Why Use an Enterprise VPN Service?
Enterprise virtual private network (VPN) services create a secure connection between computers, or between computer networks, that spans already-existing internet infrastructure. In effect, an enterprise VPN service, such as Hotspot Elite, ExpressVPN or IPVanish, creates its own internet, which is accessible only by authorized users.
Many businesses set up an internet VPN to manage the flow of information between employees, remote offices and members of the public who visit the company's website. By setting up a private network, it's possible to link offices together on a shared network. You can then provide secure access to that network for employees working from remote locations and permit external users to interact with the company website – by placing online orders, for example, or updating contact information – without giving away unrestricted access to the company database.
VPNs enhance the security of online interactions. Logging into a sensitive network from a public Wi-Fi, such as at a coffee shop, creates a weak spot that can be attacked by outside parties. Logging into a secure enterprise VPN service before accessing the private network ensures that eavesdroppers get nothing but encrypted data, regardless of the public Wi-Fi's security shortcomings.
Enterprise VPN Service: What to Look For
Enterprise VPN services are enormously flexible. Some VPNs are designed to link a handful of users to a shared network while others are optimized for connecting multiple networks across the globe. No single configuration is suitable for every VPN, which is why each one must be evaluated in relation to the intended use of the network. In general, enterprise VPN services are judged by three criteria: who will be connected, how they will connect and the level of intervention required to manage their connection.
Remote Access vs. Site-to-Site
The most basic distinction among VPNs lies in the level at which users are connected. Remote access VPNs connect users to the shared network, which effectively extends the office wide area network (WAN) across the entire internet and allows authenticated users to interact with the private network as if they were physically present in the office. Site-to-site connections use many of the same protocols to connect one network to another. The most common application for site-to-site networking is linking field offices together in a single integrated web.
The protocols a VPN uses determine the network's security level and ease of use. Remote access VPNs usually authenticate users through usernames and passwords, which makes it simple for anyone with login information to access the network from any location, while site-to-site VPNs use certificates and pass phrases that have been preloaded onto the hardware.
Another factor to consider is the level of control an internet VPN offers administrators. Access levels on small networks are often configured for each person, though this becomes unwieldy as the network grows. Large networks use global management, by which a single administrator assigns permission levels to groups of people without having to separately reconfigure each machine.
VPNs combine the benefits of a private network with the ease of using the public internet. They provide secure connections between networks, and they allow remote access by authorized users. Enterprise VPN services can be configured many different ways, and determining which one is right for you depends on how your business will be using the system.