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Virtual Private Networks (VPN)


A virtual private network (VPN) is a private data network that makes use of the public telecommunication infrastructure, maintaining privacy through the use of a tunneling protocol and security procedures. A virtual private network can be contrasted with a system of owned or leased lines that can only be used by one company. The idea of the VPN is to give the company the same capabilities at much lower cost by using the shared public infrastructure rather than a private one. Phone companies have provided secure shared resources for voice messages. A virtual private network makes it possible to have the same secure sharing of public resources for data. Companies today are looking at using a private virtual network for both extranets and wide-area intranets.


Using a virtual private network involves encrypting data before sending it through the public network and decrypting it at the receiving end. An additional level of security involves encrypting not only the data but also the originating and receiving network addresses. Microsoft, 3Com, and several other companies have developed the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) and Microsoft has extended Windows NT to support it. VPN software is typically installed as part of a company's firewall server.

Read more about it:
>> Read the specialized section of VPN tips at
>> offers information about the use of VPNs in Internet commerce.
>> has a collection of Internet links related to virtual private networks.
>> Go to for security-specific information on VPNs
>> has many links related to virtual private network.
>> VPNs are a frequent topic of discussion in the Network Design forum.

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