A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, such as the Internet. It enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network, and thus are benefiting from the functionality, security and management policies of the private network. A VPN is created by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated connections, virtual tunnelling protocols, or traffic encryption.
A VPN spanning the Internet is similar to a wide area network (WAN). From a user perspective, the extended network resources are accessed in the same way as resources available within the private network. Traditional VPNs are characterized by a point-to-point topology, and they do not tend to support or connect broadcast domains. Therefore, communication, software, and networking, which are based on OSI layer 2 and broadcast packets, such as NetBIOSused in Windows networking, may not be fully supported or work exactly as they would on a local area network (LAN). VPN variants, such as Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS), and layer 2 tunnelling protocols, are designed to overcome this limitation.
VPNs allow employees to securely access the corporate intranet while travelling outside the office. Similarly, VPNs securely connect geographically separated offices of an organization, creating one cohesive network. VPN technology is also used by individual Internet users to secure theirwireless transactions, to circumvent geo-restrictions and censorship, and to connect to proxy servers for the purpose of protecting personal identity and location.
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Early data networks allowed VPN-style remote connectivity through dial-up modem or through leased line connections utilizing Frame Relay and Asynchronous Transfer Mode(ATM) virtual circuits, provisioned through a network owned and operated by telecommunication carriers. These networks are not considered true VPNs because they passively secure the data being transmitted by the creation of logical data streams. They have been replaced by VPNs based on IP and IP/Multi-protocol Label Switching (MPLS) Networks, due to significant cost-reductions and increased bandwidth provided by new technologies such as Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and fiber-optic networks.
VPNs can be either remote-access (connecting a computer to a network) or site-to-site (connecting two networks). In a corporate setting, remote-access VPNs allow employees to access their company's intranet from home or while travelling outside the office, and site-to-site VPNs allow employees in geographically disparate offices to share one cohesive virtual network. A VPN can also be used to interconnect two similar networks over a dissimilar middle network; for example, two IPv6 networks over an IPv4 network.
VPN systems may be classified by:
VPNs cannot make online connections completely anonymous, but they can usually increase privacy and security. To prevent disclosure of private information, VPNs typically allow only authenticated remote access using tunnelling protocols and encryption techniques.
The VPN security model provides:
Secure VPN protocols include the following:
Friday, January 1, 2016