VPN is an acronym for Virtual Private Network. These are networks that connect other networks through the medium of the Internet. Virtual Private Networks are implemented in a variety of ways and by a variety of organizations. They are an efficient and cost-effective way to connect multiple local area networks together.Development:
As local area network technology progressed, the need for connecting locations together became increasingly present. Before virtual private networks, location had to be connected to one another through means such as direct lines and microwave transmissions. Since these measures can be cost prohibitive, virtual private networks were created so that the existing infrastructure of the Internet could be utilized in connecting these locations. This allows even individual users to access remote servers so they could work from practically any location instead of bing required to be in the office. Protocols and Security Mechanisms:
Since VPNs connect over the Internet, the risk of security breaches or the server becoming inaccessible, these unique networks have several different mechanisms and protocols to ensure a solid and secure connection. Some examples are:
- Internet Protocol Security: This standard protocol provides many of the objectives for securing virtual private connections. These are authentication, integrity, and confidentiality.
- Transport Layer Security/Secure Socket Layer: An advanced protocol that provides extra security, specifically at the transport layer of data exchange.
All virtual private networks make use of tunneling protocols. These protocols essentially map routes for data to follow across the Internet in a way that provides the highest level of privacy and security. VPNs may be a site-to-site connection (i.e. one location connecting to another location) or user-to-site (i.e. a user connects to the VPN remotely so that they are not required to be at the physical location of the network).
Revised January 18th, 2016
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