Submitted by: Billy Joe Long, Member/Manager
Company: Problem Solving Applications, LLC
Titled: Introduction to Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Original release date: July 17, 2018
Introduction to Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN provides a secure way of connecting to a remote network over a public network (the Internet). This remote network is typically a private network, such as your workplace or home network. A “tunnel” is created through the public network to your private network at the other end. All network traffic through this tunnel is encrypted to ensure it is kept secure and private.
What can you do with VPN?
With a VPN you are able to do a number of things you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do with a standard network connection. For example:
How does VPN work?
A typical VPN consists of two components: a VPN client and a VPN server.
A VPN client is software that allows you to connect your computer to a VPN server and establish a VPN connection. It is installed on your computer and communicates with the VPN server to create a secure link for your network traffic. The VPN Client is what you use to control the VPN connection. A VPN server is setup at the location you want to connect to, such as at a workplace or at home. A VPN server performs authentication to ensure only registered users can connect to the VPN.
All network traffic through the tunnel created between the VPN client and the VPN server is encrypted to keep it private and secure.
Should you use VPN?
Even if you have no need to be able to access a private network remotely, a VPN is vital to ensure the security and privacy of your network traffic.
Public networks, and in particular public wireless networks, provide an easy way for hackers and malicious users to listen in (“sniff”) on your network usage. This may allow them to see what web pages you are viewing, steal username and passwords, steal session information to be able to log into sites as you, and extract other private data. In addition, skilled hackers may perform a “man in the middle” attack. This allows them to not only monitor in depth your network traffic, but also alter your traffic or inject their own traffic in an attempt to fool a user into revealing important data.
Using a VPN protects you from such attacks.
If you are thinking about utilizing VPN services, I would encourage you to contact your IT guy (or gal) for their input. “There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors”.