Tech+ Blog: Bay Area IT Security & Consulting News

What is a VPN?

Jun 21, 2018

VPN's - short for "Virtual Private Network" allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet. VPNs can be used to access corporate networks or to shield your browsing activity from prying eyes on public Wi-Fi.

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It essentially is a shortcut you click whereby your device (desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone) establishes a secure tunnel across the public internet to your workplace (or other private VPN provider) and all the network traffic is sent through there. 

Why We Setup VPN's For Our Clients

For any of our clients who have employees working from home or traveling we strongly recommend VPN's for three reasons: 

1. Increased IT Security:

In the early days many small businesses would have their remote desktop servers public facing - typically in the form of go to remote.clientwebsite.com. The problem with that is hackers will attempt to brute force logins, use stolen passwords, and otherwise get into your company server. With ransomeware, bitcoin mining, and other scams hacking has turned from a hobby to a thriving business. Adding a VPN acts as a second layer of security; meaning there are now two sets of credentials you need to get into a network making it much, much harder to hack. Think of it like a secure office building. First the bad guys have to break through the main doors and get past security, next they have to break into the office suite. That's much, much harder than breaking into a single door.

2. Increased Performance:

Running a VPN typically increases performance for remote desktop. We see less random disconnections, faster loading times, and overall better performance. Another nice feature is rather than having to go to a website to launch RDP users can instead simple launch remote desktop viewer from their computer directly, and choose to save the username. 

3. Increased Personal IT Security

When using Public Wi-Fi people's personal devices can be especially vulnerable to attack. Hackers often use honeypots, spoofing, packet capture, and other ways to attack and capture personal information. A VPN while it can't stop malware on your machine (make sure you have a good anti-virus protection) it does ensure all traffic passed across the network is encrypted and unable to be intercepted.