VPNs might seem challenging to understand at first, but
actually, they’re pretty easy to use.
So let’s just unveil everything about this ultimate tool
– what are its significant functions, why you should use it and how they all
work in sync.
On top of this, we’ll also provide you the information on some of the best VPNs so that you can choose wisely for your needs.
is VPN and how it works?
As the name suggests, a Virtual Private Network is a
linking process that helps to add security and privacy to private and public
networks such as WiFi Hotspots and the internet. Most organizations use VPN to
protect their sensitive data.
Let us break it down a little further:
A VPN is a service that helps you access the web safely
by routing your connection through a server and concealing your online actions.
does VPN provide privacy?
A Virtual Private Network provides privacy by changing
the primary IP address of the user with one from the VPN provider. Subscribers
can get an IP address through any gateway city that the VPN service provides.
For illustration: let’s say you live in California, but
with a VPN you’ll be seen accessing your system from New York, Seattle, or any
other gateway cities.
Talking about gateway city leads us to the next question,
does VPN gateway mean?
A VPN gateway or VPN router is a networking device that
links two or more devices or networks together in an extensive VPN
It is formulated to connect multiple VPNs and shorten the
communication or connection between multiple remote sites, networks or devices.
to techopedia, “A VPN
gateway can be a router, server, firewall or similar device with
internetworking and data transmission capabilities. However, in most cases, a VPN
gateway is a physical router device.
VPN gateway is generally installed on the core VPN site or infrastructure. The
VPN gateway is configured to pass, block or route VPN traffic. It provides core
VPN-specific networking services such as IP address assignment and management,
dynamic and static routing and the maintenance of routing tables.”
How many types of VPN are there?
There’re two types of
Remote Access: A remote-access VPN allows individual users to set up secure
connections with a distant computer network or a computer device outside the
premise. The users can access these resources on that network like they were
directly linked with the network’s servers. These devices are called endpoints and may be
laptops, tablets, or smartphones.
it on the side of the text)
Mostly large firms having hundreds of
salesperson in the field needs a remote-access VPN. This type of VPN is also
called virtual private dial-up network
(VPDN) because, in its earliest form, a remote access VPN needed dialing
into a server with an analog telephone system..
There are mainly two elements needed in a
remote-access VPN out of which the first one is a network access server abbreviated as NAS usually pronounced as “nazz” also known as a media gateway or a remote-access server (RAS). The NAS is what user connects to from
the internet to use a VPN. The user has to provide valid credentials to sign in
to the VPN.
NAS uses either its verification process
or an independent verifying server already running on the internet to verify
the user’s credentials.
The second element of remote-access VPNs –
client software – the requirement of
the software to set-up and maintain a connection to the VPN on the computers of
the users or let’s say the employees to use the VPN.
There is already built-in software that
connects to remote access VPNs in most of the operating systems today, though
some VPNs still ask users to install a particular application instead.
The client software builds the tunneled
links to a NAS which the user signifies by its IP address. The software also operates
the coding needed to secure the connection. We’ll define the tunneling and
coding later in this article.
Big corporate houses or organizations
especially with expert IT staff buys, installs and maintains personalized
remote-access VPNs. Apart from this there are many enterprise service providers (ESP) through which businesses can
outsource their remote-access. The ESP establishes a NAS for the business and
maintains that NAS to perform smoothly.
So here we got to know that remote-access
VPN is great for individual employees, right? But what about the entire branch
offices with hundreds or even countless employees?
This makes us discuss about another type
of VPN used to keep business connected LAN-to-LAN.
the help of site-to-site VPN offices in multiple fixed locations can set-up the
secure connections with each other over a public network like the internet.
Site-to-site VPN expands the network of the company so that employees from one
location can access the computer resource available at other location.
The best example of a company in need of a
site-to-site VPN is a corporation having dozens of branch offices across the
There are two types of
• Intranet-based – Intranet VPN helps in
connecting each separate LAN to a single WAN, especially if a company has one
or more than one separate remote locations that they want to connect in one
standard private network.
– If a company is in partnership or tie-up with any other company, then creating
an extranet VPN helps connect those companies’ LAN.
This extranet VPN enables
the companies to work closely in a secure and common shared network environment
at the same time blocking access to their separate intranets.
