Virtual Private Network
A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network accross a public network, and enables users to send and receive data accross shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Applications running accross the VPN may therefore benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network.
VPNs may allow employees to securely access a corporate intranet while located outside office. They are used to seecurely connect geographically separated offices of an organization, creating one cohesive network. Individual internet users may secure their wireless transactions with a VPN, to circumvent geo-restrictions and censorship, or to connect to proxy server for the purpose of protecting personal identity and location.
A VPN is created by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated connections, virtual tunneling protocols, or traffic encryption. A VPN available from the public internet can provide some of the benefits of a wide are network (WAN). From a user perspective, the resource available within the private network can be accessed remotely.