VPN (Virtual Private Network) Overview



A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a private network that uses a public network such as the Internet to link remote users or sites together. Virtual Private Networks used in businesses accomplish this by using virtual connections that are routed through the Internet from the remote site or an employee to the business’s private network. By implementing this, businesses can, therefore, connect with its employees all around the world with a quick, reliable, and protected method of sharing information. Virtual Private Networks also provide enhanced security by methods such as encryption. Virtual Private Networks can offer a business greater flexibility for remote offices, improved security, savings in time and cost for employee’s commutes, better reliability, and also offer enhanced scalability as a Virtual Private Network can be easily extended as needed.
In this case of a VPN that extends to multiple countries, a Remote-Access Virtual Private Network will be used. Users will then be able to access all the information as if they were connected directly to the network’s servers. Two components are required for a Remote-Access Virtual Private Network; the first being a Network Access Server (NAS). This is a dedicated or shared server that allows a user to connect to the Internet to be able to use a VPN. The second component required is client software that allows users to access Virtual Private Networks from their computers. Most operating systems already have built-in software that accomplishes this. A Site-to-Site Virtual Private Network enables offices around the world to establish secure connections with each other; therefore extending the company’s network. This type of Virtual Private Network can be Intranet or Extranet-based.
There are a few pieces of equipment one will need to set up a Virtual Private Network. A Network Access Server, as previously stated, will be used for creating and maintaining each tunnel in a Remote Access Virtual Private Network. A firewall will provide a protective barrier between the Internet and the Private Network. The firewall should be set up depending on the type and sensitivity of the data that the network will be composed of. Next, an AAA Server (Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting) will be needed to confirm who is allowed access, identify what they are allowed to access, and keep track of what they are obtaining. Finally, a Virtual Private Network enabled/optimized router will be used to delegate traffic.
In conclusion, when it comes to the special considerations that will be required when setting up a Virtual Private Network, the type of Virtual Private Network should be decided based on the network’s size, the potential for growth, and in this case, one that can span across the world. Additionally, if any sensitive data is involved, the right protection should be addressed with tools such as firewalls and encryption. Finally, the physical hardware such as the routers involved needs to enabled and optimized for Virtual Private Networks.
Jeff Tyson & Stephanie Crawford “How VPNs Work” 14 April 2011. 18 July 2017

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