The objective of a
site-to-site VPN differs from the remote-access VPN, but it can use some of the
same software and equipment. Generally, a site-to-site VPN eradicates the
requirement for each computer device to run VPN client software just like it
was on a remote-access VPN.
Now that you know the two
types of VPNs, let’s understand how your data stays secure while traveling
across a VPN or how does the VPN work?
Keeping VPN Traffic in the
Tunneling is something on
which most VPNs depend on to create a private network reaching all over the
internet. First, you’ve to understand that the internet works by breaking each
data file into a series of packets and send it to a computer connected to the
Tunneling is the method of
placing an entire packet inside another packet before it gets transported over
the internet. The outer packet hides the contents from public view and makes
sure that the packet travels inside a virtual tunnel.
This layering of packets is
called encapsulation. Networking devices or computers at each end of the tunnel
are called tunnel interfaces that encapsulate outgoing packets and open the
incoming packets. Users at one end of the tunnel and IT expert at one or both
ends of the tunnel configure the tunnel interfaces which they’re liable to use
a tunneling protocol.
Also known as the
encapsulation protocol, a tunneling protocol is the standard method to
encapsulate packets [source: Microsoft]. We’ll discuss the different tunneling
protocols later in this article.
The main objective of the
tunneling protocol is to coat the packet and provide additional security to
protect each packet throughout its journey on the internet. The packet travels
in the same transport protocol it would’ve used without the tunnel; this protocol
determines the way each computer sends and receives the data over its ISP. The
inner packets always maintain the passenger protocol like internet protocol
(IP), which shows the way it moves on the LANs at both the ends of the tunnel.
The tunneling protocol, which is used for encapsulation protects the packet on
its journey over the internet by providing an added layer of security.
Think of the relationships between protocols
in this way;
Think of tunneling as you
get a computer delivered to your address by a shipping company. The vendor
sending you the computer packs the computer (passenger protocol) in cardboard (tunneling protocol). Shippers then keep that box on a shipping van
(transport protocol) at the vendor’s
warehouse (one tunnel interface).
The van (transport protocol) travels
over the roads (internet) to your
home (the other tunnel interface)
and deliver the computer. You unpack the box (tunneling protocol) and take out the computer (passenger protocol).
Now that we’ve understood
the data in the tunnel, let’s look at the types of Virtual Private Network
A virtual private network is only as good as its encryption
Encryption is the method of encoding data to
make it suitable for only the computer with the right decoder to read and use
it. Encryption is used to protect files on the computer or e-mails that are
confidential. An encryption key commands the computer to perform the suitable
computations on data in order to encrypt or decrypt it. Symmetric-key
encryption or public-key encryption is the most common form of encryption.
In symmetric-key encryption, all computers
(or users) share the same key helpful in both encryption and decryption of the
In public-key encryption, all computers
(or users) have a public-private key pair. Where one computer uses its private
key to encrypt a message, and another computer uses the equivalent public key
to decrypt that message.
computers at both the ends of the tunnel encrypt the data coming into the
tunnel and decrypt it at the other end in a VPN. However, a VPN needs more than
just a pair of keys to implement encryption. That is the point when protocol
comes in light. A site-to-site VPN could use either internet protocol security (IPSec) or generic routing encapsulation (GRE). GRE gives the structure on
which the passenger protocol is based for transport over the internet protocol
(IP). This structure involves data on what type of packet you’re encapsulating
and the link between sender and receiver.
According to how stuff works –
IPSec is a widely used
protocol for securing traffic on IP networks, including the internet. IPSec can
encrypt data between various devices, including router to router, firewall to
router, desktop to router, and desktop to server. IPSec consists of two
sub-protocols which provide the instructions a VPN needs to secure its packets:
Security Payload (ESP)
encrypts the packet’s payload (the data it’s transporting) with a symmetric
Header (AH) uses
a hashing operation on the packet header to help hide certain packet
information (like the sender’s identity) until it gets to its destination.
Networked devices can use IPSec in one of the
two encryption modes. In transport mode,
devices encrypt the data roaming among them. In tunnel mode, the devices establish a virtual tunnel between two
networks. You might’ve guessed till yet that VPNs use IPSec in tunnel mode with
IPSec ESP and IPSec AH in collaboration.
