Common Types of VPNs
People use VPNs to send and receive their data securely through a private tunnel within the internet. The increase in cyberattacks has significantly increased reliance on VPNs as a method to protect personally identifiable information or sensitive information stored on cloud servers. According to the latest statistics, 68% of users in the US alone were using a paid or free VPN service during 2019.
VPNs use different protocols to encrypt your web connection, disguise your traffic, and protect it from external threats. Cloud-based VPNs are becoming popular because of their wide application. However, numerous types of VPNs are available for different types of users.
Remote Access VPNs
Considered the best cloud-based VPN, you can use a remote access VPN to connect to your company’s office network. Since you can’t trust the internet blindly, you need VPN encryption to keep the cloud secure. Here are some cases:
- An employee out on a business trip can use a remote access VPN to connect to the company’s network by using the public Wi-Fi installed at their hotel. The VPN will let them access their files and software as they can from the office. Additionally, the VPN also protects their data from people spying on public Wi-Fi.
- A work-from-home employee who accesses the company’s cloud resources from their home network. While connected to a VPN, their home computer will connect to company resources through a secure tunnel to protect the data that goes through the internet.
How do Remote Access VPNs operate?
Typically, you will have to install client software or configure your device to connect to a remote access VPN. However, a VPN server needs to be present at the network end node. Remote access VPN can connect to several devices and users with the central VPN network.
- To access the remote VPN of the server, each user will identify themselves. This authentication requires security portals such as passwords, biometric identifiers, and security certificates.
- After authorization, an encrypted tunnel forms between the client and the server. The activities carried out over this tunnel are private and not interceptable from the outside.
SSL and IPsec are the most reliable VPN protocols that create an encryption tunnel to hide the traffic of the virtual private network over the internet.
- After setting up the encryption tunnel, the user can access the company’s resources through the VPN.
Personal VPN acts as an intermediary between the user and the public internet through an encrypted tunnel. It is also called a consumer VPN as it is used by individuals to hide their identity, stream their favorite shows, avoid censorship and get protection against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
It operates by following the given steps:
- Users get access to relevant software from a VPN service provider.
- The next step is to install the software for the VPN on the user’s device.
- The device connects to a server provided by the VPN network.
- As the VPN hides your IP address, the user can easily browse the internet
Mobile VPNs are set up over a device with an unstable internet connection. The device must adapt to the mobile device by making a few changes in its configuration. This process includes the installation of software and configuration of the operating system of the device to set up a virtual private network.
When a device adapts to the specifications of the VPN, users get access to a seamless connection to a VPN while using different types of internet connections. Users can switch between cellular networks and Wifi signals without worrying about losing the VPN connectivity.
How Do Mobile VPNs Operate?
Mobile VPNs allow people to access their resources from various locations. It enables people working from locations with poor internet connectivity to connect to a private network without any interruption. Here is how a mobile VPN operates:
- The first step is to connect the user with the VPN and then identify them with proper authorization. The process of authentication operates with the help of passwords, biometric identifiers, and physical tokens.
- A secure connection through the VPN is set up between a user’s device and the server. The VPN connects with the logical IP address associated with a device. It overcomes the changes in internet speed as the VPN and takes over the physical IP address of the internet.
- A continuous VPN connection keeps running even if a user switches between a Wifi internet connection or a cellular internet connection. Since the logical IP address remains the same, the change in the physical IP address does not affect the efficiency of the VPN network. The best thing about a mobile VPN is that it is available even if a device is turned off.
Site To Site VPNs
When two private networks are at two different locations, then they are connected through a Site-to-Site VPN. If a company has two offices in the same city and wants to connect them through a VPN, a site-to-site VPN is the way to go. Site-to-site VPNs help organizations interact with their employees at various locations. If a company has multiple offices and wants to integrate the work environment, it can install a site-to-site VPN to collaborate on various projects.
How Do Site To-Site VPNs Operate?
Site-to-Site VPN compensates for such networks where there are more than two servers and devices. That is why it requires certain protocols to manage the transmission of data and information. There are specific VPN protocols for setting up a site-to-site VPN including L3VPN, Dynamic MultiPoint VPN (DMVPN), and IPsec.
The site-to-site VPNs operate through three main protocols including IPsec tunnels, Dynamic MultiPoint VPN (DMVPN), and MPLS-based Layer 3 VPN (L3VPN).
- An IPsec tunnel for a site-to-site VPN is created between two sites using two routers.
- A Dynamic Multipoint VPN (DMVPN) handles more than two networks and operates them with the main site (hub) and spoke (branch sites) to carry information over the internet.
- MPLS-based Layer 3 VPN (L3VPN) offers high-end connectivity by routing packets over multiple transport mediums and multiple protocols.
The basic idea of a VPN is to protect the users’ data and resources over the internet. The use of VPNs differs when used by individuals and companies. The four types of VPN, including personal VPN, remote access VPN, mobile VPN, and Site-to-Site VPN, facilitate users with high levels of security through private networks. They are perfect for multinational companies or large organizations that need to keep tabs on their resources as well as their employees.
Mustafa Al Mahmud is the Founder and CEO of Gizmo Concept and also a professional Blogger, SEO Professional as well as Entrepreneur. He loves to travel and enjoy his free moment with family members and friends.