What is a VPN in 5 easy steps ;-)?

Posted on 2002-07-01
Last Modified: 2010-04-12
Hi Im new to VPN , anyone any pointers as to what exactly it is and does , or any sites where I can get some info?


Question by:sgriffin

Accepted Solution

Paebdb earned 25 total points
ID: 7122153
A VPN supports remote access and private data communications over public networks as a cheaper alternative to leased lines.

Check this page out:

Expert Comment

ID: 7123263
Hi sgriffin:
Paebdb has given you a link that has some basic info on one type of VPN (PPTP), a very common type indeed thanks largely to Microsoft. However, most knowledgible persons dealing with VPN's will tell you that PPTP VPN's are not as secure as a properly implemented IPSec VPN.  Additionally, Paebdb has provided you a very basic definition of a VPN which is accurate. There are however, many more types of VPN's than just remote access and site to site VPN's, for more info about IPSec VPN's check out these links from Cisco:

The first link describes in great detail the different types of IPSec VPN's and implementions thereof using various authentication mechanisms. The second link is some general information on VPN's from Cisco and the protocols used to establish them. At the bottom of this page there are more links too. There are also a couple other protocols which could be used to set up a VPN (L2TP or Layer Two Tunneling Protocol) and (GRE, Generic Routing Encapsulation). These are discussed briefly in the second link and links at the bottom of the page. Hope this helps,
LVL 51

Expert Comment

ID: 7124193
just to clarify:
  VPN has nothing to do with security
  VPN has nothing to do with any protocol
it's just the acronym for
  virtual private network
whatever you mean, and/or imagine for this, is up to you

In practice, VPN is most likely used when talking about connecting computers (even VPN can also be a phone network) over the internet.

So the links already posted give you some info.
sgriffin, please tell us in what exactly you're interested.
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Expert Comment

ID: 7872063
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