In case of a remote-access VPN, tunneling
usually depends on Point-to-point
Protocol (PPP) which is one
section of the native protocols used by the internet. Though, more precisely,
remote-access VPNs use one of the three protocols based on PPP:
L2F (Layer 2 Forwarding) – It’s a media-independent tunneling protocol
build by Cisco Systems. The Layer 2 Forwarding (L2F) protocol tunnels data-link
layer structure in these protocols as Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) or Serial
Line Internet Protocol (SLIP) in order to create virtual private networks
(VPNs) over a public network like the internet.
While on the server
side, L2F can be used with user authentication or similar features with the
help of Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS), active allocation
of addresses, and quality of service (QoS).
L2F can be put into service
in Cisco routers via Cisco’s Internetwork Operating System (IOS).
How it works?
On using PPP with L2F, for instance, PPP gives
the links between a dial-up client and the network access server (NAS) that
gets the call. A PPP connection started by a client expires at a NAS located at
a PPP service provider, ideally an Internet service provider (ISP).
Not only this L2F enables the termination point
of the connection to be expanded further on than NAS to a remote destination
node to ensure that the client’s connection seems to be directed to the remote
node rather than that of the NAS. The NAS in L2F has an elementary function
that is to project or forward PPP structures from the client to the remote
node. This remote node is known as the home gateway in Cisco networking
(Point-to-point Tunneling Protocol) – A
data-link layer protocol for wide area networks (WANs) relying on the
Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) and established by Microsoft that allows network
traffic for encapsulated and routed over an unsecured public network like the
internet. Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) enables the development of
virtual private networks (VPNs), which tunnel TCP/IP traffic through the
Distant users can securely
access the corporate local area network (LAN) source with the help of the
internet despite using direct modem connections over the Public Switched
Telephone Network (PSTN) or dedicated leased-line connections.
How It Works?
PPTP is an extension of PPP and is works on PPP negotiation,
verification, and encryption system. PPTP encapsulates Internet Protocol (IP),
Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX), or NetBEUI packets into PPP frames, making
a “tunnel” for secure communication across a LAN or WAN link. The PPTP tunnel
is responsible for verification and data encryption and ensures that it is safe
to transmit data over unsecured networks.
PPTP supports two types of tunneling:
Commenced by the PPTP
client (such as Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, or Windows 2000).
Voluntary tunneling doesn’t need support from an Internet service provider
(ISP) or network devices like bridges.
Commenced by a PPTP server at an ISP,
network access servers (NAS’s) or routers support this type of tunneling.
No matter whatever type of tunneling you implement, you have to use the
PPTP server. Big corporate houses can establish dedicated PPTP-enabled servers
on their networks with the help of Windows NT Server.
Microsoft’s Remote Access Service (RAS) for Windows NT supports PPTP
through both dedicated and dial-up internet connections. In order to enable
Windows NT Server to perform as a PPTP server, click Network in Control Panel,
click the Advanced button on the TCP/IP property sheet, and choose Enable PPTP
Since PPTP supports multiple network protocols comprising IP, IPX, and
NetBEUI, two computers can set-up a tunnel over the Internet only if they’re operating
the same network protocol. For troubleshooting PPTP over a TCP/IP connection,
use ping to decide if you’re connected to your PPTP server, and make sure that
you’re not having an active Winsock Proxy client that might be redirecting PPTP
packets to a proxy server in place of your VPN.
Security – A protocol that negotiates and
controls the security of transmissions over a TCP/IP internetwork. Internet
Protocol Security (IPSec) describes the metrics for data encryption and data
integrity at the level of Internet Protocol (IP) datagrams and utilized to
encrypt the transmission of data and confirms that the data derived from the
sender and wasn’t changed in transit.
encrypts data at the IP level and implements tunneling to send data over the
internet and among intranets securely. IPSec is a rapidly improving Internet
Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard and is used in the Microsoft Windows
2000 operating system.
IPSec is used at the transport layer of the
Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model and secures IP and higher
protocols applying security policies that can be configured to fulfill the
needs of protecting users, sites, applications, or the organization in general.
