vpn: Explained: Different types of VPN services are available to users
One VPN or virtual private network is a tool that can extend private network over public network. A VPN allows users to send and receive data over a shared or public network as if their device were directly connected to a private network. It is a tool that netizens can use to connect securely over the internet. This tool establishes a private connection, also known as a VPN tunnel, through which all traffic and communications are routed. VPNs can be classified into many different categories. Here we will discuss the different types of VPNs and where you should use them.
Different types of VPNs are available to users
There are several variables that users need to keep in mind when choosing the right VPN service. These variables include – speed, security, cost, bandwidth and VPN protocols. It can be difficult for users to choose the right service if they do not have a clear understanding of VPN features and their requirements.
Remote access VPN – This is the most popular type of VPN available to users. It uses a secure remote server to connect users to a private network. A remote access VPN creates a virtual tunnel between a user’s device and a private network to route user data. Data moving across these networks remains secure using encryption protocols. To establish a connection to the VPN, the user needs to install the VPN client software. These types of VPNs are ideal for personal use because they are easy to set up and use. Remote access VPNs can easily bypass geoblocks and access restricted content.
VPN Site-to-Site These types of VPNs are often used by large organizations where many users need to access shared resources in various locations. Companies with multiple branches in various locations depend on a site-to-site VPN to connect one branch’s network to another. Site-to-Site VPN can connect geographically distant offices through the internet to provide secure communication. Since this VPN connection depends on router-to-router communication, one router must act as a client while the other acts as a VPN server. These routers only start communicating with each other after both endpoints are authenticated.
These connections are available in two forms – intranet based VPN and Extranet based VPN. An Intranet-based VPN can connect two separate LANs into one WAN to link two offices of the same company. Meanwhile, extranet-based VPNs are used by companies to connect to another company’s network. For example, when an organization needs to connect to a supplier’s network for efficient transactions.
VPN from client to server – This type of VPN is especially useful when accessing unsecured public WLANs. Since the connection is encrypted until it reaches the provider, it prevents ISPs and third parties from compromising data. A client-to-server VPN maintains the security and resources of the network while establishing a secure connection between the client and the corporate network. It creates a new VPN tunnel that allows users to access the network without compromising security and privacy. Universal access to company resources for employees is a huge advantage of a client-to-server VPN. It allows customers to connect to the corporate network from their home and work as if they were at the office.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) VPN – This service is compatible with peer-to-peer networks. This service can be useful for users who are searching for files on a P2P network. It can locate copies of files and attempt to make connections with sources that include parts of or the entire file required. P2P speeds up file sharing because users don’t have to download files from a single location. Instead, it is downloaded from multiple nodes consisting of small pieces of the same data. The file is also uploaded to more users as you download it.
However, a P2P VPN can secure users’ data but cannot keep them safe from malicious files. The risk of malicious actors being present in the network is always present because the peer-to-peer network depends on data stored by different nodes. If a user accidentally downloads malware that thinks it’s a legitimate file, a P2P VPN won’t be able to protect their device. Many countries have strict laws that discourage P2P file sharing because it can be used to access illegal content such as copyrighted software, movies, and music.
Difference between single-protocol and multi-protocol VPN
VPN protocols decide how data will be routed through the network. VPN services offer users a variety of protocols, and each offers different benefits and functions. Some focus more on data encryption for security and privacy, while others prioritize connection speed. Some services stick to a single protocol while others allow users to choose a protocol according to their needs. Some commonly used protocols include – PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, IKev2, and OpenVPN.
For example, AirVPN is a single-protocol VPN that uses OpenVPN. OpenVPN is an open source protocol that is considered as one of the safest options among VPN protocols. VPNs with a single protocol may not offer any additional advantages, but they are just as reliable as VPNs that offer multiple protocols. Flexibility in protocols allows users to safely bypass VPN blocks, stream geo-restricted videos, and access censored content.