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How to Leverage the Different Types of VPNs to Boost Your Network Security

The recent cyberattack at the RCMP shows that no one is immune to facing the risks of operating in an environment fraught with constant cyber threats, not even major security-focused government institutions. Although that case thankfully didn’t have a severe outcome, bad actors have the potential to disrupt our online activities and expose sensitive information if we’re not careful, such as in the case of the recent U-Haul data breach that affected more than 67,000 customers.

In response, organizations should implement practical solutions to keep their data safe – starting with introducing a virtual private network (VPN) into your toolkit. While a more complex IT refresh takes time, adding this technology to your network security infrastructure is a straightforward way to create an extra layer of protection for your data. 

However, with so many options available, choosing the best solution for your organization’s needs can be challenging. Below, we will make it easier for you! This article breaks down the different types of VPNs and explores how and when their unique features will be your best bet to enhance online privacy.


What is a VPN and how does it work? 

A VPN allows users to disguise their internet activity from others by establishing a secure tunnel for passing data between your device and the internet. Basically, it encrypts the traffic end-to-end, then reroutes it through the VPN company’s server rather than your internet service provider. This ultimately masks your IP address, as well as the websites you visit and the actions you take. This makes it harder for bad actors to track and intercept your information. Businesses can improve their network security by using a VPN to securely transfer their data with less risk of unauthorized access, including pairing it with other more holistic data privacy strategies.

With hardware-based solutions, your organization uses a physical device that creates a centralized hub to simultaneously enable secure networking for various devices on your network. That physical device would contain a gateway for routing and organizing traffic; a network interface card for empowering connectivity, authentication mechanisms, an encryption/decryption engine, and other necessary components for smooth and safe internet browsing.  

Hardware vs. Software VPNs

Meanwhile, software-based solutions rely on applications installed on each individual device. This is more accessible for smaller businesses or individuals, as they don’t need to have as much technological expertise or other resources to set it up. However, larger organizations or businesses that seek stronger network protection would benefit from a hardware VPN.  


What are the different types of VPNs? 

There is a broad spectrum of available VPN solutions. Your choice will depend on your organization’s needs. Some of your options include: 

Remote Access VPN 

A remote access VPN gives organizations an infrastructure to ensure that offsite employees can securely access the company’s network and resources, regardless of location. The company can create an encrypted tunnel that, instead of going between an individual and a VPN provider’s server, connects the user’s device and the corporate data center, encrypting the data shared between them. As a result, employees can basically act as if they are physically in the office. 

Site-to-Site VPN 

This type of virtual private network is helpful for organizations that operate out of multiple office locations. Essentially, you can use VPN technologies and protocols to create encrypted tunnels between various local area networks (LANs), establishing a wider-area network in the process. Employees across multiple sites can easily share resources and access company data as if it’s stored in their current physical location. 

Client-to-Server (or Personal) VPN 

A personal VPN is best for single users who want to securely access their at-home network. Setting up a personal VPN is more straightforward, with the option to download a software application that creates an encrypted tunnel from your personal device. It’s also more cost-effective since the VPN typically relies on a shared IP address that multiple users can use to access the internet, while business VPNs typically have a dedicated server.  

While we recommend remote access VPNs for corporate use, a personal VPN can be a good solution for people who simply want better internet security, especially when connecting to public wi-fi, but they don’t have a significant data environment to protect or the need to navigate administrative tools for managing organizational security policies around permissions and user access. 

Mobile VPN

A mobile VPN also creates a secure encrypted connection between your device and a private server. However, this specialized type allows users to seamlessly continue an internet browsing session with predictable performance as they move between various networks and IP addresses. This VPN gives you continuous secure access to your applications when you’re on the go, which helps you avoid any interruptions or frustrating buffering that impacts your productivity.  

 For example, a mobile VPN will prevent you from dropping an important call if you rely on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology for your business communication. If you need to connect to the internet in a public area, the mobile VPN will also shield your activity from others using the same open wi-fi network. 


How To Choose the Right VPN  

When choosing a VPN solution, businesses should consider such questions as:   

  • Is the VPN compatible with our existing IT infrastructure?  
  • Do we prioritize ease of use, or do we require more complex and customizable management capabilities? What is our required network speed?  
  • How many server locations will we need?  
  • What is our traffic load and desired network performance?  
  • What are our organization’s privacy policies? Which features and security protocols best comply with them?   


Strengthen your network security with PC Corp 

To enhance productivity, organizations can benefit from a secure IT infrastructure that equips employees with the tools they need to work efficiently and flexibly, no matter their location or the nature of their tasks. A VPN is a valuable addition to your security toolkit, enhancing safe collaboration while ensuring secured connectivity to your data. 

When you partner with PC Corp for your IT project consulting needs, our team can help you to identify security gaps, and recommend solutions that will help strengthen your security posture. During that process, our experts can help you identify the most appropriate VPN for your IT ecosystem.  

Connect with PC Corp today to discuss how we can help fortify your defense against cyber threats and build a streamlined technological environment that empowers your best work. 

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