What is a VPN?

05/09/2023 | by SandStorm IT

What is a VPN?

A virtual private network (VPN) allows a private network of devices to be securely extended over a public network such as the Internet. This gives the  functionality of a typical private network but with the convenience of a public network. VPNs are commonly seen in the corporate world, where having easy, secure access to the company’s intranet from the public Internet is a very desirable feature.

How secure are VPNs?

VPNs can be configured a number of ways so the specific security details can vary, but there are things that all VPNs provide as well. Confidentiality is one such provision. Users who send and receive data over a correctly configured VPN can be sure that outsiders do not know the contents of the data. Attackers are also unable to tamper with the contents of messages passed back and forth within a VPN. Lastly, attackers are unable to gain access to the VPN itself, since they must authenticate themselves before they are allowed in.

Why should my business use a VPN?

Most companies that make use of an intranet can benefit from setting up a VPN. One of the main reasons for this is broader connectivity. Employees no longer need to be physically inside of the office to access the resources on the private network, such as shared documents and files. With a VPN, they can have the same level of access to internal information and resources from anywhere, such as home, remote office or even a hotel room. Clearly, this is quite a plus for those businesses which employ remotely, so that remote employees can still gain access to internal company data when they need it. Also, employees who must travel as part of their work can still securely access the company’s internal network on the road.

If you need any assistance with VPN setup or any other technical network question, we can help. Feel free to contact the networking experts at SandStorm IT at 901-475-0275.

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