VPN Security Mechanisms – Explanations in Simple Words

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VPN service may offer for its users several advantages: flexibility, ease of use, cost savings, network scalability, and private networking. But the key feature of the VPN is improved security. If you use VPN, your information sent via Internet is firmly protected.

There are three concepts that make a VPN connection secure:

•    Tunneling:

VPN creates a secure path through an untrusted network between you and your destination point. Other users of internet can’t see or recognize this tunnel. VPN builds its security mechanism with a help of special network technologies called cryptographic tunneling protocols. The protocols provide establishing and maintaining a VPN connection, encryption of information sent through the tunnel, and message integrity.
•    Encryption of traffic:

All the information transferred through the tunnel is being encrypted. An additional level of security involves encrypting not only the data, but also the originating and receiving network addresses. Nobody can use your private information without your permission. Today the newer standards provide very strong encryption which is so secure that it would take thousands of computers and years to break it through.
•    Authentication mechanism:

If a bad guy can get one of the keys, he can decrypt all the traffic on the VPN. So a reliable VPN connection has a strong user authentication mechanism. It means the tunnel end point is authenticated before secure VPN tunnels can be established. For authentication the following can be used: passwords, digital certificates, biometrics, two-factor authentication, other cryptographic methods.

To understand it better, let’s see how it works.

For example, you need to get to an internet resource securely so that information about your IP-address, the sites you are visiting, would stay unknown for everybody else, for example, for internet provider. Once the connection through VPN has been established, you communicate with your VPN provider server through the straight tunnel. The tunnel is in fact built in internet. The difference is that information sent through unsecure internet channels may become available for third parties. Information from your VPN tunnel is not. On the way to the VPN server all the information is encrypted. Then your IP-address is changed to a new,  public IP. Transmission of information continues to the destination point in the Internet under new IP so that nobody can track you and use your personal information.

You may say that you have nothing to hide. But in sense of your privacy, the VPN can be a solution.

Here is one more example. You have a small-business company and you need to exchange e-mails with absolutely private information with your partners from overseas. Let’s imagine, you need to do it regularly and in big pieces, and through internet. In this case the VPN connection is the most secure convenient and cheap solution. On the basis of internet the VPN establishes a tunnel between you and your colleagues and encrypted information becomes defended from other users of internet. You can get it by means of a dedicated VPN Server service.

With a variety of VPN products, you can choose the most secure type for your business: VPN for emails, or to run a couple of applications, or networked server. Growing list of VPN technologies can satisfy the most sophisticated needs in security.


Making the best choice, you need to consider the following issues:

•    reliability of the company providing the VPN service:

It is important to spend some time and to choose a reliable VPN provider. Reliable VPN service provides maximum security to all the users and make sure that their identity is safe on the internet. You need to take into account provider’s reputation, background and user’s reviews.

•    strong user authentication and key management:

Properly configured VPN service allows an access only to authorized users. There are options for key management. You can share one encryption key among several users but in case you have many network users it can be unsafe. Then you can distribute the keys and replace just one user’s key if it’s compromised.

•    fast and efficient internet connection:

A reliable VPN service offers an internet connection with a maximum uptime and doesn’t slow down the connection speed when users need to use internet.

Technological progress has made businesses to look for improvement to secure their networks and business communications. Personal use of internet reveals more and more cases of disregarding your privacy. The VPN technologies have already taken their marketplace and are acquiring more users every day. So it’s only for you to decide whether your VPN time has come.

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One Response to “VPN Security Mechanisms – Explanations in Simple Words”

  1. Shelby Tate Says:

    What is the cost? Can it be easily turned off. I have a secure network at home and wouldn’t want to use a VPN there..it probably wouldn’t work with my wireless printer.

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