We have read a lot about the VPN service and providers on different platforms. However, very few people actually know about the incredible technology and how VPN works. Therefore, it is important to know the fundamentals of VPN technology in order to have in-depth knowledge for using this service for your mobile device or any other electronic gadget with any operating system.
Overview of VPN Technology
A service that offers reliable and secure connectivity over a shared public network infrastructure, such as the internet is known as VPN (Virtual Private Network). A private network has management and security policies and VPN maintains the same policies. It establishes point to point connection between remote users and an enterprise network of customers in the most effective way.
Types of VPN
A Virtual Private Network is classified into certain types. The main three types of VPN are Access VPN, Intranet VPN and Extranet VPN. An intranet or extranet of customers working on a project collectively can be accessed remotely over a shared infrastructure by Access VPN. It allows mobile users, branch offices and telecommuters to connect securely using different technologies including ISDN, dial, analog, mobile IP, digital subscriber line (DSL) and cable technology. Intranet VPN uses dedicated connections over a shared infrastructure to link remote offices to an internal network. The difference in intranet VPN and extranet VPN is that intranet VPN only allows access to the employees of the customer project. Extranet VPN also uses dedicated connections, but it links the network customers to the outside partners, communities, customers and suppliers of their interest. The users outside the enterprise are allowed to access the network using extranet VPN.
Protocols Offered by VPN Technology
The commonly used protocols of VPN technology are PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol), L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol), and Open VPN. PPTP offers basic online security and fast speed being a light weight and good VPN protocol. If speed is your first priority, then PPTP is a good choice that features encryption of 128 bit. L2TP with IPSec (IP Security) offers greater security than PPTP with 256 bit encryption. It is a more secure protocol requiring more CPU usage and an excellent choice for devices that do not support Open VPN. PPTP and L2TP are basically protocols designed for mobile devices. However, Open VPN does not support tablets and mobile devices. This protocol is made for modern broadband networks providing fast speed and stable connection over high latency and long distance networks with 256 bit encryption.
For Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, it is recommended to use Open VPN that is the best choice for desktops and requires less CPU usage than L2TP/IPSec and provides greater security than PPTP. In terms of set up of protocols, Open VPN is easy to set up with software, L2TP/IPSec requires custom configuration, and PPTP is built-in most operating systems and easy to set up. L2TP/IPSec provides greater security than PPTP, but it is not as fast as PPTP and requires additional configuration.