Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A Virtual Private Network, abbreviated as VPN, makes it possible to build secure private connections over public access network infrastructures. Today VPNs are usually based on Internet Protocol (IP) and use the public Internet to establish the connection. Depending on the type and use, a VPN can be created between two terminals (computers), between a computer and a network or between two networks. In the latter case, the VPN connection of two routers is realised. The data transmitted within a VPN is encrypted and protected against unauthorised access in a sort of tunnel through the Internet. Encryption standards such as IPSec or TLS/SSL are used. Many private Internet routers now have VPN functionality and allow laptops, smart phones or tablets that are being used elsewhere to create a secure connection to the home network. This technology makes it possible, for example, to protect data transmitted to and from a public hotspot to a home network and to access the Internet from there.

Virtual Private Networks in corporate communications

In companies, a VPN is often used to connect branch offices or home office employees to the company network. Thanks to VPN technology, expensive direct data connections are no longer needed, as a communications link can be produced safely and inexpensively via the public Internet. While, in office environments, a router usually establishes a VPN connection, home office workers often have a software VPN client installed on their computer. At the click of a mouse button, the software creates a secure VPN connection to the office and makes the desired online services accessible.

Virtual Private Networks and telephone systems

As modern Voice over IP telephony (VoIP) transmits voice information as IP data, VPN connections can also be used for this purpose. The Virtual Private Network connection allows voice data to be securely transferred to a central telephone system. It is also possible to couple several telephone systems together through the public Internet, via VPN tunnels.

Further information

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

What is VoIP?

The Voice over Internet Protocol, also called IP telephony, is a method of communication for making calls over a broadband Internet connection as an alternative to regular calls made…

Read more