A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a private network that uses a public network, such as the internet, to transfer data. It uses this to connect people and is a secure way of connecting to a network without being physically connected. A virtual network is where the connection does not use leased lines.
All kinds of organisations use VPN’s, including businesses, educational institutions and government organisations. It allows people to access the network wherever they are as long as they have access to the VPN client. The VPN client is the software that is installed onto a desktop or laptop computer and is used to connect to the virtual private network.
There are many benefits for organisations that choose to use a VPN.
By using a virtual private network users are able to connect to a network from remote locations. For a business’s employees this can be from other offices, from home, from a meeting or on the train. This can make employees more productive as they can work more efficiently or when they might otherwise be idle (for example on the train on the way to a business meeting). Employees are able to access files wherever they are as long as they have access. This means they can be just as productive as when in the office and don’t have to worry about making sure they have saved files remotely. They know they can access them whenever they need to.
Possibly the main reason for using a VPN is the security it offers. With so much data held on computer networks these days it means that network security is of crucial importance. Using a virtual private network will make a data transferred over the network, or across different networks, secure. It uses encryption so data can’t be easily interpreted. This means data is scrambled during transmission from one computer to another so it can’t be easily understood.
Everyone wants to save on costs, and a VPN can help achieve cost savings. Firstly, costs can be saved simply on the physical technology used. When using a VPN leased lines are not needed as they are with other networks. This is because connections are made using the internet. The internet is used instead of being physically connected using wires. Partly due to this, updating a VPN network is inexpensive.
Costs do not rise significantly as a network grows. So if an organisation grows and needs to expand their network the outlay is not particularly high. If needing to connect to a number of different locations other networks can be expensive, but with a VPN this isn’t the case. Setting up users or locations is much simpler.
Network performance can be improved when using a VPN. The bandwidth and efficiency of the network is generally higher than with other networks.
Virtual Private Networks are becoming more popular. They can be very beneficial, particularly to businesses. They can make employees more productive and keep down costs, two things that are of crucial importance to businesses.
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