A guide to using a VPN: How and when it’s better to use it?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Its essence is to organize a secure (ie encrypted) interaction between two (or more) nodes. In this case, when such traffic passes through intermediate nodes (for example, through your provider), it is impossible (more precisely, extremely hard and meaningless) to decipher and understand what’s inside. Yes, it is not very clear yet, but now there will be an example and it will become clearer.
Why do I need a VPN, how is it used and when?
For the home user, the most frequent use of the services of VPN providers lies in hiding information about the user, as well as gaining access to blocked resources. For the corporate user, the primary task of VPN is a secure access to remote objects (or between objects).
Consider the typical situation for the company:
You have two facilities, for example, the main office in New York and the Data Center in Los Angeles. You are a system administrator who is located directly in New York and your tasks include maintaining the data center (checking servers, fixing faults, identifying equipment jambs, etc.). And here there is a question how to do this?
After all, through open channels (ie the Internet) it is not safe to connect to the data center (because any Internet user can get access there), it’s not very pleasant to go to the data center yourself (especially if one server has gone down, and remote access has been lost or you do not have it). In this case, there are several options:
- Configure the remote access through open channels, while closing all unnecessary ports with access lists. The problem with this option is that there is access, and it is not only for you, but in general for any network user;
- Ask the provider to allocate you a separate network (something of type of the big local area). The problem with this option is that this PPC is so expensive, and management is unlikely to agree to this;
- Install on each site a VPN device (cryptographic gateway). This option is the most profitable, because it is cheap and practical. You also connect to the data center via the Internet, but your traffic from the office will be encrypted. It can not be opened and seen what’s inside. Accordingly, no one can connect to the data center from the Internet, because they can not get into this virtual tunnel.
The advantages of using VPN:
- Organization of access to required resources from anywhere in the world;
- Cheapness and scalability;
- Hiding real information about the user (geodata, IP address, Internet activity and all kind of that);
- Simplicity and ease of use for the user;
- You can safely surf the Internet from the Internet cafe (but no one has canceled the antivirus).
And the disadvantages:
- Increased delay when opening pages, downloading files, etc.;
- Some difficulty with the installation.