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VPN Tunnel, Point-to-Point, Same thing?

Posted on 2013-12-27
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
I am a VPN illiterate.  I thought there was just ONE THING called VPN.  Now I find out there are several.
Question:  IS VPN tunnel and point-to-point and site-to-site the same thing?
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Question by:brothertruffle880
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by:Gareth Gudger
Gareth Gudger earned 664 total points
ID: 39742795
Generally site to site and point to point are interchangeable. Probably depends on the manufacturer you work with. A VPN tunnel is generally used interchangeably as well but some folks may also refer to VPN or a VPN tunnel with regard to client-access VPNs. So I generally just use the terms site-to-site VPN or client-access VPN.
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 1336 total points
ID: 39742796
A VPN tunnel can be site to site or client to site. The first is an arrangement of VPN machines or services at each end connected to each other.   A client to site arrangement has a client application on a remote computer connecting in.  I use both on my laptop depending on where I am.

Point to point is another terminology but the two methods above are the standard methodologies.

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:Qlemo
ID: 39742817
And to elaborate on "There can be only one!" - way off the mark! VPNs come in different tastes, like PPTP, IPSec, L2TP/IPSec, SSL, ...
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39742829
Your first question was about Site to Site terminology which has been answered here.

The second question is about types.  

PPTP, IPsec, SSL are type of VPN. They are all different although can come site to site or client to site.

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:brothertruffle880
ID: 39743814
Can you give me a real-world example of a site-to-site and a client-to-site VPN?
Maybe that will help me understand the concept.
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John Hurst earned 1336 total points
ID: 39743953
I have a Home Consulting Office with an Cisco RV042G VPN router. Lashed onto this is a Cisco RV220W wireless router, but that is for completeness and beside the point.

The RV042G has 4 IPsec Site to Site tunnels to 4 clients. They are always connected, so I need only bring up Remote Desktop to access Servers and folders as needed.

When I take my Laptop away with me and away from the Home Consulting Office, I am no longer connected to it. I am away for a bit right now at our Cottage.

So now I have NCP Secure Entry which is a top notch IPsec Client Application. I can make a tunnel to any of the above 4 clients (1 client at a time with NCP) and do all the same functions.

The Home Office Desktop is always connected and so does not need a client application.

I trust that helps.   The complete subject is very complex and this is just a real world high level summary.

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:Qlemo
ID: 39744082
That's a valid viewpoint.
Imagine a client-to-site VPN as "dial-in", on-demand type of connection, and site-to-site as "being just another network". That is simplified, but true in the vast majority.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39745372
@brothertruffle880 - Thanks and I was happy to help.

... Thinkpads_User
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