IPSec necessarily fits as an additional layer under the TCP/IP protocol stack and is managed by security policies installed on each machine and by an encryption strategy dealt between the sender and the receiver. These security policies include a collection of filters with associated behaviors. When the IP address, port number, and protocol of an IP packet match a specific filter, the corresponding behavior is implemented to the packet.
In Windows 2000, these security policies are
made and assigned at the domain level or for individual hosting using the IPSec
Management snap-in for the Microsoft Management Console (MMC).
IPSec policies consist of rules that state the
security needs for different forms of communication. These rules are used to
begin and manage secure communication based on the nature of the IP traffic,
the source of the traffic, and its destination. These rules define verification
and negotiation procedures, tunneling factors, and connection types.
A protocol structure called ISAKMP/Oakley is
used to establish a security association (secure communication session) between
two computers. ISAKMP/Oakley involves a set of cryptographic algorithms but is
also scalable to support user-defined encryption algorithms. At the time of the
negotiation process, agreement is moved on the verification and security
methods which should be used, and a common key is generated for data
encryption. IPSec supports two different types of security associations:
Authentication Header (AH) protocol:
gives user verification and security from replay attacks and supports data
verification and integrity functions. AH allows the recipient to assure the
identity of the sender and that the data has not been altered or modified at
the time of transmission. AH doesn’t provide any encryption of the data itself.
AH information is embedded in the IP packet’s heard and can be implemented separately
or with the Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) protocol.
Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) protocol:
type of protocol encapsulates and encrypts user data to deliver full data
confidentiality or privacy. ESP also involves optional authentication and
security from replay attacks and can be implemented either by itself or with
AH. ESP information is also embedded in the IP packet’s header.
Devices and software configured to support IPSec can
apply either public key encryption with the help of keys provided by certified
authorities (CAs) or already shared keys for private encryption.
SSL and TSL – Since the SSL protocol itself has been deprecated by the
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and replaced by TLS, SSL VPNs operation
on modern browsers now uses TLS for encrypting and verifying data transmitted
across the VPN.
SSL VPNs allow users to access restricted
network sources remotely through a secure and verifying pathway by encrypting
all network traffic and making it appear that the user is on the local network
without considering the users’ geographic location.
The major reason to use an SSL VPN product is to
block unauthorized parties from trespassing or spying on network communications
and stealing or modifying sensitive data. SSL VPN systems offer a secure and
flexible alternative for enterprise employees, telecommuters and contractors to
remotely connect to private enterprise networks.
Business houses can buy a stand-alone appliance
that performs solely as an SSL VPN server; a grouped device, such as a
next-generation firewall or unified threat management product that offers SSL
VPN capability; or as a service with the help of a virtual SSL VPN appliance to
use an SSL VPN.
SSL VPNs work?
SSL VPNs depends on the TLS protocol, which has
taken place of the older SSL protocol just to secure remote access. SSL VPNs
help verified users to set-up secure connections to internal HTTP and HTTPS
services through standard web browsers or client applications that allow direct
access to networks.
Basically, there are two main types of SSL VPNs:
VPN portal and VPN tunnel. An SSL portal VPN makes one SSL VPN link at a time
to remote websites. After having verified via a process supported by the
gateway, remote users can access the SSL VPN gateway with their web browser.
An SSL tunnel VPN allows users to securely
access more than one network services through standard web browsers along with
other protocols and applications especially those which are not web-based. The VPN tunnel is a circuit created between
the remote user and the VPN server which can connect to one or more remote
websites, network services or sources at once on the client’s behalf. The SSL
tunnel VPN needs the web browser to manage active content and provide the
support that is not accessible in other ways through an SSL portal VPN.
• Open VPN – The Open VPN Access Server
is a commercial SSL VPN product. It provides security to access remotely for
enterprises by moving network traffic through an encrypted tunnel. This
phenomenon helps protect the traffic from getting spied or tampered that could
disturb the confidentiality or integrity of the data being communicated. This is
especially very important when traffic is moving over unsecured networks like
The Open VPN SSL VPN is a software package which
is at present available in six varieties of Linux: Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS,
Ubuntu, Debian, and openSUSE.
