In this current age of incredible computer technology, you want your computer data to be as secure as possible. Whether you utilize a computer at home, school, a business or the local coffee shop, you need to know that any internet communication is encrypted and safe from unwanted outside sources. Virtual private network or VPN software secures your computer s internet connection to ensure the encryption of any files you are sending or receiving and that no outside sources are privy to your information.

A VPN is a private group of computers networked together over the internet. The VPN uses connections routed from a business s private network to remote sites. You can use a VPN to access network resources without physically being on the same LAN (local area network). In addition, when using an untrusted public network, a VPN ensures encryption of your communication. A VPN is like a firewall that you use to protect your data on your computer, but instead, it protects your data online.

How does a VPN work? Whenever you connect to a VPN, you usually click on a link that prompts you to enter required information. Once you enter this information, your computer verifies this information with a remote server. After both computers confirm they are authentic, any information that you send or receive over the internet is encrypted and secure. In other words, with a VPN, remote members can securely use the internet as the means to connect to a private LAN. Moreover, your location does not matter because VPNs can connect to worldwide locations.

A VPN can be either remote access, which connect a computer to a network, or site-to-site, which connects to two networks. Businesses with remote access allow employees access to the company s intranet when they are away from the office. Site-to-site access permits employees who are geographically far from the business location to share in one cohesive network. A VPN can provide security using tunneling protocols and encryption. The tunnels are a mechanism used to send information across diverse networks. Before secure tunnels establish themselves, their endpoints require authentication. Remote-access VPNs use passwords, biometrics and other cryptic tools. Network-to-network tunnels often use passwords, permanently storing the information to allow the tunnel to establish automatically, without intervention from the user.

Who should use a VPN? You do not need to own a business or work for one in order to use a VPN. Almost everyone can benefit from secure and encrypted information. If you are a worker or a student, you may have a free VPN service. If you download much data, enjoy global Internet streaming or are just simply privacy minded, a VPN can give you peace of mind.

With the age of computer technology and the internet, you can work and study from home, abroad or just about anywhere. VPNs ensure that you can communicate safely and securely on the internet from any location.

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