Term:VPN [Virtual Private Network]« Back to Glossary Index
VPN is an acronym for Virtual Private Network.
A VPN uses encryption and additional networking software to connect devices on a larger, public network – usually the internet – as if they were directly connected together on a private network.
There are two common scenarios:
In a corporate VPN, machines use the internet to securely connect to the private corporate network. All traffic that travels on the public internet is encrypted in such a way that it is only meaningful to the VPN’s corporate entry-point, where it joins the corporate network.
A public VPN is often used for security when the connection between a computer and the internet cannot be completely trusted, as in an open Wi-Fi hotspot. A VPN is used to create a private, fully encrypted network connection to the VPN service provider, where it is then connected normally to the internet.
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A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Applications running across a VPN may benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network. It provides access to resources inaccessible on the public network and is typically used for telecommuting workers. Encryption is common, although not an inherent part of a VPN connection.
A VPN is created by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated circuits or with tunneling protocols over existing networks. A VPN available from the public Internet can provide some of the benefits of a wide area network (WAN). From a user perspective, the resources available within the private network can be accessed remotely.