What is a VPN?

What is a VPN?

A VPN is a Virtual Private Network.  It is used to securely encrypt data between two networks on the internet.

Examples:

  • connecting a branch office back to the corporate office
  • connecting a remote laptop/desktop from an employee’s home/hotel/airport/etc. to the corporate office

— what is available —

Fortinet, Cisco, Sonicwall, etc.

— double-edged sword —

While the idea of being securely connected back to the corporate office sounds appealing, there are many reasons this is not appropriate technology to use to get work done remotely. If you were to access something “light” like an internal web server, that would work fine. But if you try to run something “heavy” like QuickBooks, or edit PowerPoint files over the VPN, you’ll quickly find the program you are using is sending and receiving too much information to keep the VPN responsive. The bandwidth you have when you are within the corporate office is typically 10x to 100x faster than what you have over a VPN, even if you are on a very fast cable or fiber connection.

— alternative —

Given the bandwidth issue above, sometimes a better alternative is a remote screen control program like LogMeIn, GoToMyPC, etc.

— what to get —

Discuss your needs with us, and we can figure out the most appropriate solution for you. It may include one or more remote access technologies.