Open VPN Technologies is the company that makes
the Open VPN SSL VPN software which also gives an OpenVPN Access Server Virtual
Appliance in two formats: Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk and VMware ESXi.
Additionally, there’s the Open VPN Access Server
Cloud Machine, which gives the same SSL VPN solution, but in a cloud-based
architecture for Amazon and Cloud Sigma clouds.
Client and authentication support for the OpenVPN Access Server
The Open VPN Access
Server product has a different approach to client support. The vendor gives an
Open VPN hook up a client for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux devices natively.
Since the Open VPN
SSL VPN depends on open source software making anyone free to make their own
client software for use with the Open VPN SSL VPN, so hold on additional
platforms is possible. The vendor affirms that there are Open VPN clients
present for Android and iOS devices.
Open VPN Access
Server supports both local and remote authentication options. For verification,
it can use a local database for authentication, or integrate with present
enterprise authentication solutions like RADIUS and Lightweight Directory
Access Protocol (LDAP). Enterprises can also establish new verification modules
to support other enterprise verification platforms and services just like the
possibility of personalized client software. It can also include single sign-on
by taking benefit of Open VPN Access Server’s open source roots.
Open VPN SSL VPN
software also supports some network access control features like authenticating
the presence of antivirus software.
Open VPN Access
software supports two concurrent client connections. More concurrent users can
be involved by buying licenses per year per concurrent users with a purchase of
10 more concurrent users.
Secure Shell (SSH) – SSH, also
called Secure Shell or Secure Socket Shell, is a network protocol that provides
users, especially system administrators, a secure method to access a computer
over an unsecured network. SSH also implies to the suite of utilities that apply
the SSH protocol.
this but Secure Shell also provides reliable verification and encrypted data
communications between two computers linking over an open network like the
internet. Network administrators hugely use SSH for handling systems and
applications remotely enabling them to log into another computer over a
network, perform commands and move files from one computer to another.
both to the cryptographic network protocol and to the suite of utilities that
applies that protocol. SSH uses the client-server model, connecting a secure
shell client application, the end at which the session is shown, with an SSH
server, the end at which the session performs. SSH applications often involve
support for application protocols implemented for terminal emulation or file
You can also
use SSH to create secure tunnels for other application protocols, for
illustration, to securely run X Window System graphical sessions remotely. An
SSH server, by default, follows the standard Transmission Control Protocol
(TCP) pot 22.
more often on public key pairs to verify hosts to each other while you can use
SSH with an ordinary user ID and password as credentials. Individual users
should still use their user I and password or any other verification methods to
connect to the remote host itself, but the local machine and the remote machine
verify separately to each other.
achieved by generating a distinct public key pair for each host in the
communication; a single session needs tow public key pairs: one public key pair
to verify the remote machine to the local machine, and a second public key pair
to verify the local machine to the remote machine.
SSH connections can
secure many different types of communications between a local machine and a
remote host which includes secure remote access to resources, remote execution
of commands, delivery of software patches and updates and other administrative
or management tasks.
Secure Shell capabilities
that SSH provide involve:
Provides secure remote access to SSH-enabled network
systems or devices, for both users and automated processes;
and interactive file transfer sessions;
and secured file transfers;
issuance of commands on remote devices or systems; and
handling of network infrastructure mechanism.
SSH can be used interactively to allow terminal sessions, and
can be used in place of the less secure Telnet program. SSH can also enable
programs and systems to remotely and securely access data and other resources
through scripts and other software.
How SSH works?
Secure Shell was made to replace insecure terminal emulation or login
programs such as Telnet, rlogin (remote login) and rsh (remote shell); SSH
allows the same functions (logging into and running terminal sessions on remote
systems). SSH also replaces file transfer programs like File Transfer Protocol
(FTP) and rcp (remote copy).
The most basic application of SSH is for connecting to a remote host for
a terminal session. The form of that command is:
This is a command which will result in the client to
attempt to connect to the server namely server.example.com; with the use of ID
UserName.At the first time negotiating a connection between the local host and
the server, the user will be encouraged with the remote host’s public key
fingerprint and encouraged to connect, regardless of having been no
The authenticity of host ‘sample.ssh.com’
cannot be established.
key fingerprint is 01:23:45:67:89:ab:cd:ef:ff:fe:dc:ba:98:76:54:32:10.
you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?
