A Brief History of VPN

A Brief History of VPN

A Virtual Private Network or a VPN is a great way to ensure digital privacy while using the internet. It secures your online data exchange and makes your online activity anonymous, even to your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Using a VPN, you can secure the connection between your device and the internet using encryption, and this allows many benefits for the user. You can a lot learn about ‘How VPN Works & the Different Types OF VPN’ by clicking here.

It will give you a better understanding of how VPNs can secure your online connection. However, where did VPN come from, and what is its history?

Let’s discuss the history of VPN to help you better understand its origins and purpose.

As always, remember to consult Communications Solutions Inc. in Jacksonville, Florida for all your business VPN solutions.

A Brief History of VPN

Since the inception of the internet, there has always been a need to secure data and maintain privacy. When the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency created ARPANET (precursor to the internet), a packet-switching network in the 60s, they used TCP/IP for their networking.

TCP/IP is an abbreviation of Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, which is a set of standard rules that computers use to communicate over the network ARPANET in this case. It includes hyperlinks, HTML, FTP, etc., and allows data transfer over long distances.

It became the standard of US military communications by 1983 and was introduced to commercial computing in 1985 as the “network of networks” or the internet. The ease of network connectivity brought by TCP/IP was quickly adopted by large corporations, even though their existing internal networks were very different.

However, devices connected to the internet were not entirely safe; even though data could easily be transported over the network, prying eyes could monitor it, intercept it, and even trace it back to the source.

There was little privacy or security of the data transfer and the need for secure and private internet soon became apparent. In 1993, Software IP Encryption Protocol (SWIPE), the earliest form of VPN, was introduced and it was based on the research of John Ioannidis.

However, this was only experimental and it simply provided authentication and confidentiality for network users. In 1994, the following year, the IPsec system was developed, which is an internet security protocol that encrypts and authenticates every packet of data shared on the internet.

The development of IPsec and advancement in internet speeds is what led to commercial VPNs becoming a reality.

It was first realized in the form of a peer-to-peer tunneling protocol, or PPTP, in 1996, when Microsoft employee Gurdeep Singh Pall developed the first PPTP to create a secure connection between the internet and a computer. Today, he is a corporate vice president at Microsoft.

His PPTP was the first step toward modern VPNs and as internet usage grew in the 90s, there was a high demand for secure connections among users. We had software like anti-virus to avoid data corruption at the user end. However, there was still a rising demand to secure internet connections.

Gurdeep’s PPTP was the first VPN that created a secure network between users through encrypting data and forming a tunnel over a LAN or WAN connection. It made data transfer secure over private and even public networks.

Users only needed login credentials and a server address to send data over the internet safely, which is why it is still used to this day as a well-known, user-friendly VPN system.

Near the turn of the millennium, PPTP and other forms of VPN were being used by corporations and businesses across the world to prevent data breaches. However, soon the public use of the internet took off — now, everyone needed VPNs to secure their internet connectivity.

As the masses started to share their personal data over the internet, they needed a way to keep their privacy and personal details secure, and VPNs were the answer. This increase in demand led to further improvements and developments in VPNs, along with improved and faster internet connections.

All this came together to create more adaptable VPNs that could work faster and become a real-time solution for internet security. Merging new technologies with existing ones has made modern VPNs more versatile, flexible, and desirable for all internet users today.

VPN Today

Modern VPNs provide a plethora of benefits for organizations and individuals alike. They provide security over internet connections, including the websites on it. They provide anonymity and privacy to users, and they safeguard the integrity of your data, networks, and personal information.

Organizations use them to create secure, seamless connections across their departments and branches, even for their online customers and their remote employees that work from home or other locations using public networks.

The demand for VPN is still very high and blatantly obvious, especially with the rising rate of cybercrime around the world. Connections over the internet are prone to hacks and VPNs provide the best and easiest solution to prevent online hacks and data breaches.

Moreover, it provides security from malware and your personal data being exposed to those who seek to benefit from it, including modern corporations and online giants. Perhaps most importantly, VPNs allow access to geo-restricted content by hiding users’ physical location.

This can be great for countries where the authorities want to suppress the free flow of information to impose censorship or restrict ideas. Some countries track the internet activity of their users, monitor their online exchange of data, and even go through their personal mail and information.

VPNs can greatly help in such situations and prevent ISPs, governments, or their agencies from prying into your online activity.

Sometimes, the use cases for VPNs are not always this severe, and they are used by internet users to access geo-restricted media, like Netflix US or UK from other parts of the world. Whatever the case may be, VPNs are a great solution for online privacy and security.

Conclusion

The creation of VPNs came from necessity, and necessity breeds innovation. Throughout its history, VPNs have taken from new and existing technologies to improve their performance, efficiency, and purpose.

Even today, VPNs continue to improve and adapt as the landscape of the internet continues to evolve.

If you do not use VPNs, we highly recommend that you start today and protect your personal information and online activity from those who may want to use it against you or to market their goods and services to you.

If you want to learn more about the history of VPN or about getting a VPN installed for your business, Contact Us today.

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