A guide to various types of VPNs and their uses

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Different kinds of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

You’ve probably used at least one type of VPN service before but are you using the most suitable one? Virtual private networks come in many forms and it can be quite overwhelming to differentiate the types of technologies that are used in each one. Let us help you out by providing a quick and easy guide on the various types and uses of VPNs. At the end of the day, you’ll have a clear understanding of the different VPN services available and which ones best suit your needs.

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Understanding the difference between Network and Service

Before we go into the types of VPN services, it’s important to know the terminologies used. VPN services and VPN technologies are different things. The virtual private network is a secure and private connection between your electronic device and your desired internet location. This connection requires a certain VPN protocol to ensure your safety isn’t compromised and to hide your IP address. The above describes the VPN technology that is utilized to encrypt and mask your traffic.

At the same time, VPN services can be looked at in the form of a comprehensive package that includes the various VPN technologies together with other additional benefits. This can be in the form of the increased accessibility from having local clients as well as automatic setup functions, and additional customer service in forms such as customer support, guides, FAQ sites, and knowledge bases. These additional benefits do provide value to the user ranging from security features to auto-connect settings and quick response customer support.

Logistically speaking, you can only use a single kind of VPN technology at a single point in time. But you will still have the luxury to switch between them using your VPN service. The best VPN providers will let you pick the most suitable type depending on what you are using it for and help you with all your troubling experiences through backup connections. Today, the terminology “VPN service” is commonly coined as “VPN”.

Moving back to the main topic, the three main types of VPNs are as follows: remote access, intranet-based site-to-site, and extranet-based site-to-site. Most individuals tend to use remote access VPNs while corporations may be more inclined to implement intranet-based site-to-site for their company security uses.

Remote Access VPN

The most popular form of VPN is the remote access VPN, which is mostly used for personal reasons. This type of VPN service connects users to secure remote servers to access private networks. The service also encrypts the data to ensure that your security is safe and uncompromised. This forms the foundations for commercial VPN services, by providing you access to their own secure networks when you’re on the internet. On your side, you will be able to surf whatever content that’s available out of restricted regular connections while ensuring you’re kept away from hackers.

Remote Access VPN is generally suited for first-time users as well as veterans as they are easy to set up and utilize. On the downside, they might not be the best for large-scale corporate uses due to their unsuitability and incompatibility.

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Intranet Based Site-to-Site VPN

If you’re looking for VPNs that can suit your company’s large-scale needs, you might be interested in looking for a site-to-site VPN. The main foundation this VPN is built on is to allow more than one user based in a variety of different fixed locations to access a shared pool of resources and data.

Imagine yourself in a large multinational company situated in Singapore and you’re collaborating with colleagues from the same company that is based in New York. With the site-to-site VPN, both you and your colleagues are able to safely collaborate with each other as both of your local area networks (LANs) are simultaneously connected to the same wide area network (WAN). This example illustrates an intranet-based site-to-site VPN.

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Extranet based Site-to-Site VPN

Extranet based Site-to-Site VPN has the same goal as the intranet-based site-to-site VPN but works slightly differently. In this case, there are two separate intranets being set up for each location, and a connection between the two intranets exists. This provides you to share data with each other but eliminates the possibility of directly accessing each other’s intranets. A good example of a real-life application of extranet based site-to-site VPN would be two companies collaborating with each other.

Generally, both site-to-site VPNs are very common in large-scale corporate environments where cybersecurity is increasingly emphasized in today’s age in order to prevent critical data such as corporate secrets and financial documents from being leaked.

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Nevertheless, site-to-site VPNs are not as easy to set up and utilize as compared to remote access VPNs. Site-to-site VPNs require specialized equipment as well as a multitude of resources. Additionally, this kind of VPN technology is built to cater to the varying needs of corporations and will not suit the flexible nature that commercial VPN services provide.

Types of Commercial VPN Services

For individuals looking to securely access the internet, you might be interested in commercial VPN services. Yet, there are still various types of commercial VPN services for you to narrow down to. Here are some of the categories of VPN services based on a few factors: scale, available protocols, privacy, and price.

  1. VPNs for Business or Pleasure — Provides you with a tailored service and facilitates your set-up, deployment, and management of VPN connections for businesses.
  2. Multi-protocol and Single-protocol VPNs — Multi-protocol VPNs provide you with more options that are essential to bypass censorship, remove VPN blocks and stream your content smoothly.
  3. No-Logging VPNs and the Rest — Promises to ensure that your sensitive information with regards to your connection will not be collected, stored, or shared.
  4. Premium, Budget, and Free VPNs — Premium VPNs provide higher levels of equipment and a more comprehensive combination of privacy, security, and performance. Also, consider your budget when selecting your desired VPN.

Bottom line

Now that you have a clear understanding of the various types of VPNs and their functions, think of what your needs are before selecting a VPN. Most importantly, you’ll want to pick a reliable service that has a reputation for its performance and can be trusted.

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