A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a good solution for establishing secured network and/or long-distance connections. Usually VPNs are deployed (implemented) by organizations or businesses instead of by individuals, however it is possible to reach virtual networks from inside of a home network. When compared with other technologies, there are several advantages that VPNs offer, especially benefits that relate to local area wireless networking.
For organizations that want to provide their client base with a secure network infrastructure, there are two major advantages that a VPN offers over other technologies: network scalability and cost savings. For the clients that access those networks, VPNs also provide benefits that relate to ease of use.
Offers Cost Savings
There are several situations where a VPN can help organizations save money:
- Eliminates the need for having costly long-distance leased lines
- Reduces long-distance telephone charges
- Offloads support costs
VPNs vs. leased lines – Historically organizations have had to rent network capacity like T1 lines in order to achieve secure and full connectivity in between their various office locations. When a VPN is used, public network infrastructure is utilized, including the Internet, in order to make those connections and get tapped into the virtual network using much less expensive local leased lines or only broadband connections to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that is nearby.
Long distance telephone charges – Long-distance dial-up network connections and remote access service can also replace a VPN. In the past these connections were commonly used by business travellers who needed to gain access to their company’s intranet. For instance, when an Internet VPN is used, all clients need to do is connect to the closest access point of the service provider, which usually is local.
Support costs – When it comes to VPNS, maintaining service tends to cost less compared to other methods since the necessary support can be outsourced by organizations to third-party professional service providers. Since these providers service many business clients they are able to realize a much lower cost structure due to economy of scale.
VPN Network Scalability
At first the cost to build a dedicated private network might be reasonable for an organization. However, as the organization continues to grow it increases exponentially. For example, a company that has two branch offices, is able to deploy only one dedicated line for connecting these two locations. However 6 lines will be required for 4 branches to directly connect with each other, and 15 lines would be needed by 6 branch offices, and so forth.
This scalability problem is avoided by Internet-based VPNs through just tapping into readily available network capability and public lines. An Internet VPN provides superior quality of service and reach, especially for international and remote locations.
How To Use A VPN
In order to use the best VPN available, every client needs to have the right hardware support or networking software on their computers and local network. When properly set up, it is easy to use VPN solutions and at times that can be made so that they work automatically as a part of signing onto the network.
Another place where VPN technology works well is with Wi-Fi local area networks. VPNs are used by some organizations to secure wireless connections with their local access points whenever they work inside the office. Those solutions provide strong protection without excessively affecting performance.
Limitations of VPNs
VPN are definitely not perfect, despite their popularity, and like any technology do have their limitations. Organizations need to consider issues such as the following when using and deploying virtual private networks as part of their operations:
- When using a VPN, careful installation and configuration along with a comprehensive understanding of various network security issues is required in order to ensure a sufficient level of protection when using a public network such as the Internet.
- The performance and reliability of an Internet-based VPN isn’t directly controlled by an organization. The solution instead relies on an ISP as well as the quality of its service.
- In the past, VPN solutions and products from different vendors haven’t been compatible always due to there being issues with VPN technology standards. Try to mix and match various equipment could cause technical problems, while using only one provider’s equipment might not provide the highest cost savings.