Before we talk about the types of VPN, let’s go through the definition first; A VPN ( or Virtual Private Network) is a method of establishing a secure link between source and destination ‘to’ and ‘from’ a network or a computer. It uses public #telecommunication basis, mainly the internet to allow remote computers to act as they were on the same secure local network. A #VPN works by using the shared public infrastructure while maintaining privacy through security procedures and tunneling protocols. VPNs are typically used to support remote access to an intranet, to support connections between multiple intranets with the same organization and to join between two organizations forming an extranet.
After knowing the definition of VPN, now it is time to look at its types and they are as follows:
1. PPTP VPN
This type is the most common VPN type. It enables authorized remote users to access VPN network through their Internet connection and then use password authentication to log in. There is no need for extra hardware and the features provided in this type are inexpensive add-on software. PPTP is short for Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol. The disadvantage of this type is that it doesn’t encrypt data and it relies on the Point-to-Point Protocol in order to apply security measures.
2. Site-to-Site VPN
This type is similar to PPTP but the difference is there is no “dedicated” line in use. The Site-to-Site VPN allows different sites of the same organization to connect together and form a Virtual Private Network. The routing, encryption and decryption in this type are performed by the routers on both sides, this could be either hardware or software based.
3. L2TP VPN
Layer to Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) was created by Microsoft and Cisco and it is almost the same as PPTP, but the difference is that the L2TP provides data confidentiality and data integrity.
This type creates a tunnel from the remote site into the central site. As the name indicates, this type is meant for IP traffic. The disadvantage of IPSec is that it requires expensive and time consuming client installations.
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) can be accessible through https on web browser. This type creates a secure session between the browser and the application server where the user is trying to have access to. The main advantage of SSL is that it doesn’t need any software installed since it uses the browser as the client application.
6. MPLS VPN
This type is ideal for site-to-site connectivity, as it is not practical for individual users who are wishing to have remote access. MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) is the most flexible and scalable type as it allows two or more sites to connect and form a VPN using the same Internet Service Provider. The disadvantages of MPLS VPN are: there is difficulty in setting up the network and it is more expensive than the other types.
7. Hybrid VPN
This type allows the servers to accept connections from multiple VPN types as several companies managed to combine different VPN types. The advantage of Hybrid VPN is the flexibility it provides for both client and server ends. However, this type is considered more expensive.
If you are not sure about the type of VPN that suits you most, get in touch with us and we will be glad to help you to reach your business goal.