VPN (Virtual Private Network)
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a method of using a public telecommunication infrastructure, such as the Internet, to provide remote users with secure access to their organizations' networks. It is a cost-effective alternative to owning or leasing lines that can be used only by a single organization. A VPN can provide your organization with remote networking capabilities at a much lower cost.
Essentially, a VPN is a private network that uses an existing public network. Instead of using a dedicated or leased line, a VPN uses "virtual" connections routed through the Internet from the company's private network to the remote site or employee.
A VPN works by utilizing the shared public infrastructure while maintaining privacy with security procedures and tunneling protocols. By encrypting data at the sending end and decrypting it at the receiving end, the protocols send data through a "tunnel" that cannot be intruded upon by unauthorized users. For an additional level of security, some VPN protocols encrypt not only the data, but also the originating and receiving network addresses.
For more information about Virtual Private Networks, please visit Techtarget's VPN page.
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