VPN – What it is & How it Works

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is a type of connection where public communication infrastructure system is used in order to provide individual users with secure private access to data from different sources. This means that a person can work from a virtual point and accessing through a communication channel like the internet without any other person having access to the same.

The VPN connection requires that data be encrypted at the sender’s source and be decrypted at the receiver’s end. This is important so as to avoid any other person who is using the internet from accessing the encrypted data. Still that is not all; the sending address together with the one receiving must be firmly secured to avoid hacking and accessing of the VPN by outsiders. This system of communication is very popular today with corporate organizations because it gives the people outside the office virtual capability of accessing their companies’ networks as though they were using LAN at a considerably affordable cost.

VPN - What it is & How it WorksThe use of tunneling protocols like the L2TP is critical in VPN and the data being sent from one end to the other is guaranteed of being safe when using them. The user will be required to connect to a virtual private server via an external network channel after which the server will assign the user an IP address. After getting the IP address, the user will then be required to send an encrypted message to the other end that they want to communicate with. The IP address of the recipient will be given the same address as that of the source. The user can be the company communication or sending some files to a person in the field or even to a remote office.

The work of the server in this whole exercise of VPN connection is very critical to the whole process. It is here that the message from the sender is received and put in a packet. It is then encrypted and further encapsulated in to another packet. This is to help the encrypted message to be sent safely over the public internet communication channel. Even if a person was able to intercept the information, then they would just be able to get hold of it but nothing more will be achieved from their action. The receiving VPN server will receive the data, de-encrypt it and then send it to the intended recipient.

There are various layers in which the data can be sent from one end to the other. Depending on the needs of the sender or the recipient the OSI Layers 1, 2 or 3PPVN structures can be used to secure their connections. The VPN connection is used by corporate bodies with virtual offices, police to access criminal communications, hospitals and so on. With increased technology, the system is now being employed in mobile devices.