Understanding the VPN service concept
A VPN (virtual private network) is a networking technology concept that utilizes either public or private networks to give rise to a secure computing data network connection. The mostly used public network in this case is the internet, whereas private networks are usually leased lines from a service provider. It operates on layers 2 and 3 of the OSI layer, though multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) functionality makes the two layers less distinct.
VPNs inter-connect remote sites over disparate distances in a similar sense to a Wide Area Network (WAN).). The daily increasing client base for information has brought with it the need to extend intranets beyond their local scope in order to allow for dissemination of information and communication. Companies with branches and offices spread out beyond a common geographical area benefit the most from this technology.
The VPN concept has been tapped to provide vital value added services, at a relatively low cost and enhanced quality in contrast to services offered by typical network providers. The latter offers infrastructural services, an example being data center hosting and site-to-site connectivity. However, VPN services virtualized the service entity over the same infrastructure as much as possible. It logically shares resources such as network infrastructure, security, remote and wireless access. Each service is tailor made for individual customers. The goal of this service is to meet their individual needs.
Why VPN Services?
The current computing environment has a high concentrated risk of being violated by parties not allowed to access them. This fear of the potential violation of confidentiality has led individuals to take precautions in the manner in which they access remote services.
These services protect them from possible intrusion, by reassigning IP addresses, hiding the geographic location of the user, and other information, also known as hide my IP. This offers privacy for the user, since their data flows are encrypted. Sample reasons why a person may choose to use VPN services include:-
Avoiding geographical Internet restrictions – Some organizations like TV companies, may limit access to their services over the internet to only persons in a given geographical area. Factors that may influence this include issues to do with licensing. Using a VPN service will make one appear as if located in the same geographical area as the location of the server.
Encryption of telecommunications – This prevents data falling into hands it was not intended for, thereby violating its privacy. VPN service encodes the data using encryption protocols thereby ensuring the core pillars of data privacy I.e. confidentiality, integrity and availability are achieved.
Avoiding government level censorship – VPN service enables users to bypass restrictions imposed to access of various sites by various governments in their home countries.
Merits and Demerits
Its merit is owed to its being an inexpensive and sound method of creating private network communication. This is because it uses an already established network infrastructure by the name of the internet.
Demerit of using VPN services is that they are prone to be affected by poor network conditions outside the private network. Flip flopping of internet quality of service may also lead to loss of IP packets.
The above demerit has not in any way hindered the popularity in the launching and use of VPN services.