You are here:   HomeElectronic CommerceE CommerceVPN - Define Virtual Private Network
by Dinesh Thakur Category: E Commerce

Imagine a web page as seen on a computer through a Browser. Now suppose that web page was stored only in a highly encrypted format so that the Browser needed extra software to read it, and even then only after the right password was entered. If any other Browser had that same software added, and the same key to decode the encryption, it could also read the web page, but no-one else could. For anyone else using the Internet that web page would be unreadable.

Furthermore it would never appear in the search engines so the chances of it being accidentally found amongst the millions of other web pages would be negligible. If such a thing existed it would remain private only to those who knew its URL and who had the key to decode it. That is the basis for the Virtual Private Network. Virtual private networks (VPN) use the power of the Internet to reduce networking costs and staffing requirements.

If company information was stored on an Intranet, which means stored in a manner which could be read by a Browser, then with the addition of an Internet connection that information could be read by any other company office anywhere in the world. All they would need was a similar Browser and their own Internet account. Add encryption to this mix to keep the information confidential and the company would have what amounts to its own private Internet. Any amount of information could be stored in this way and yet from backwoods local office to corporate headquarters that information which companies increasingly rely on would be instantly available. There would be no problems with distances or time zones, nor would there be any delays in collating this information no matter how far flung the enterprise. If need be trading partners or overseas agents could even be added with very little effort. The only difference it would make is that then the system would not be an Intranet, it would be called an Extranet.

This is a truly spectacular vision of what business could be like in the twenty-first century - and yet the technology exists now. All it takes is implementation. To complete the picture for those who want to take it further. Although the company would have its own network, and it would be private, the fact that it uses publicly accessible Internet systems means that it would be a computer generated form of privacy. To put that another way, in the IT industry anything computer generated is said to be virtual hence the name Virtual Private Network. In the jargon the company would have what is known as its own tunnel through the Internet. The idea being that a secure tunnel, or pipe, would exist along which only corporate data would flow, but which would be created using the very public Internet.

A natural extension of this is the idea that employees need not necessarily commute to the office every day. Instead, if they could access the company VPN, they could work from anywhere which is another much talked about concept. This time known as tele-working.





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About Dinesh Thakur

Dinesh ThakurDinesh Thakur holds an B.SC (Computer Science), MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, CCNP, A+, SCJP certifications. Dinesh authors the hugely popular Computer Notes blog. Where he writes how-to guides around Computer fundamental , computer software, Computer programming, and web apps. For any type of query or something that you think is missing, please feel free to contact us.



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