What is a VPN? .. Explaining Virtual Private Networks

    Date15 Feb 2002
    CategoryCryptography
    2989
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    As it is most commonly defined, a virtual private network (VPN) allows two or more private networks to be connected over a publicly accessed network. In a sense, VPNs are similar to wide area networks (WAN) or a securely encrypted tunnel, . . . As it is most commonly defined, a virtual private network (VPN) allows two or more private networks to be connected over a publicly accessed network. In a sense, VPNs are similar to wide area networks (WAN) or a securely encrypted tunnel, but the key feature of VPNs is that they are able to use public networks like the Internet rather than rely on expensive, private leased lines. At they same time, VPNs have the same security and encryption features as a private network, while taking the advantage of the economies of scale and remote accessibility of large public networks.

    A VPN is an especially effective means of exchanging critical information for employees working remotely in branch offices, at home, or on the road. It can securely deliver information between vendors, suppliers, and business partners, who may have a huge physical distance between them. Since companies no longer have to invest in the actual infrastructure themselves, they can reduce their operational costs by outsourcing network services to service providers. VPNs can also reduce costs by eliminating the need for long-distance telephone charges to obtain remote access, as client need only call into the service provider's nearest access point.

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