You have most likely heard of Virtual Private Networks or VPNs.
They allow users to connect to a private network over the Internet securely. A VPN creates an encrypted connection or a VPN tunnel through which all your online traffic and communication passes. When you use VPN, intercepting the communication or data transmission becomes very difficult for third parties.
VPNs are a powerful tool and provide immense anonymity and security over online data transmissions. If you are interested in VPN solutions for your business or home in Florida, Communications Solutions Inc. in Jacksonville is your best option.
That being said, let’s discuss the common VPN protocols that make them so secure.
But before we start, you must understand the two main types of VPNs:
1. Remote Access VPN
Remote Access VPN allows a user to connect to a private network and remotely access its services and resources. It is useful for both home and business users because the connection between the user and the private network is secure and private.
For example, you can be away from work and use a VPN to connect to your company’s private network and remotely access the files or resources on the network.
Similarly, home users may use VPN services to bypass government or regional restrictions on the Internet and access blocked websites. Often they use it simply for added online security and privacy. There are many use-cases for VPNs, and you can learn more about it by reading our blog post on the topic here – “VPN Use-Cases.”
2. Site-to-Site VPN
A Site-to-Site VPN, also known as a Router-to-Router VPN, is typically used by large business entities. Companies or organizations with offices, departments, or branches in different locations, use site-to-site VPN to establish connections between networks in different locations.
This VPN provides a secure connection for communications and data transfer between the locations. When a company connects multiple locations using site-to-site VPN, it is known as an intranet-based VPN.
When two separate companies use site-to-site VPN to connect to each other’s offices, it is known as extranet-based VPN.
A site-to-site VPN essentially creates a secure online connection between two private networks in separate locations. A router acts as the VPN client and another as the VPN server because this type of VPN is based on router-to-router communication.
Communication only takes place once both routers have validated authentication between each other.
Common VPN Protocols
Here are the most commonly used VPN protocols that make secure VPN connections a reality.
Internet Protocol Security (IPSec)
Internet Protocol Security, also known as IPSec, is used to secure Internet communications between devices across an IP network. IPSec secures Internet Protocol communication by validating the session and encrypts each data packet during the connection.
IPSec can be configured to run in two different modes of encryption:
- Transport mode (default)
- The transport mode encrypts the information, or message, in each data packet for host-to-host communications.
- Tunneling mode
- The tunneling mode encrypts the complete data packet itself.
IPSec is a resourceful VPN protocol, and it can be used alongside other security protocols to improve the overall security system. Apart from VPNs, it is also used to protect sensitive data like medical records, financial transactions, and more.
Point–to–Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)
Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol, or PPTP for short, became one of the most popular VPN protocols after being first introduced in 1995. It creates a secure tunnel to protect the data packet inside it, and PPTP quickly became a networking standard for connecting to VPNs.
PPTP was one of the most common VPN protocols, and it is also one of the oldest.
However, numerous security flaws have made it obsolete for modern VPNs. Nonetheless, it is still used in some networks today. Apart from Windows operating systems, it can also be used in Linux and Mac OS.
Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)
Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol is a modern extension of PPTP. It creates a tunnel and encrypts its control messages but does not encrypt the content. Hence, it is often used with another VPN protocol like IPSec to implement a highly secure VPN connection.
L2TP creates a secure tunnel between two devices, and IPSec encrypts the data packets to secure the communication within that L2TP tunnel.
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS)
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a cryptographic protocol that creates a secure VPN connection in which your web browser acts as the client and access is restricted to a few specific applications instead of the entire network.
SSL adds security to the limited information that is being shared with the website. It is commonly used in e-commerce websites, online shopping websites, or any website that requires safe transactions of sensitive financial information.
Almost all web browsers come integrated with SSL and TLS protocols.
TLS, or Transport Layer Security, is a more secure and modern version of SSL. However, SSL is still the more widely used protocol. SSL protocols are easy to identify, and any website with “https” instead of “http” in its URL is running an SSL protocol.
You can also check a website’s SSL certification by clicking the lock icon next to the URL in your browser. SSL certification is a must for any website where you intend to give personal information or bank details.
Secure Shell (SSH)
Secure Shell (SSH), also known as Secure Socket Shell, is a network protocol that creates an encrypted VPN tunnel for data transfer between two devices on an open or unsecured network like the Internet.
SSH offers strong encryption and is widely used by network administrators who wish to remotely manage files, applications, and systems on another device over an open network. An SSH client is needed to create SSH connections, and data transmissions are done through the encrypted VPN tunnel from a local port to the remote server.
OpenVPN is an open-source VPN system and software that is considered the gold standard of VPN. It is typically used to create secure Point-to-Point or Site-to-Site connections and uses traditional security protocols based on SSL and TLS protocols.
It provides flexible VPN solutions for users to secure all data transmission and extend secure private network services.
These are all the common VPN protocols that make VPN security a reality for users around the world. The encryption and tunneling capabilities of these protocols are key in providing anonymity and security over the Internet.
Whether for your business or personal use, VPNs are important for any modern user who wants to secure their online connections. If you are unsure about your online or network security, we highly recommend that you consult the professionals at Communications Solutions Inc. in Jacksonville, Florida, for the best VPN solutions.
If you want to learn more about common VPN protocols or want the best VPN solutions for your home or business in Jacksonville, Florida, Contact Us Today.