A Guide To VPN Basics

Brush up on virtual private network technologies with this primer.

Virtual private networks (VPNs) have been a staple of enterprise remote connectivity for more than two decades since they replaced old Frame Relay and dial-up systems. Their ability to provide low-cost and secure connectivity for remote users and networks has been unparalleled. VPNs have played an increasingly critical role in enterprises as workplace patterns have shifted to more remote workers and telecommuters.

Over the years, we’ve seen a steady stream of improvement built on legacy VPN architectures, including the rise of SSL VPNs. In this guide, I'll cover basic VPN models and protocols that are used in enterprises today. I'll also provide a view into how VPNs may evolve in the not-too-distant future.

(Image: chrupka/Shutterstock with modification)

About the Author(s)

Andrew Froehlich, President, West Gate Networks

President, West Gate Networks

As a highly experienced network architect and trusted IT consultant with worldwide contacts, particularly in the United States and Southeast Asia, Andrew Froehlich has nearly two decades of experience and possesses multiple industry certifications in the field of enterprise networking. Froehlich has participated in the design and maintenance of networks for State Farm Insurance, United Airlines, Chicago-area schools and the University of Chicago Medical Center. He is the founder and president of Loveland, Colo.-based West Gate Networks, which specializes in enterprise network architectures and data center build outs. The author of two Cisco certification study guides published by Sybex, he is a regular contributor to multiple enterprise IT related websites and trade journals with insights into rapidly changing developments in the IT industry.

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