Have you ever heard of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)? Surely you have heard about this topic at some point, especially in matters related to the business field.
A VPN connection allows a computer or mobile device connected to the Internet to send and receive data over shared or public networks as if it were a private network with all the functionality, security, and management policies of a private network. This is done by establishing a virtual peer-to-peer connection using dedicated connections, encryption, or even a mix of both methods.
These implementations have wide uses in business networks, such as connecting two or more branches of a company using the Internet as a link; allowing members of the technical support team to connect from their home to the computer center; or even allowing a user to access their home computer from a remote location, such as a hotel, all this using the Internet infrastructure.
The VPN connection over the Internet is technically a wide area network (WAN) link between the sites but appears to the user as if it is a private link (hence the designation “virtual private network”).
What are the main uses of VPN connections?
- Remote work: The most obvious use of a VPN connection is interconnectivity in networks that are not physically connected, such as workers who are currently out of the office or companies with branches in several cities that need access to a single network privately.
- Avoid censorship and geo-locking: VPN connections also have recreational uses, such as faking our IP addresses. When connecting to a VPN, your device communicates with the VPN server, and it is the VPN server that talks to the Internet. If you are in China and the VPN server is in the United States, the web servers believe that you are browsing from the latter, allowing you to access online content otherwise unavailable.
- Additional SECURITY LAYER: Logging into your online bank accounts through a public WiFi point is not actually secure. This is the ideal scenario to count on an extra security measure, since the packets would be sent blocked.
Main benefits of a VPN connection
- It works in all applications, as they route all Internet traffic.
- Easily connects and disconnects; once set, you can turn the connection on and off as you want to.
- Additional security in WiFi access points.
- Fake your location. A VPN connection is an effective way to bypass censorship or access content limited to a certain region.
- Your Internet service provider with a VPN won’t be able to know what you do on the Internet, but you must be careful as your VPN provider will still know your online habits.
Things to consider before getting a VPN service
There are a number of details to consider:
- Price: There are some free VPNs, but in most cases they have limited connections and you can’t expect much from them. A paid VPN service will always work better, but you should check prices and subscription details.
- Speed issues: If your VPN server is too far away, you will experience a lot of latency when browsing.
- Security is not foolproof: Just because the connection icon has a padlock, it doesn’t mean that it is secure (PPTP Protocol).
- You can’t always spoof your location: There are technologies able to triangulate and calculate your real IP address. This happens especially on mobile devices.
Surfshark, through its Try Surfshark Secure VPN service, offers its customers a comprehensive solution that meets companies’ security and availability needs. It enables users outside the company facilities to connect to the corporate private network easily and securely.
Besides, it allows establishing a secure communication channel between the offices of the same company, as it will help save costs, have a greater tolerance to any failure, greater service availability, more security, support and other benefits.
Working as a cyber security solutions architect, Alisa focuses on application and network security. Before joining us she held a cyber security researcher positions within a variety of cyber security start-ups. She also experience in different industry domains like finance, healthcare and consumer products.