The rise of virtual private networks

22.05.2020

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Everyone is well aware that criminals on the internet are becoming savvier every day. Every once in a while, they come up with brand-new sophisticated scams that cause the downfall of and major losses for countless companies and individuals. Consequently, the need for Internet security has led to the invention of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) being used by individuals and businesses alike in the interest of protecting themselves from potential harm. It all started due to the fact that many companies operate different centers simultaneously and, furthermore, they often have individual employees working connected to the network off site. Initially, computer engineers used a combination of hardware and software along with a firewall that enabled VPNs in the form hardware tunnels. And each user tunnel required a license as well as additional hardware and software cost. Generally speaking, doing so in-house is more typical for companies with a larger corporate system. 

For small businesses, however, it is especially popular to use VPN services, which are often very low in cost, far cheaper than installing one in-house. In both cases, an encrypted tunnel is provided for online traffic. Furthermore, unlike in the case of a terminal server, a hacker could not hack all of your company’s sensitive information just by hacking a computer connected to the network. These virtual environments are not directly connected to the company’s data storage base. Normally, internet service providers are required to keep a log of the user’s activities online and will provide it upon the request of authorities. However, depending on the VPN service the person chooses, he may or may not be able to obtain complete online privacy. Furthermore, if the VPN allows it, the person can surf the internet in complete anonymity without worrying about anyone knowing his or her business. In many countries, certain online content is unavailable for viewing in certain countries, even certain types of websites and forms of media that the country’s government may deem unsuitable; however, with a VPN, the user can bypass that issue. Be sure to ask the VPN what it’s practices are before you make a purchase and make sure you are absolutely certain that it is a highly secure server and you can trust the network; otherwise, you are taking a massive risk. The only other risks one must keep in mind are one’s router and internet connection security. For this purpose, a newer method for adding extra security to this process is two-factor authentication. For instance, remote users may install an app designed only for one phone in addition to entering his login and password that scans the bar code on the screen and subsequently issues a confirmation code.

Cloud services also provide further security to companies, such as G-Suite services, where companies get to store backup information essential for the company to operate. Although the cost is cheap to acquire a business license, one must keep in mind that this is on a per user basis. Furthermore, different VPNs have different tiers of service based on the amount of data used and the amount of user channels. One of the drawbacks of this type of service, of course, is that because the traffic is all relayed through a remote network, this slows down the speed of the user’s Internet. Connecting to a VPN server can also pose an additional problem. If the server is down, the user may find himself having to wait for a while with no access to the Internet or having to operate ordinarily without this extra protection for the time being.


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