet connection relies on IPsec or SSL for a secure connection.

Site-to-site VPN

Site-to-site VPN uses a gateway device to connect an entire network to connect to other networks in other locations. The end node devices in the remote location do not need to have VPN clients because the gateway handles the connection.

Mobile VPN

A VPN server resides at the edge of the company’s network enabling authorized and authenticated VPN client’s access to the network resources. Effective mobile VPN  tunnels are not tied to a physical IP address but each tunnel is bound to a logical IP address. Other VPNs include; hardware VPN, VPN appliance, VPN reconnect and  DMVPN,