If answered “yes” on time will result in the session to continue
and the host key would stored in the local system’s known_hosts file. Mostly these are hidden files,
stored by default in a hidden directory, called /.ssh/known_hosts, inside the user’s home directory.
After the host key is stored in the known_hosts file, the client system can link
directly with the server again which don’t need any approvals: the host key
authenticates the connection.
are the VPN features to look for?
Selecting a VPN firewall solution has lots of complications
as the market is filled with countless options. Using these tips to know what
type of VPN firewall solution will suit your enterprise will make your task a
As per Chris Partsenidis of TechTarget, “Many enterprise-grade VPN products contain
firewall capabilities to protect network data from attacks. Through much of
this article, we refer to these appliances as “VPN firewalls.” Learn
in this article how to find a VPN firewall that’s right for your enterprise.”
Are you looking for a software-based virtual private network (VPN)
solution? Or seeking a dedicated hardware firewall or VPN appliance or may be a
bit of both for your enterprise? No matter whatever it might be, there is
always a network security product to fit in your pricing and feature needs.
With so many products available in the market, most IT managers and
engineers these days wonder which VPN is best. It’s difficult to choose, but
there’s a way which can help you to zoom in your options and select from a few
VPN firewalls options that meet your expectations and do what they claim they
Avoid mixing and matching VPN firewall solutions –
Most, if not
every, VPN firewall product makes use of VPN protocols (mostly IPsec) that are
described by a plethora of standards drawn by the Internet Engineering Task
resulted in a lot of products being compatible with each other, which means
that you can buy two products from two different providers and configure them
to work with each other to create a site-to-site VPN.
mostly launch new features that improve existing VPN protocols along with the
VPN protocols most products support. These kinds of improvements are helpful;
they mostly let you use the same VPN firewall vendor throughout your enterprise
WAN to take benefit of them. Sometimes, these features are permanently enabled
and result in periodic failures if the other end of the VPN tunnel is not
It’s not a
wise idea to mix and match VPN products with VPN/firewall technologies. If you
don’t experiment with varied products together, you can never know if your VPNs
will be as stable as they should be or what effects a simple change can bring
to your network.
Single VPN firewall vendor = Fewer
mentioned above has one condition: You need to choose the right VPN firewall
vendor for your organization. Generally, when you handle a single vendor,
you’ll have a few issues to go through – specifically if the primary VPN design
is complicated. While dealing with a single vendor, you have to understand the
strong and weak points of your systems and remember to adapt to them in a fast
pace allowing you to solve the problems related to your VPN.
complex VPN architecture throughout a multi-vendor platform is every IT
engineer’s biggest fear. Engineers need to debug them and attain enough
information to the exact conclusions which make the problem even more
complicated and delay the solution. Every vendor has its own troubleshooting
fundamentals, and it’s tough enough to know one vendor’s logic and leave two or
Avoid cheap VPN products –
VPN firewall products have always been popular, this doesn’t mean that they’re
the best. You can buy a VPN firewall router for less than $200 and it will run
the way large vendor VPN firewall device that costs ten times more to perform
their functions. So, what do you get from this?
products come from some original equipment manufacturer (OEM) factory (usually
in mainland China or Taiwan) that mass-produces products and mostly rebrands them
under different names. So, chances are you’ll get three different – even
popular – routers with firewalls and huge VPN support that were the same exact
devices but rebranded differently. You’d be surprised by the number of security
bugs found in these chap products and the level of their vulnerability to get
hacked. This is strictly not acceptable when it comes to enterprise security
and is unbearable.
authentic vendors like Cisco Systems, Check Point Technologies, IBM, Symantec,
and others – With good reasons don’t participate in these cheap VPN/firewall
markets. These companies drain millions of dollars every year to the R&D
and support to discover the fine products with potentials to withstand the
challenging environment and verisimilitude of the internet.
