VPN Types and when to use them

You may have heard of VPN’s and you possibly even know that it stands for ‘Virtual Private Network’, but did you know that there are several types of VPN and that they all have different uses?

A site-to-site VPN is an encrypted link between the gateway routers of two different sites which allows data to be sent between the locations securely. Essentially, this brings all users within the organisation onto the same network allowing the use of shared resources such as line of business applications and shared files.

Unless you’re in the network team – and therefore it’s your job to ensure connectivity between your organisations sites – then it’s likely that you won’t even know it’s there until you try and access resources in another location and the VPN has disconnected.

Remote Access VPN

Awareness of remote access VPNs increased dramatically during the pandemic. With more people working from home than ever before, your IT department may have had to set you up with a Remote Access VPN.

This was needed to allow home office computers secure access to required services on corporate networks. Like the site-to-site VPN, it creates a private ‘tunnel’, but this time between a single computer and a VPN server on the corporate network.

VPN as a Service (Cloud VPN)

If you’ve seen any adverts for VPN services, then cloud VPN is the type of service that is really being offered (and it will generally be provided at a monthly cost). It’s frequently sold as a service that will hide your IP address, change your location to another country or promise that no activity logs will be kept.

These do have a place in the corporate world as any data transferred over this type of VPN is encrypted and protected from nefarious parties who may be attempting to intercept wireless signals over public Wi-Fi in places like coffee shops or airports.

For VPN help and advice, contact Itek to discuss your needs.

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