A virtual private network (VPN) is a network that uses a public telecommunication infrastructure, such as the Internet, to provide remote offices or individual users with secure access to their organization's network. A virtual private network can be contrasted with an expensive system of owned or leased lines that can only be used by one organization. The goal of a VPN is to provide the organization with the same capabilities, but at a much lower cost. A VPN works by using the shared public infrastructure while maintaining privacy through security procedures and tunneling protocols such as the Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP). In effect, the protocols, by encrypting data at the sending end and decrypting it at the receiving end, send the data through a "tunnel" that cannot be "entered" by data that is not properly encrypted. An additional level of security involves encrypting not only the data, but also the originating and receiving network addresses [ (Rouse, 2007) ].
Plainly, a VPN is just a network of computers that are all connected securely despite the fact that they’re in different geographic locations, and could potentially be using different connection methods. The largest attraction to a VPN is all of the involved computers are afforded secure connection to one another. Another great benefit to a VPN is that all of the involved computers are effectively on the same network. Users can communicate as if they were right next to one another, plugged in to the same router. Additionally, the traffic to and from these machines is encrypted.
Corporations and small businesses alike utilize VPNs to ensure safe, secure, and reliable connections for employees and anyone else requiring access to their information system. A VPN almost creates its own little universe, or even a “VIP only” party; only invited guests may enter. Each machine: computer, router, modem, filter, and server; has dedication means of transportation for information and communication. In...
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