Avoid ISP tracking –
observed with the increasing controversy at present in the US, ISPs are highly
involved in tracking their subscribers. Keeping in mind the fact that what they
do with the information, especially targeting advertising, is a fair reason for
users to demand secrecy.
after the ISPs have got the approval to sell user data, users must be aware of
what is happening to their data – like surfing history, location data or app
usage – to third parties over in the States.
how much you’re afraid of tracking, a VPN suit installed on your devices –
which includes mobile phones – will create a strong shield to defend your
sensitive information from invasions of privacy.
Online shopping from afar –
This is one
of the most attractive features of the VPN and it makes you realize how easy
life has become with the advent of technology. How?
that you’re traveling abroad, and want to make an order from your preferred
online store to arrive at your home when you reach. However, when you browse
its online store, you end up at its country-specific website. In such a case,
if you use a VPN server in your home country, it will enable you to access the
UK site as if you were available locally, and use your UK account to order to
your residential address. Isn’t this a fantastic feature?
Accessing a home network –
remote access to your PC or NAS to access all the diverse collection of files
and data related to your work, personal or entertainment purpose on your
primary desktop system at any place from anywhere. But you’ve to keep in mind
that secure access, a connection should be made using a VPN for all this to
Public Wi-Fi security –
offer free Wi-Fi access, which involves schools, libraries, airports and coffee
shops, etc. People commonly use these wireless hotspots to check their emails,
which needs your password and other confidential information to be passed on.
Do you think
hacking this type of public wireless network is a brainer for the expert? Your
routers at home generally have a password and apply encryption protocols such
as WPA2 to secure the traffic. Though public wireless hotspots provide open
access to all and miscellaneous, and either use a common password or no
password of any kind in most scenarios.
such a vulnerable and insecure Wi-Fi network, you must use a VPN to encrypt
your traffic, which means that even if it hacked, your information will be
snarled. The Krack Wi-Fi vulnerability which appeared earlier also has the fact
that even latest security protocols like WPA2 can also meet with serious
problems, and in this case, a VPN connection gives an extra protective layer to
Privacy from website info gathering –
of countless websites across the internet has made it difficult for them to
produce an income to oil the lamps. And advert is the most common source of
generating revenue, but internet advertisements are often times directly
focused on the user with the help of their IP address, not like the ads on TV.
noticed that if you search for an item on a site like Amazon while visiting
you’ll notice ads promoting similar products to the one you were just looking
If you find
such type of user tracking creepy (which you should), you must keep it a thumb
rule to install a VPN service that hides your true IP address and efficiently
keep aside this kind of nonsense.
Anonymous downloads –
Peer-to-peer downloads have become extensively popular in the past few years.
And, it is a well-known fact that it can be used for illegal
copyright-violating downloads, there are lots of use cases like downloading a
Linux distro, or open medium software such as Libre Office (a popular free
replacement for Microsoft Office).
monitoring systems follow these download which over time can prove a pandora
box of information for their users. This data could be passed on to the
authorities, this information can simply be exchanged to the highest bidder and
this is one of the biggest concerns. Using a torrent through a VPN is the
easiest and most efficient solution to curb any possible problems here as such
data collection depends on IP addresses.
Campus connection –
campus is a college or a gigantic workplace, these organizations use a large
number of computer devices to help their students or employees. But the
universities and corporations also need to protect their sensitive data, so any
off-campus remote access is efficiently safeguarded with a VPN doing this task
Streaming blocked content –
or Geo-blocking is a term used when internet content is blocked depending on a
user’s location. This is often executed in the case of TV shows or movies,
take, for example, access to iPlayer is blocked for the users outside the UK.
sometimes this can be a bone of contention, especially when you travel abroad
and are not capable of seeing the latest installation of the series you’re
watching on Netflix since it’s geo-blocked.
A VPN which
has the servers located in the right country can solve the problem, and
consider these locations depended on predictable usage while selecting a VPN
Bypass traffic shaping –
shaping (also known as packet shaping) is something that lets internet traffic
gets analyzed and then is processed to match a specific pattern. Traffic
shaping is mostly performed by ISPs to make sure a certain level of quality
performance is provided, and the rate which the packets get dispatched may be
modified to keep up a steady flow.
policing is somewhat a related technology in which, if the rate of traffic flow
extends the limit, some packets get discarded. Traffic shaping and traffic
policing are most of the time used together for bandwidth throttling and are
not mutually exclusive to restrict what a user streams or downloads. With a
VPN, the traffic is encrypted, which challenges this kind of analysis, and to
avoid any speed throttling.
