Introduction to the types of VPNs
Many of people use the net every day both in business and private purposes. As for me, it is really true. I even can’t imagine my life without spending some time on the net corresponding with my friend, streaming movies and reading news.
Probably, you didn’t face the problems connected with the various kinds of threats from the net. By the way the Internet is not so safe as it seems to be. To secure the data we usually use passwords, but what if it doesn’t work and your info is not protected by these passwords. In this case we need VPNs.
VPN is a mixture of computers or networks interconnected with each other on the net. A VPN allows securing the linking and guarantees that all the data we send and receive are encoded. Well, how can we understand whether we need it or not? It doesn’t matter who you are: a student or a manager in a big hitter. If you don’t want someone to poke his nose into your business, you are to use a VPN.
There are various sorts of VPNs but among the most distributed over a large number of people are Site-to-Site VPN, PPTP VPN, L2TP VPN, MPLS VPN, SSL VPN, IPsec VPN and Hybrid VPN. If you are a bit into the topic of VPN, I’m sure you’ve already notices that the kinds of VPNs are based on the tunneling protocols they use. So let’s study them in details, but before it I’d like to let you know beforehand that there are some technical terms. So, I tried to explain it in a simple way.
1. The first type of a Virtual Private network I’m going to cover is Site-to-Site VPN. It is the most frequently used type of VPN for business. It’s the characteristic of the organizations with offices in various parts of a country or even in various countries. This VPN allows using one network, that is essential for such organizations. This type of VPN is also known as an Extranet VPN. In so many words, this kind of VPN is in a sense, a bridge, which connects networks in different locations, that supplies VPN users with secure linking and access to the net. Like PPTP, Site-to-Site VPN creates a secure network, but with this type of VPN we benefit from the encryption accomplished on both ends of the network. With an ulterior motive, Site-to-Site VPN type is widely used by a great number of companies. So, if you are a head of a serious organization there is no need to doubt as it is an outstanding tool in the issue of your company security.
2. MPLS is a shortening of multiprotocol label switching is a mechanism for transferring data from one node to another by means of tags. Having studies this technology I came to the conclusion that a VPN based on MPLS possesses the following advantages: scalability, traffic isolation and capacity of address space intersection. The characteristics sound a bit confusing for a non-technical user, don’t they? Nevertheless, you’ll definitely evaluate the pluses of this type of VPN if you decide to use it.
3. PPTP VPN is based on a point to point tunneling protocol. As may be seen from its name PPTP VPN forms a tunnel and catches the data. This type of VPN is the most widespread as it is right for both home use and business as it doesn’t require the installation of any additional equipment or applications. PPTP VPNs are compatible with Windows, MacOS and Linux devices. Although PPTP VPN demonstrates numerous advantages, still there are some weak sides. The main one is that PPTP protocol doesn’t use encoding, that doesn’t provide us with a high level of security. That is why, there are other VPN types to take a closer look at.
4. L2TP VPN means “tunneling protocol of the second level”, which was created by Cisco and Microsoft. A VPN on the basis of L2TP protocol can be combined with other protocols, that supplies more secure connection. L2TP operates similarly to PPTP. Their main likeness is encryption absence. The difference is that this type of VPN protects and keeps your data. VPN on the basis of L2TP guarantees us more reliable and safer connection.
5. VPN of SSL type operates on the basis of two tunneling protocols: SSL and TLS. SSL is a secure sockets layer while TLS is a transport layer security. Working together they are predominantly used in the sphere of online selling. Nowadays the majority of modern browsers contain TSL and SSL. Now I’ll reveal a secret how to identify whether your browser has it or not. If you can’t open http pages in your browser it means that SSL-connection is used and you are secure while surfing the net.
6. IPsec is the shortening of “the Internet Protocol security”. Thus, IPsec is a protocol, which is used to ensure network security. The protocol establishes a tunnel to the remote nodes. The main bonuses of this type are: each session is checked, data are encoded, so IPsec protocol guarantees a high level of a secure connection. The advantage of this VPN is that it can be used additionally to other protocols with the purpose to improve the network security. I’d like to point out that IPsec is a useful and trustworthy protocol, nevertheless, there is an essential minus – a long period of client application installation. But if you want to be under the strong protection, feel free to use a VPN of this type.
7. The last VPN type I’m going to speak about is the combination of several protocols functioned as a basis for a VPN. Hybrid VPN is a sort of Virtual Private Network, which combines MPLS and IPsec. It is used to improve the MPLS reliability by means of IPsec protocol. Hybrid VPNs are usually used by the companies as MPLS are sometimes not enough for their nodes. With the help of hybrid network you can connect the central node through a remote one. To my mind, the only but essential minus of hybrid networks is its price. The VPNs of this type are usually the most expensive, nevertheless they are really trustworthy.
On the whole, I find it uneasy to find the most appropriate VPN to use but still possible. The first step to make the right choice is to study the existing types of VPNs. It, to the point, we’ve already done. Thus, the type of VPN to choose is connected with who you are: a student, a business owner or a programmer, for instance. The second factor to be taken into consideration while choosing a VPN is its price. Is it worth paying for it? How much can you spend? And maybe it’s better to use free VPNs? Having answered these questions it’ll become clear for you what VPN to choose.
And of course, you always have an opportunity to gain knowledge in this sphere. Good luck!