virtual private network (VPN)
A virtual private network (VPN) is an extension of a private network across a public one done by virtualization. They are extremely common and almost everyone will have heard of them even if they aren’t exactly sure what they’re used for. Most people have probably used one as well, since almost all business use them. They’re that important. With cyber-crime on the rise globally and the Australian government focusing on cyber security, VPNs are going to be in the news sooner rather than later.
They’re popular for a lot of reasons but the main ones are security related. Businesses use them a lot for having employees access the corporate intranet when out of office. By connecting the separate offices of a company securely, it’s as if there’s one big network which is pretty important for global business since the parts all have to work together. This isn’t possible without great security. Hacking remains a problem in the online world and with many companies having sensitive data on the cloud or on their networks, it’s more and more important accessing that data is restricted to the correct parties.
It’s not just big business that need VPNs, of course. Individual users also use VPNs a lot, usually for securing of payments or to connect to proxy servers so that their identity is not compromised. It’s not all so serious though. A lot of Pokemon Go players use VPNs so that they can catch exotic Pokemon in different regions! They can do this people using a VPN allows users to go around location based restrictions. It can even help protect privacy of whistle-blowers or journalists in places where censorship is high.
So, virtual private network (VPN) is pretty important and it isn’t going too far to say everyone should be using one. Many people stay away from using one because they think it’s unnecessary. But the internet isn’t a safe place. Stories of identity theft are much too common. People also think they’re complicated to set up, but this isn’t true since all VPNs are not equal. Many VPN providers are able to take the complexity out of the VPN setup and have the VPN pretty much as click and go in terms of setup. Of course, choosing a VPN with good customer service is pretty important in case problems actually do arise.
- VPNs are imperative for businesses that are concerned about their cyber security. Having a quality VPN in place means choosing a provider with servers in multiple locations (and preferable multiple countries) so the speed never lags. However, by having this many servers it provides more points for hackers to attack. Hence it is important that the VPN chosen has kill switches in case the VPN connection ever fails so that no data is exposed. For even more security, companies can choose VPNs which do not log usage leaving their data unlogged and so inaccessible. Encryption is also important and the highest quality VPNs are double encrypted (the same level of security as military networks).