Virtual Private Networks

Essay by NajieUniversity, Master'sA+, November 2004

download word file, 15 pages 3.5

In this increasingly margin conscious world, businesses are always looking for cost effective, yet reliable and secure methods to connect their resources, employees and business partners across increasingly wider areas, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology offers a viable solution that meets these concerns. Rather than depend on costly, dedicated leased lines to connect computers together, businesses can instead make safe secure connections via the internet in conjunction with VPN software. Within this paper we will provide an overview of the VPN technology, how to install it, and how security concerns are addressed with VPN including: authentication, integrity, and confidentiality via encryption.

Definition of Virtual Private Network (VPN):

A Virtual Private Network, (commonly referred to as VPN), is a private network that uses a public network (usually the Internet), to connect remote sites or users together. Instead of using connection such as 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 enables users to send and receive data between two computers across a shared or public internet securely. It works in a manner that emulates the properties of a point-to-point private link.

In a point-to-point link, data is encapsulated, or wrapped, with a header that provides routing information allowing it to pass through the shared or public network to reach its endpoint. To emulate a private link, the data being sent is encrypted for confidentiality. Packets that are intercepted on the shared or public network are indecipherable without the encryption keys. The portion of the connection in which the private data is encapsulated is known as the tunnel. The portion of the connection in which the private data is encrypted is known as the virtual private network (VPN) connection.

Figure 1: Virtual private network remote...