VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. VPN extends a private network across a public network, such as the Internet. It enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks. It is almost as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Thus they are benefiting from the functionality, security and management policies of the private network. A VPN is created by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated connections, virtual tunneling protocols, or traffic encryption. Simply put, a private network such as a company’s network is extended across the Internet. These systems are protected and secured so that only authorized users can access the data without any interception.
Tunneling is the process of placing an entire packet within another packet before it is transported over the Internet. That outer packet protects the contents from public view and ensures that the packet moves within a virtual tunnel.This layering of packets is called encapsulation. Computers or other network devices at both ends of the tunnel, called tunnel interfaces, can encapsulate outgoing packets and reopen incoming packets. Users (at one end of the tunnel) and IT personnel (at one or both ends of the tunnel) configure the tunnel interfaces they are responsible for, to use a tunneling protocol. Also called an encapsulation protocol, a tunneling protocol is a standardized way to encapsulate packets.
VPNs allow employees to securely access the corporate intranet while traveling outside the office. Similarly, VPNs securely connect geographically separated offices of an organization, creating one cohesive network. VPN technology is also used by individual Internet users to secure their wireless transactions, to sidestep geo restrictions and censorship, and to connect to proxy servers for the purpose of protecting personal identity and location.
A VPN is designed to provide a secure, encrypted tunnel in which to transmit the data between the remote user and the company network. The information transmitted between the two locations via the encrypted tunnel cannot be read by anyone else. Since, the system contains several elements to secure both the company’s private network and the outside network through which the remote user connects.
Consumer VPN Services:
Consumers use a private VPN service, also known as a VPN tunnel, to protect their online activity and identity. By using an anonymous VPN service, a user’s Internet traffic and data remain encrypted. This prevents eavesdroppers from sniffing Internet activity. A VPN service is especially useful when accessing public Wi-Fi hotspots. As the public wireless services might not be secure. In addition to public Wi-Fi security, a private VPN service also provides consumers with uncensored Internet access. It can also help prevent data theft and unblock websites.
Corporate VPN Communications:
Companies and organizations will use a VPN to communicate confidentially over a public network. They can use it to send voice, video or data. It is also an excellent option for remote workers and organizations with global offices and partners to share data in a private manner. One of the most common types of VPNs used by businesses is called a virtual private dial-up network (VPDN). A VPDN is a user-to-LAN connection, where remote users need to connect to the company LAN. Another type of VPN is commonly called a site-to-site VPN. Here the company would invest in dedicated hardware to connect multiple sites to their LAN though a public network, usually the Internet.
Why you need VPN:
- First, if you’re concerned about your online privacy. Connecting to an encrypted VPN while you’re on a public or untrusted network is a smart, simple security practice. Because the VPN encrypts your Internet traffic, it stops other people who may be trying to snoop on your browsing via Wi-Fi to capture your passwords. You can use it to connect securely to a remote network via the Internet.
- Second, VPNs are particularly useful for connecting multiple networks together securely. For this reason, most businesses big and small rely on a VPN to share servers and other networked resources among multiple offices or stores across the globe. You can use the same trick to connect multiple home networks or other networks for personal use.
- Third, most companies maintain VPNs so that employees can access files, applications, printers, and other resources on the office network without compromising security. However, you can also set up your own VPN to safely access your secure home network while you’re on the road.
- Fourth and finally, one of the best reasons to use a VPN is to bypass regional restrictions, geoblocking, on certain websites.
Below are the most popular VPN protocols. Here is a quick summary, including the strengths and weaknesses of each.
- Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is the least secure VPN method, but it is a great starting point for your first VPN because almost every operating system supports it, including Windows, Mac OS, and even mobile OSs.
- Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) and Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) are more secure than PPTP and are almost as widely supported. However, they are also more complicated to set up and are susceptible to the same connection issues as PPTP.
