Published On: Tue, Jun 4th, 2019

What Is a VPN For?

By David Balaban

More and more people use VPN services. Most of them are home users. In the corporate segment, connecting a remote user to a company network is one of the most typical scenarios for using a VPN. The user feels like he is at home, and on vacation or on a business trip, he is able to feel at work and can use corporate services without any problems.

Image by Mudassar Iqbal from Pixabay

At the same time, the attacker will not be able to easily find what exactly this or that user is doing and what information he sends and receives. Moreover, companies concerned with their own security, force IT departments to turn on the mandatory use of VPN on all devices used by workers when connecting to outside networks. In this case, all Internet traffic goes through the corporate network and is strictly supervised by the security department.

The second most common use case is similar to the first but here not individual users are connected to the corporate network, but entire building and offices. The goal is the same – to securely and safely integrate geographically remote equipment of an organization into a single network.

This principle works for both large branch offices of corporations in different countries, and small coffee shops scattered around the town, or just video cameras, alarm systems and other IoT equipment.

Thanks to simplicity (there is no need to use new cables every time) virtual private networks can also be created inside companies to isolate and consolidate specific departments or networks.

Very often VPNs are built between servers or big computing clusters to maintain their availability, data encryption, and duplication. The frequency of VPN usage is directly related to the growing popularity of cloud technologies. Moreover, all of the above examples are not just some temporary solutions. VPN connections can be supported and maintained for years.

At the same time, we see now a transition to the next level of abstraction Software Defined Networks (SDN). They are very complex and may bring many more surprises, pleasant and unpleasant.

Some time ago big ISPs built their networks on the basis of simple unmanaged switches. ISPs obviously, wanted to save money. In order to separate client traffic, they started to use various variants of VPN connections on the server through which they provide access to the Internet.

Surprisingly enough, this method is still used in many countries. Manufacturers of home routers are still forced to support such connections.

A counterexample of such persistent VPN connections is session connections. They are often used when providing customers with access to various services that, as a rule, are associated with the processing of very sensitive and secret data in the sphere of finance, jurisprudence, and health care.

However, for the average user, another option of the practical use of VPN is much more important. In our, It is strongly recommended to use a secure VPN connection to a trusted host (whether it is a dedicated VPN provider or a home router) when connecting to any public network in order to protect your traffic from possible hackers and viruses.

Finally, the last option for using VPN among private users is to bypass a variety of network GEO restrictions. For example, to get access to web resources that are blocked or do not provide their services in a particular country.

In general, it is obvious that a VPN is a necessary, useful tool that constantly gains more and more popularity. Yes, we provided info about this technology and its capabilities in general terms. In real life, there are many nuances associated with its use, including legislation, and many technical issues. You can read this post and find why you need a VPN.

Author: David Baladan

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