In recent years, networks between PCs have become increasingly popular, not only coexisting in the same place, but also in remote locations. This is due to the need to share resources between different users from each of their terminals, each day more separated by land. This is where the use of a VPN comes in.
[pullquote]The progress of technology has not only been present at the corporate level but increasingly, there are more homes and groups of friends, where there is a need to create a link between computers in order to take full advantage of the potential of a team.[/pullquote]
A virtual private network or VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a technology that allows us to interconnect computer networks (usually located in distant geographic locations) using mainly public communication infrastructures such as the Internet. This means that it is possible, through the use of a VPN, to connect to the internal network of your company or home and access the resources available in it such as applications, databases, printers, etc. from anywhere in the world as if we were in the same place.
VPNs employ a number of security mechanisms such as tunneling protocols and data encryption. These mechanisms are used for the purpose of maintaining the security and integrity of communications in the network, due to the risk of using public communications media or infrastructures. By using a VPN, we ensure that we maintain secure communication even on public Wi-Fi networks.
The use of VPNs helps reduce the implementation and interconnection costs of remote office computer networks, thanks to the use of existing Internet infrastructure while maintaining the security of communications.
Another use that is given to VPN is to access web pages as if we were in another part of the world. This is very useful if we want to access specific content for certain countries, where there is a blockage that prevents us from accessing them. For example, the well-known streaming service of Netflix series and movies offers different content according to the country from which it is streaming. In this case, if we want to access the content offered by Netflix for US users, we must connect to a VPN that is in the US. And in this way make the service believe that we are actually there and not in our country. Recently, Netflix has blocked VPN access.
VPN connections ensure:
- The confidentiality of the data, in case that they were intercepted during the transmission, they cannot be decoded. In this way, information should not be able to be interpreted by anyone other than the recipients of it.
- Integrity of the data, through a VPN tunnel in which the encrypted information is passed between the clients for which there is a safe integrity of the data, can be created. Besides not being decoded, the data cannot be modified or altered during the broadcast.
- Authentication and Authorization ensure that the data is being transmitted or received from authorized remote devices and not from any computer impersonating it. In addition, it manages the different levels of access and rights of each of the users who use the VPN.
It is only allowed to connect to authorized mobile devices through authentication certificates, encrypted keys, and users/passwords.
- Speed: When we send or request information through a VPN network is compressed and uncompressed between the 2 VPN clients, this makes the VPN work faster in the transfer of information.
- Costs: A VPN saves some money on equipment costs and other services that are offered within the local network.
While it is true that VPNs offer a lot of advantages, that there are certain drawbacks when using this technology, and we will list both advantages and disadvantages here.
Virtual Private Networks: Advantages
- Reduce the costs of interconnecting geographically distant networks.
- Provide access security for users connecting via Wi-Fi.
- Create an extra layer of security within a corporate network to protect sensitive computing resources.
- Access the resources of the network to which we connect. It can be the network of our company or the network of our house.
- Access websites with specific content for each country.
- Surpass Internet access restrictions.
- They offer the possibility to surf anonymously.
- Work with any program or application.
Virtual Private Networks: Disadvantages
- The access speed is usually less than that of a traditional connection.
- It is necessary to have certain technical knowledge to implement a VPN connection.
- The connectivity is not very stable, so it is often necessary to connect again whenever it is needed.
- Not all network computers are compatible with each other when using VPN technologies.
A breach in the security of the remote computer can put at risk the resources of the network.
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