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The Components behind VPNs – Encryption and Protocols Explained

The VPN industry is slowly becoming popular and has considerably grown in the past decade and the concept of using a Virtual Private Network is not a new discovery anymore. The number of VPNs in the market is increasing and users will find dozens of VPN services available on the web.

However, users fail to distinguish the type of VPNs which we will discuss in a broader perspective. This article will analyze and educate users regarding different VPN types and the components that run the service and differs them from other VPN providers.

Let’s begin to unravel the type and components.

The Two Types of Virtual Private Networks

What we are disclosing is not talked about by many, and very few security officials understand the difference between the types. The VPN services are primarily categorized into two broad classes that are

  • Remote Access VPN
  • Site-to-Site VPN

Remote Access VPN

As the name suggests, Remote Access VPN is for single use only, and the majority of the VPN providers available on the web are for personal use. “Personal use” means that the VPN tool connects a single user to one of the physical servers owned and run by the VPN provider on its network.

These servers are present in large networks depending on the network reach of the VPN and are located across the globe wherever the server is present. Any user can connect to the server from any remote location in the world which will switch their IP address through which all the traffic is then rerouted.

The usage of VPN is for multiple purposes, but the major reason to connect to remote servers in different locations is to access those regions sites without any online barriers and geo-restrictions. As for the security, the tunneling encryption process makes this type of the VPN very secure.

However, most of these VPNs are located in regions which have user beneficial jurisdiction laws. Through building a connection with these VPN services, users can route all their online traffic to a remote network where user data will not be retained if the logging policy claims they dont. Then again, VPNs like the Remote access premium ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, NordVPN, etc. are most recommended for unlimited privacy and strong security.

Site-to-Site VPN

Moving on to the site-to-site VPN type, this type of VPN is catered to the business that provides secure online access to employees to connect to the company’s network remotely without compromising security. In big corporations or multinational companies (MNCs) that have their offices spread globally, site-to-site type VPNs play a vital role to allow the staff to work remotely from locations where accessing company networks is impossible. A good example would be China, where accessing sites outside the region is blocked.

These types of VPNs can be extranet based, or internet based depending on a few things. An extranet based VPN comes under a private network which is meant for business purposes allowing two plus companies for connection. While the intranet VPN is present to access the company network from different office branches.

The process of the site-to-site VPNs is not common or simple because of the accessibility it offers to the staff while they are mobile. Big entities use these VPNs to safeguard their networks from third party agencies by detaching it from the broader internet, which primarily reduces the chances of a data breach.

VPN Encryption

We all know the encryption in the VPN is a deal breaker for the VPN technology because it is the encryption that deals with data packets of users which makes it extremely hard for hackers or third parties to breach. Encryption uses cryptography technology, which is a problematic terminology and technology for users to understand.

In the past couple of years, research and development in this field have enabled developers to come up with algorithms that make this technology work. Almost all the VPN providers have a standard modern AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), which is the highest form of encryption as of the cryptographic method.

AES bit encryption comprises of a list of multiple key lengths for encryption which allows most of the VPN services to offer between AES-128 and/or AES-256 bit encryption. This is standard encryption, and breaking this cipher would need a miracle hacker.

The types of encryption VPNs provide include:

  • Camellia
  • AES-256
  • AES-128
  • Blowfish
  • 3DES
  • IPSec
  • MPPE

Types of VPN Protocols

Every VPN comes with a set of protocols that it provides in its service. The type of protocols suggests how secure the encryption is of the VPN provider and sets them apart from the rest. Protocols are essential for VPNs to communicate amongst servers. Most of the VPN providers offer almost all the protocols as listed below, but the majority of them have become obsolete.

  • PPTP
  • L2TP
  • IPSec
  • OpenVPN
  • IKEv2

Among these, the last two OpenVPN and IKEv2 are the most prominent, modern, and reliable protocols that provide the highest grade encryption to users. While the rest of them have slowly become and of no use to modern devices.

Final Thoughts

Virtual Private Network operates the same way. There is no new technology or algorithm that sets them apart or gives them an edge over other VPN providers. The user interface can be different, and the architecture of the VPN and how the servers communicate with the clients is one way to judge them.

By now, I am sure that the concept of a VPN slightly changed in your dictionary and gave you a broader view of the core components of the VPN, which is the ideal pick for you and what you need to consider while buying one.

Description: Here is what you need to know about the core components of VPNs. Learn the key aspects of how and which protocols, encryption types VPN have.


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