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPN systems provide the same level of security that you trust when you log on to banking sites and other sensitive domains. Most SSL VPNs are referred to as “clientless,” since you don’t need to be running a dedicated VPN client to connect to one of them. It is a very popular VPN because the connection happens via a Web browser. Thus is easier and more reliable to use than PPTP, L2TP, or IPsec.
VoIP traffic on VPN:
If Voice over IP (VoIP) is on your agenda, VPN will be a great combination for your business. A VPN is a perfect solution to the often overlooked security vulnerabilities associated with this form of communication. Running VoIP traffic over VPNs is nothing new, but something that’s certainly becoming more popular given the challenges of VoIP in today’s enterprises.
A VoIP VPN combines voice over IP and virtual private network technologies to offer a method for delivering secure voice. VoIP transmits digitized voice as a stream of data, it is easy to “listen” for VoIP packets. VPN tunneling can prevent this. VoIP VPN solution accomplishes voice encryption quite simply, applying standard data-encryption mechanisms inherently available in the collection of protocols used to implement a VPN.
The VoIP gateway-router first converts the analog voice signal to digital form. Then the digitized voice is encapsulated within IP packets. It is then encrypted using IPsec, and finally routes the encrypted voice packets securely through a VPN tunnel. At the remote site, another VoIP router decodes the voice and converts the digital voice to an analog signal for delivery to the phone. A VoIP VPN can also run within an IP in IP tunnel or using SSL-based OpenVPN. Another advantage of VPN tunneling is that sometimes it is given priority by routers and ISPs therefore improving the quality and reliability of the communication. Additionally, ISPs will not be aware of the VoIP data and will not throttle the communication.
The protocol overhead caused by the encapsulation of VoIP protocol within IPSec dramatically increases the bandwidth requirements for VoIP call. Thus making the VoIP over VPN protocols too “fat” to be used over a mobile data connections like GPRS, EDGE or UMTS. Although VoIP over VPN is not as usable in mobile environments, it is sometimes used to create “encrypted VoIP trunk” between different sites of a corporations, running VoIP PBX interconnections over a VPN connection.
Anybody that works in the VoIP industry knows that there are two things that you care about: Quality and Cost. This is why least cost routing and smart dial-planning can make or break a business. There is however another matter that is increasingly becoming of importance for service providers… Security!
VoIP has been around for years and the technology has improved exponentially. At the same time, new ways to harm business that use and sell VoIP communications are being exploited. Additionally VoIP services are at the mercy of the Internet Service Providers (ISP). In many countries might give unfair treatment of the connection and data transfer of VoIP for business or political interest.
Firewall and Session Border Controllers are good solutions that protect VoIP communications from many of these threats. These solutions could be very costly for small internet telephony service providers (ITSP) that do not have the volume and revenue to justify the investment. VPN tunneling is a simple and yet powerful alternative that can protect VoIP from some threats and even improve the quality of the communication.
Security is not the only reason to pass Voice over IP through a virtual private network, however. Session Initiation Protocol, a commonly used VoIP protocol is notoriously difficult to pass through a firewall because it uses random port numbers to establish connections. A VPN is also a workaround to avoid a firewall issue when configuring remote VoIP clients.
This is where SBO is a lifesaver. SBO is a revolutionary product that understands the customer’s problems and provides the appropriate solution to enhance the performance. SBO Multipath solves all of these problems for your GSM VoIP Termination business.It provides the following features which give rise to new business opportunities.
- Provide a secure, encrypted and sniffing proof service through proprietary binary protocol.
- Reduce bandwidth usage by 80% and increases call capacity by the same, with available bandwidth
- Works behind any type of NATed & Firewalled Network
- Increase voice quality and performance, thus increases Average Call Duration (ACD)
- Does not require any dedicated real IP, works on NAT and behind firewall
- Works with any type of internet connection i.e. GPRS, EDGE, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, so it is possible to setup anywhere where mobile internet is available
- Multipath feature enables to use multiple internet connection and stacking of bandwidth to use seamlessly.