Everything about Virtual Private Network (VPN)
By Jithin on August 22nd, 2016
You would have been heard at least once the term VPN. The VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. We can see about VPNs in detail here. As we know, VPNs belongs to networking. Before starting VPN, let us learn more about computer networks.
What is a Computer Network?
Simply, a computer network is a set of computers connected together for communication. The primary purpose of this type of communication is sharing resources. There are many resources the networks share such as a file server or a printer, but the common resource is the connection to the Internet. Networking allows different computers in the network to share the data. There are wired connections and wireless connections also. The best-known computer network is the Internet.
There will be network nodes for every network. The network computer that originates, route and terminates the data are known as network nodes. Nodes can be included hosts such as personal computers, phones, servers as well as networking hardware.
What is a Private Network?
A private network is a network that uses private IP address space following the standards set by RFC 1918 for Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4), and RFC 4193 for Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6).
These addresses are commonly used in offices, home, and other private areas.
Public and Private IP addresses
There are public and private IP addresses. Let’s see the difference between the two type of the IP addresses. A public IP address is the one that can be accessed over the Internet. A public IP address is the globally unique IP address assigned to a computing device. On the other hand, private IP addresses are the IP addresses used to assign computers within your private space such as your home or your office. Here, your router gets the public IP address and the router assigns each individual devices private IP addresses. The DHCP protocol is used to achieve this. The public IP address will change from time to time and various IP addresses are assigned as the public IP address each time the device connects to the Internet.
Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is the organization responsible for registering IP address ranges to organizations and Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
Virtual Private Network
This technology is used to enable private networks over a public network. This will add security and privacy to the network. A VPN creates a highly secured network (an encrypted one) over a less secure network. It ensures the appropriate level of security to the connected systems while the underlying network cannot provide this. This is the main advantage of VPNs.
With the help of VPNs, we can create get the advantages of private networks at a low cost.
Types of VPN
There are two types of VPNs. They are:
- Remote-access VPNs
- Site-to-site VPNs
Let us see each one in detail.
A remote-access VPN uses a public telecommunication infrastructure such as the Internet to provide the remote users secure access to their organization’s network. This can be achieved by a VPN client on the remote user’s computer connects to a VPN gateway on the organization’s network. This requires the device to authenticate its identity. Then it creates a network link back to the device that allows it to reach the internal network resources such as a server or a printer. A remote-access VPN usually relies on either IPSec or Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to secure the connection.
A Site-to-site VPN will have a gateway device to connect the entire network in one location to the network in another location. It means that multiple fixed sites are connected over a network like the Internet. This type of VPNs requires a large-scale encryption and dedicated equipment. Here, the end-node device in the remote location does not need VPN clients because the gateway device handles the connection. Most site-to-site VPNs connecting over the Internet uses IPSec. The VPNs can be also be implemented between specific computers too. This can be done when they need more security than the network provides. This is helpful in the communication between two servers in separate data centers.
What is IPSec
IPSec is an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard suite of protocols that provide data authentication, integrity, and confidentiality as data is transferred across IP networks.
Types of VPN Protocols
1) PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol)
2) L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol)
3) IPsec protocol
4) SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
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