A VPN is a virtual private network. It is a software that’s involved in data encryption. When your business grows, you may expand to other locations and countries. Your employees working in other countries will need a secure and fast way to share sensitive information without being at risk of any leakages. Other times, you may be using an unfamiliar network, and you want to keep your computer safe from hackers, then using a VPN is recommended.
Years back, businesses used leased lines to connect their computers in their multiple offices as it was considered a secure way of connection. The only disadvantage was that these leased lines were expensive and cost depended on the office locations. Nowadays, businesses use VPNs in place of leased lines.
- 1 How does a VPN work?
- 2 Protocols used by VPNs
- 3 Benefits of having a VPN
- 4 Factors to consider when choosing a VPN
How does a VPN work?
A VPN connection works in a way that your data transmission happens from your client machine to a certain point in your VPN network. The data is then encrypted and sent through the internet. In another VPN point, your data gets decrypted and forwarded to the relevant resource such as email or web server. The relevant resource then sends the data back, and it gets encrypted. The cycle continues where the encrypted data is then sent through the internet to another VPN point network where the data is decrypted and then sent back to your client machine.
Protocols used by VPNs
There are different encryption standards used by different VPNs. Here’s a list of them:
- Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)- it has been around for ages. It does not do encryption but instead uses the GRE protocol. It supports 40-bit and 128-bit encryption. Some security experts, however, have found PPTP to be considerably insecure.
- Layer 2 Forwarding (L2F)- tunneling mostly relies on Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP). For this particular one, it uses any authentication schemes that are supported by PPP.
- IPSec- this particular one is a combination of different technologies and protocols. For packet encapsulation, it is performed through the ESP protocol and AES-GCM or 3DES-CBC used for the encryption.
- Secure Shell (SSH)- it’s used to handle both encryption and tunneling.
Benefits of having a VPN
1. Enhanced security
Has money you had saved in the bank ever disappeared mysteriously or found some transactions on your credit report which you were not aware of? There are always cases of fraud and missing money. A VPN would work well on your PC as it ensures that the data you submit is safe and hackers can’t access it. Most especially where you need to give out your bank information on e-commerce sites.
Most of what happens is that if hackers try to access your log, they only see encrypted data.
2. Remote access for employees
PCs will occasionally have issues which would need you to look up guides from techloris to find solutions, and you may end up delaying your work assignment. When using a VPN, you can access information remotely. As a company, you can work from anywhere. If there are reports that need to be analyzed quickly, you can access them anywhere, and this ends up ensuring work is done and increases employee productivity.
3. Getting cheap tickets
The truth is, different airline operators have different rates for different countries. To get a cheap air ticket, look for a state whose cost of living is low and compare the rates while using a VPN. You’ll be surprised to get the price will be lower than your current location.
You can comfortably search the internet without a trace. There is the luxury of accessing websites privately and bypass filters.
5. IP address
You can easily change your IP address to one of your preferred countries.
Factors to consider when choosing a VPN
Before getting a VPN, you need to consider some features to get the most suitable one for your needs.
1. Figure out why you need a VPN
You need to know what needs you have for the VPN. If you need one for watching movies, you need one with high speed and unlimited bandwidth.
If you are a digital nomad and you frequently use public WiFi, you need one that has servers globally and offers security.
2. Know the compatible devices
Look out for VPNs that support almost all devices. Make sure also to check how many devices are supported at once before purchasing.
3. Find one that is easy to use
Not everybody is an IT guru, which is why you need to get a VPN that has a friendly user interface. Go for a simple one that you can easily navigate through, one that has easy procedures to follow during the setup process.
VPNs are quite resourceful, and you’ll need it at some point. Get a paid VPN for enhanced security. The paid versions will allow you to use SSTP, SSH, OpenVPN, and so much more. Compare and contrast the available ones and go with the one that is worth your money.