A virtual private network (VPN) is a private computer network that interconnects remote networks through primarily public communication infrastructures such as the Internet. VPNs provide security through tunneling protocols and security procedures, such as encryption.
There are two main types of VPNs: remote-access VPNs and site-to-site VPNs. Remote-access VPNs allow individual users to connect to a remote network, e.g. salespeople in the field connecting to their company intranet. Site-to-site VPNs allow inter-connection of networks of multiple users, such as branch offices to the main company network. VPNs hence reduce costs as they eliminate the need for dedicated leased lines between networks, using existing infrastructures to connect networks instead, while also adding a layer of security.
VPNs provides users with secure access to functionalities across networks, such as remote access to resources like files, printers, databases or internal websites. VPN remote users get the impression of being directly connected to the central network via a point-to-point link.
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