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VPN (virtual private networks) are a secure way to connect to desktops remotely.
Setting up virtual private network access for your home or office has many advantages.
VPN allows users to appear as though they are inside a country even when they are not.
This makes it possible to watch iplayer videos that are restricted to certain countries. In the business world, a VPN acts as a secure gateway that connects personal computers remotely.
Virtual private networks are also great for connecting people who are working remotely to computers located at an office. There are a number of options to choose from when setting up a VPN.
Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol is a good stepping-stone. This protocol provides the foundation of a VPN but is the least secure of all possible options. Point-to-Point protocols are more effective for personal use VPNs. PPTP is widely supported by Windows, Mac and even a number of mobile operating systems.
L2TP (Layer 2 Tunnelling Protocol)
More difficult to set up than PPTP but more secure is L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol). L2TP isn’t that different from PPTP as it offers the same basic benefits, same functionality across platforms and the same connectivity problems. L2TP is a better option for the business environment and offers greater security for personal VPNs.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
The Secure Sockets Layer VPN is the most popular and operates through a web browser. For this reason SSLs are often referred to as clientless. This is because no additional software is needed making them one of the more reliable and effective options. SSL offers the same level of security demonstrated by banking websites.
The most advanced option would be OpenVPN. OpenVPN is based on SSL and is also free and secure. Because it is based on SSL you can trust that it is secure and that it won’t suffer from connection issues. However, unlike SSL it is not supported by the browser and will require other software to operate successfully. This is due to the fact the operating system or mobile devices do not natively support OpenVPN.
Once you know what sort of VPN you want to set up you actually need to set it up. Most IT companies will do this for you. If you already have technical support, then they will be able to set up a VPN protocol for you. Of course, if you’re using windows it is possible to set up some of the more basic and less secure VPNs yourself.
About the Author: Kate writes for Synthesis IT, a company that supplies, installs, supports and maintains business computer hardware and software.