12. Beats the hackers –
know that a firewall is devised to prevent malicious attackers off your home
network, and is located on your router (of course, there are firewalls software
which only protect your host device).
hackers find your network from your IP address as a VPN connects you to a server
off-site, and shows you on a different IP address, any attack, therefore, gets
diverted on the fake IP address against the VPN server while your home network
stays protected. Hence the VPN provides an additional layer of protection from
hackers and shields your network from getting attacked from other malicious
attackers of the internet.
Is your VPN firewall certified?
The big houses in
the VPN/firewall arena make sure that their products are fully licensed, and
ensuring that this the starting point while researching the market.
products are licensed to ensure they meet with different validations like the
popular Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 cryptographic
module validation program. The vendor autonomous labs, like the ICSALabs. The
FIPS program is a real shocker and will make you realize the importance of
purchasing a certified VPN product.
How to ultimately find a VPN
There are thousands of articles present
arguing in the favor of network security, but most people only realize after
getting hit by a hacker. To keep hackers away from your organization’s network
it’s ideal to take useful measures which include researching the latest market
trends, available products, and choosing the right VPN product or trusted
vendor. If you’ll ask any VPN firewall selling vendor, they all will persuade
to take their product and how it is better than the other. Being a little
proactive and researching the market will get you the best product which is
best suitable for your enterprise’s needs.
is beneficial for you?
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is an
incredibly proficient tool for anyone using internet. A VPN involves a tunnel
that your encrypted data moves in keeping your information protected and
oblivious whenever you come online.
These days, the interest of enterprises has
increased in using VPN services which brings no surprise as the current trend
of increased surveillance, you must know about the Investigatory Powers Act in
the UK, or the legislation passed in the US earlier this year.
Vs. PPTP – What is the Difference?
If you want to learn what keeps the PPTP (Point-to-Point
Tunneling Protocol) different from Open VPN, you’ve to know their background
Let’s first begin with PPTP
(Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) which is, of course, one of the oldest VPN
protocols around. The protocol was made with the help of Microsoft (which
funded it) back in the ’90s. Well, that’s quite a reputation!
This VPN protocol has drastically become
popular among various businesses – small and large – and other enterprises to
protect their internal communications.
On the contrary, Open VPN, is more of an
open-source project. It may not have a big brand name behind it, but it still
set the metrics for VPN protocols recent days. That’s specifically because of
its design, which enables it to constantly improve.
when the history class has finished, let’s just look at the both pros and cons
of these VPN protocols. PPTP – Can we still rely on it today?
Here are some interesting points on the
Handling the protocol is a no brainer.
It’s super easy to establish and use.
PPTP provides native support on almost all
the platforms and devices.
And, that’s the point where the benefits
start decreasing. In fact, this VPN protocol has more cons than pros:
PPTP only supports 128-bit encryption
which is not a trustable solution for your information. Also, there are even
rumors about the NSA decoding communications using this VPN protocols.
Hackers can easily block the ports used by
this protocol. So, you will become vulnerable if you’re using this VPN protocol
to avoid firewalls.
The performance is not always smooth.
Oftentimes, the performance of the protocols suffers especially if the amount
of shared online data is too high.
As you can now understand, PPTP is
somewhat outdated VPN protocol on which you can’t depend to secure your data.
You don’t have to take our words for it – Microsoft themselves have suggested
that users must shift to another VPN protocol if they can.
– The future VPN
Open VPN was developed with keeping
long-term tech changes in mind. It has a design that can easily adapt as
Though, it is filled with so many
Open VPN can operate any port with the
help of TCP or UDP. This provides users more command over the quality of their
Internet connections and bandwidth, as they can modify them as per their online
Moreover, that port flexibility ensures
that no firewall become obstacle in your path of communication.
Open VPN provides support for best-to-best
encryptions. For example, it enabled us to array Buffered VPN with 256-bit
Blowfish Encryption – one of the most trustable alternatives out there. One of
the only negative point you can observe is the fact that Open VPN doesn’t have
local support on every devices resulting the dependency on a third-party app instead.
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