A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is essentially a private data network that uses existing telecommunications infrastructures (regular phone lines, T1 lines, DSL, cable lines, and so on). Privacy is achieved through the use of a tunneling protocol and security procedures.
Many different types of VPN connectivity solutions exist today offering a range of features and security, but why would a business considering a VPN solution
Businesses are seeking for a reduction in the cost of overhead, having remote employees (working from home or any internet enabled location) could share in solving this issue, no longer must office space be purchased or leased to house workers during business hours. This also reduces their electrical, heating, and office supply bills.
Utilizing the Internet, VPN connects remote workers into the private network as if they are physically connected to an internal switch; these employees are connecting directly from a VPN client on their laptops or smart phones into the company’s private network. In doing so, the employee workstation receives an internal private address and can access applications, file shares, and printers normally restricted to the physical company building.
If a company experiences a disaster, VPNs allow companies to create a broader disaster recovery plan by deploying VPN client enabled laptops to their employees.
If a vendor must be onsite to simply control or view the screen of a computer or server, a VPN tunnel could be utilized instead to allow the vendor to connect remotely. This could bring the company a quicker solution and save the cost of vendors traveling to an on-site location.
For example, a small business is opening a new location across the street. The owners want the primary customer database server to stay at the original location, and also be accessible by its new location. One option would be a physical cable connection runs across the street from one building to the other. This option is costly and could prove to be insecure or unreliable.
A solution utilizing a VPN tunnel would be more cost effective, more secure, and more reliable. This solution is to create a logical connection between the two locations (each location has a connection to the Internet), over the Internet, and allow devices within the two buildings to communicate as if they are physically connected. Imagine this same solution being used on a larger scale by nationwide or even global companies, and you can see how VPN tunnels allow large corporations to interlink their local connections together into a single private network.