Virtual Private Networks 101

Businesses have far more complicated network wiring systems and computer needs than residential customers do. One of the biggest differences is businesses frequently require virtual private networks (VPN). Imagine a secret tunnel connecting all of the branch offices to the head office. That is essentially what a virtual private network is. A secure tunnel allows companies to link together their partners and remote-based employees on the same network. Here are some basics about VPNs that you should know.

Virtual Private Networks Provide Security

Networks that are left open have very serious risks to users and their data, including sensitive customer information. Hackers, attackers, and hijackers find these unprotected networks and pounce when they see something they can steal or destroy. If a website doesn't have an HTTPS security protocol in place, it is very easy for the bad guys to wreak havoc with your business.

Virtual Private Networks Provide Freedom

VPNs also help citizens who live in countries where the government has serious overreach and meddles in its citizens' affairs. Some countries' leaders spy on their citizens and government employees, looking for signs of dissent. A VPN can be routed through another server somewhere else in the world, thus providing people with freedom of speech and protecting their human rights. The real Internet address is hidden, allowing those on the VPN to surf without worrying that they will be found out.

Users in communist countries also frequently find their government has blocked certain websites their government finds offensive. For example, Turkey is trending in the news because it has just completely blocked something as innocuous as Wikipedia from its citizens.

Free Virtual Private Networks Are Available For Anyone

Large companies usually employ information technology (IT) specialists in-house, while smaller companies hire IT network wiring services. Private individuals, thanks to hosting companies, can also use a VPN.

There will likely be advertisements as selling ad space is how these companies can afford to offer their services for free. Web traffic will be heavier, and therefore, the Internet is usually slower, especially during peak traffic hours. Lastly, you'll want to make sure you have a good firewall and antivirus software on your computer to protect yourself from others using the VPN. While these aren't necessarily ideal conditions, it is great for those who have only an occasional need for a VPN. Some antivirus software developers also offer low-price VPN services for individuals.

For more information, talk to companies like 2 Guys and some Wire.

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