Virtual Private Networks – The Basics

The way we communicate has evolved so rapidly that organizations are struggling to keep up. Unfortunately the cost of communication is one of the biggest stumbling blocks that most companies face. But, high cost is no longer that big of an issue. With the emergence of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) not only have communications costs decreased but a platform for converging voice, video and data services has been provided as well.

Communications today converge on IP. Fixed to Wireless convergence, data, voice and video convergence – all of this happens on the IP Protocol and this is why Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and VPN services and routers are becoming essential to businesses.

VPN’s – The Basics

A private network is essentially a network for certain users that has a firewall enabled to prevent intrusion from the Internet. While this sounds good; private networks can be problematic for users as it can become quite difficult to get past the firewall if one of the users on the network wants to access their own personal files or email. In order to circumvent this, a very specific piece of software or hardware is used and this is known as a Virtual Private Network which will help users access their personal information with no difficulty.

Who Uses VPNs?

These private communications networks are used by various companies and organizations in various industries throughout the world. A great example of a type of company that would benefit from a VPN is a clothing company with various branches. A sales person would be able to check stock at any of their other stores should they not have the specific garment you are lusting after. Libraries are another great example of an industry that would really benefit from a Virtual Private Network, gone are the days of hunting for those books you need.

In very basic terms VPN’s are used to support remote access to an intranet, as well as to support connections between multiple intranets within one organization. VPN’s are also used to join the networks between two organizations ultimately forming an extranet.

The Benefits of VPN’s

Now that you know the basics of Virtual Private Networks, I am sure you are interested in the benefits of which these are but a few:

oIt can be connected to by multiple access technologies including wireless and mobile

oVPN routers eliminate the congestion and routing headaches of managing networks

oVPN solutions easily facilitate the secure connection of remote users & road warriors

oIt remains as secure as your existing solutions

oExtends geographic connectivity

oReduces operational costs

oFacilitates global networking opportunities

oProvides broadband networking compatibility

oAllows you to achieve faster ROI (return on investment) than traditional WAN

VPN’s are becoming essential to companies and organisations looking to simplify communication as well as cut costs. By consolidating inter-branch traffic, data and voice all over a single network infrastructure, it’s easy to see why Virtual Private Networks are such a favourable choice when it comes to communication needs.