A VPN adds an extra layer of privacy and security.
Today, people want to work from wherever they are. And they need to access business documents and apps such as email. But if you're using a public network like the internet, how do you ensure privacy?
Enter the VPN. It helps keep your sensitive information away from prying eyes, and enables you to access printers, documents and other resources on your office network from anywhere on earth with a solid internet connection.
What is a VPN?
In the context of a business, think of a VPN as an extremely long, virtual cable between your computer/mobile device and your office router.
After connecting to the VPN, your computer will relay all internet and network traffic through this virtual cable, so that from the perspective of the websites you visit, you appear to be connecting from your office.
The two main uses of an Office VPN
You can use a VPN for two main purposes: Remote Access and Site-to-Site. These are not mutually exclusive.
This is a person-to-office connection. Staff can access business information privately and securely from devices like phones, tablets and laptops when they're on the move. Because the connection between you and your office is encrypted, malicious parties on the same network as you (i.e. a café/hotel) will only see an encrypted connection between you and your office. Which makes is significantly harder for third parties to intercept sensitive information.
This is an office-to-office connection. Your local area network (LAN) in one office is linked to another office LAN at a different location. This will enable users in a remote office to utilise the network resources (e.g. Printers, file shares and other computers) in the main office and vice-versa.
What are the benefits?
Because your computer is now connected directly to your office router via the VPN, it can access all the other devices connected to this router as if you were physically at the office (the speed of this connection depends on the internet connection you are using).
The second benefit is that by default, all traffic between your computer and the office is completely encrypted! From the perspective of someone monitoring your connection, all you’re doing is sending/receiving a lot of scrambled, unreadable data to your office. This prevents malicious third parties from figuring out what you’re actually doing!