What is a VPN?
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a technology that allows users to establish a secure and private connection through the internet. When you connect to a VPN server, your device sends all its network traffic through an encrypted tunnel to the server, which then routes it to the internet on your behalf. This means that your online activities are shielded from prying eyes, such as hackers, ISPs and government agencies. Additionally, by masking your IP address with that of the VPN server’s location, you can also bypass geographical restrictions and access content that might otherwise be unavailable in your region. Overall, a VPN is an essential tool for anyone who values privacy and security online.
Four Types of VPN
There are four (4) types of Virtual Private Network (VPN):
- Personal VPN services
- Remote access VPNs
- Mobile VPNs
- Site-to-site VPNs
Personal VPN Services are typically used by home users to secure their network traffic when on public Wi-Fi networks or to make them appear in a different location so they can have access to content. For example, the UKs BBC iPlayer can only be streamed on devices with a UK IP address, a service such as NordVPN provides users outside of the UK with a UK IP address so they can watch the content even though it may not be licensed for use outside of the UK.
Companies use remote access VPNs to provide secure and controlled access to their internal network resources for employees who are working from outside the office. By using a remote access VPN, employees can connect to the company’s network as if they were physically present in the office, allowing them to access files, applications, and other resources that they need to do their job. This not only enables greater flexibility in terms of where and when work can be done but also ensures that sensitive company data remains protected by encrypting all traffic flowing between the employee’s device and the company’s network.
Mobile VPNs are VPN services that are designed specifically for use on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. They provide the same benefits as traditional VPNs, such as encrypting all traffic flowing between the device and the internet to protect against hackers and other threats.
Site-to-site VPNs are a type of VPN that connect two or more networks together over the internet. They are commonly used by businesses to securely connect their different office locations and allow employees to access resources across these locations as if they were all on the same network. Site-to-site VPNs work by encrypting all traffic between the networks, ensuring that sensitive data remains protected from prying eyes.
While VPNs are great for securing internet traffic, they can also cause problems with slowing down network traffic and causing bottlenecks. This is because all data being transmitted through a VPN must first be encrypted and then decrypted at the other end, which can add significant overhead to the transmission process. Additionally, if multiple users are accessing the same VPN server at once, it can lead to congestion and slower speeds for all users. +
VPN hairpinning is a common issue that occurs when traffic from a remote user is routed back through a VPN server or concentrator that is far away from the end application or network for which access is needed. VPN hairpinning has become a bigger problem as organizations use more SaaS applications. It involves routing traffic from the user’s device to the corporate network, then back out to the internet and finally back to the SaaS application. This leads to slower performance and increased network congestion, especially as more users access these applications remotely. As more organizations rely on SaaS apps for their day-to-day operations, it’s important to consider alternative security solutions that don’t rely on hairpinning traffic through a VPN concentrator or ZTNA PoP.
IT Departments today need to provide remote access to employees that is like an in-office experience, both secure and highly available. CloudBrink delivers this by providing Zero-Trust Access that is highly secure, removes all hairpins, and is faster than direct access. Unlike VPN and ZTNA that slow down application performance and network connections, Cloudbrinks Hybrid Access as a Service accelerates apps and networks. Cloudbrinks service uses preemptive and accelerated packet recovery, Machine Learning and hundreds of FAST edges to optimize traffic flow, detect and route around potential bottlenecks, providing faster routes, less packet drops and deliver secure, high-performance connectivity to the hybrid workforce.