Determining whether a Virtual Private Network connection suits your business can be confusing, especially when there are so many choices!
In this article, we’re going to explain exactly what a Virtual Private Network is, how it compares to a physical private network, and how to go about integrating one within your own business.
A Virtual Private Network connection is essentially a secure network between several select locations, users, or buildings with internet circuits.
VPN connections enable you to personalize who can access data while ensuring that data is accessed and transferred very securely. This translates into a secure, personalized network that can receive and transmit data in real-time.
VPN connections are an essential investment for businesses that deal with sensitive or confidential data (which is nearly EVERY business, right?)
VPN connections are also more affordable. In the past, private internet connections meant physical testing and constant maintenance. VPN’s, on the other hand, offer a higher level of flexibility and affordability.
With these benefits, VPN is quite a sought-after technology for most businesses. However, it is essential to figure out whether your business requires a VPN or some other type of private network. Therefore, it is critical to understand the difference between the two.
Moderating access between organizations is an important step and entails a controlled level of security on individual corporate networks to ensure that data transfer and data accessed are appropriately used at all times. You can secure your network by either establishing a physical private network or a VPN. Below is the critical difference between the two technologies:
Private networks are the traditional way of privatizing internet use. They work by extending the role of corporate intranets, incorporating the networks of the chosen organizations.
A private network can be more technical to set up; you will have to establish a leased line or MPLS network between organization networks to transfer data securely. Further, private networks automatically allow all organizations equal access to network-connected resources (like printers, documents, etc.)
Instead of relying on leased lines between organizations, VPNs utilize the internet as a ready-made framework for communication between enterprise sites or related organizations.
This might seem a little counterintuitive; the internet already allows for communication without having to pay an additional cost for a VPN.
What makes VPNs unique and equally as secure as a private network is their use of encryption and authentication software.
By heavily encrypting data, VPNs allow for its secure transfer when the data is received. The data is automatically put through authentication software to promote data security throughout the exchange.
Choosing VPN instead of the physical private network could have some significant benefits as listed below:
While setting up a private network can be highly technical, VPNs make integrating extra organizations simple. Instead of establishing an extra leased line, VPNs allow organizations or sites to link up online to the VPN simply. Therefore, VPN makes routing traffic between the networks simple, quick, and effective.
VPNs are more flexible because they are based on the internet. You don’t need to implement physical lines, so you are not bound by a particular geographical location. You can have remote connectivity to the network.
You even get to customize your network’s resources easily as deployment doesn’t require a complicated setup.
A physical private network requires you to implement wiring; it requires a substantial initial investment, monthly line rental, and maintenance charges. Although this cost can be split between organizations, it is still very high for small and medium businesses.
However, as VPN uses the internet framework, there is no need for wiring investment or maintenance. All you need is to pay for the VPN software, and your VPN is up and running.
Although VPN is a secure, reliable, and affordable technology in isolation, it has some limitations compared to a physical private network explained below:
Although VPN uses a very high layer of security in data encryption, it is still based on internet technology. Therefore, it can be hacked more easily as compared to a private network, even though the chances of that are very remote. Whereas, a private network restricts access only to those who are physically connected to the network, so it provides a higher level of security.
Therefore, a private network is more appropriate for those organizations which can’t afford even the slightest compromise to their data security.
As VPN is based on the internet, data transfer is highly dependent on the internet speed at both ends. In the case of remote offices, this can be a problem where high-speed internet is not very common.
For highly time-sensitive and secure data transfer requirements, VPN is less reliable compared to a private network. However, this is not that big a factory for many organizations which don’t work with time-sensitive information.
Now that you have understood the benefits and limitations, the next natural question is which one you should go for.
Step one to establishing a private network is to list your requirements to determine whether you should go for a VPN or a physical Private Network.
You need to be sure of exactly what you’re looking for and consider your budget. Below could be some questions you could ask yourself:
Once you’ve reviewed the above factors considering your budget, you should be left with a definite category of private internet connection.
Now that you know which is the more appropriate technology for you, you need to know how to implement it in your business. There are broadly three steps to go about it, explained below:
There are three things that you have to consider here:
Once you have the clarity on these three things, you are all set to go ahead with hiring a vendor and getting the private network implemented.
This is the fun bit. Now that you’ve done your research and know precisely what you’re looking for, you can use CarrierBid to approach either hardware and/or software vendors that fulfill your criteria.
It’s important to coalesce before entering a definite contract to ensure that the vendor is appropriate for your business model.
Once you have selected a vendor, you have to start with installing and implementing the private network.
Once your vendor has installed the technology for you, it’s time to prepare your business for change.
Start by creating an installation schedule; next, address employee training and client changeover (if applicable).
Ensure that you have maintenance planned into this, allocate employees monitoring roles, and ensure that there are clear roles within your business for troubleshooting.
Finally, run through test and acceptance procedures to ensure your business is well prepared.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection can be a fantastic resource for businesses, promoting data security and improving communication between departments and sites. VPN helps in creating a Private Internet Connection which only authorized people can access.
A private internet connection can be an invaluable tool in integrating multiple organizations and promoting secure communication between sites or other enterprises.
However, it is always best to analyze your requirements before you go ahead with implementing any technology. It can get confusing and intimidating, so it is always a good idea to reach out to an industry expert.
If you need any help choosing the best technology, the best vendor, or the best prices for your technology, feel free to contact CarrierBid. You can email us or fill our web form, and we will be happy to help you out at each step of technology implementation.