A VPN is a”Virtual Private Network”. It is a user to Local Area Connection (LAN) connecting a company (employee) for example to network and then to the internet.
The most commonly used type of VPN is (1) Remote-Access which is a dial-up network. This is most often used by a business connecting many of its employees to the network. Now, if a business is fairly large, they may elect to set up through an Enterprise Service Provider (ESP) which will allow remote users to connect to the network thru loaded software on each PC.
The next type of VPN is a Site To Site VPN. With this type of Virtual Private Network, equipment that is specifically dedicated to a business with a pretty strong encryption is implemented so remote sites can say, over the internet, can connect to each other’s PC. Two different Site To Site VPN’s exist. The first is a “Intranet”based network with is used when a business has as little as one remote location or numerous remote locations where they can join into a single Private Network. This type also allows for a “Local Area Network” (LAN) to connect to another LAN. The second option of a Site To Site network is the “Extranet” based network. Say that you’re business goes into a partnership with another company or is bought out by a larger company; Your business needs to share important information or data to the other business in a speedy and secure manner. This is where an Extranet will work for you. A VPN is created to connect various Local Area Networks together with-in an environment shared by the various LAN’s.
One advantage of a VPN is that your information or date can be encrypted or secure so that only those on your network can see or have access. Otherwise, pushing it through the internet without this layer of security, would not only be dangerous but most likely hazardous to your business.