Simply put, VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, it establishes a point to point connection that allows users to access another computer from their own using what is known as tunnelling protocols. The network protects your data and prevents others from intercepting it during transmission by encrypting the traffic. Previously encryption cyphers used to be quite simple but as computers have advanced, they are now used to generate complex ciphers which makes it difficult for humans to decode.
Why Would a Small Business Want a VPN?
Many businesses use VPN’s as an auxiliary tool to support certain company functions. For example, VPN’s can be used to ensure the company’s data remains private and protected. Information such as company records and client data gets encrypted preventing hackers from stealing such information. Remote access to data is very useful, an employee working from home for example can make use of VPN’s to securely access any company computer.
Sometimes an employee may find they are travelling and can use a VPN to connect with computers at work or home so they can continue working whilst they are on the road. If a company has several sites that all use LAN networks, VPN’s facilitate remote access between the various sites, so that an employee at one site has the ability to access data from the network at the other sites. This is much faster than requesting the data from other employees stationed at those sites.
Setting up a VPN
There are numerous ways to establish a VPN connection. You could for example, manually configure software such as Putty to ensure you have a secure point to point connection. If you have a mobile device you could use an app such as OpenVPN to remain anonymous by keeping your traffic encrypted. You can purchase commercial software from other vendors which enables you to easily establish a VPN connection through a simple user interface. When you are using a VPN, make sure you have enough bandwidth to allow network traffic to pass through. This means ensuring you select the right broadband connection for your company.