virtual private network - Computer Definition
Use public networks to conduct private data communications. Most VPN implementations use the Internet as the public infrastructure, along with some other protocols to ensure private communications through the Internet. VPN typically uses a client-and-server approach.
VPN clients not only encrypt data and authenticate users utilizing a technique called tunneling but also manage sessions with VPN servers. Commonly, VPN clients and servers are used to form an extranet by joining networks between two companies, to support connections between a number of intranets within the same company, and to support remote access to an intranet.
The primary advantage with VPN is the reduced cost required for supporting this technology, relative to traditionally leased lines or remote access servers. Because VPN users normally use simple graphical client tools, these support connecting to and disconnecting from the VPN, creating tunnels, and setting configuration parameters.
VPN solutions use a number of network protocols, including IPsec, L2TP, PPTP, and SOCKS. VPN servers also can directly connect to other VPN servers, extending the intranet or extranet to span many networks.
Because of the very high demand, many vendors have made VPN hardware and software products; unfortunately, some of these do not interoperate because of the lack of maturity of some VPN standards. Moreover, the new generation of SSL-based but not the IPSec-based VPN’s have recently flourished.
About, Inc. VPN. [Online, 2004.] About, Inc. Website. http:// compnetworking.about.com/od/vpn/g/bldef_vpn.htm.
A private network configured within a public network such as the Internet or a carrier's network. Years ago, virtual private networks (VPNs) obsoleted private lines between company branches. Using data encryption to maintain privacy, VPNs also allow mobile users access to the company LAN. In the past, common carriers used their vast networks to "tunnel" traffic between customer locations to give the appearance of a private network while sharing backbone trunks, no different than the way the Internet works. Prior to the Internet's IP protocol, VPNs were built over X.25, Switched 56, frame relay and ATM technologies. See PVC, SVC, computer security and information security. Internet VPNs Internet VPNs are very popular, and several security protocols are used. IPsec, L2TP and PPTP provide secure tunnels over the Internet. For brief transactions at a website, SSL is widely used. See IPsec, L2TP, PPTP and SSL. Virtual IP VPNs from Carriers A "virtual private routed network" (VPRN) connects the customer's IP router to the provider's IP router. See MPLS. Ethernet VPNs from Carriers Carriers encapsulate Ethernet frames in one location and deliver them to another. Connecting two Ethernets is a "LAN interconnect service," while multipoint connectivity is a "transparent LAN service" (TLS). A "virtual private LAN service" (VPLS) is a multipoint VPN using an IP/MPLS core to route traffic. See TLS, VPLS and IP/MPLS core. Frame Relay VPNs from Carriers Carriers have offered frame relay point-to-point and multipoint VPNs, whereby the customer's equipment converts internal IP packets to frame relay packets. Adding a location in such a network means provisioning virtual circuits from the new site to all the other sites. See frame relay.
virtual private network - Investment & Finance Definition
A very secure network that is used to transmit sensitive and private data using the Internet as the mode of transportation. The data is encrypted. VPNs are used for a variety of purposes, including electronic commerce.