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Types of VPN

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A Comprehensive Guide to Different Types of VPN

There are different types of VPNs available, each with its own unique pros and cons. These types of VPNs vary based on their protocols, level of security, setup requirements, and usage environment. Popular options include network tunneling protocols such as OpenVPN and PPTP or L2TP/IPsec protocols that offer secure point-to-point connections. Other options are site-to-site VPNs which can be used to connect entire networks together into a single virtual network. Understanding the type of VPN best suited for your needs is essential for ensuring secure remote access. Let’s understand the main types of VPN.

There are mainly two types of VPN:

  • Site-to-Site VPN
  • Remote Access VPN

What is Site-to-Site VPN?

It is a virtual private network (VPN) that enables two or more sites, networks, or branches to securely connect over the public internet as if they were connected through a private network. A site-to-site VPN uses dedicated hardware such as VPN routers and firewalls, which ensure that all data traffic traveling through the network remains encrypted and secure. This type of VPN is primarily used in large enterprise use cases, where multiple remote locations need to access resources on the same secure central network.

Site-to-Site VPNs can be set up in two ways:

  • Using a protocol such as IPsec, where the VPN connection is established between two VPN gateways or routers.
  • Using a protocol such as MPLS, where the VPN connection is established between two PE (Provider Edge) routers.

The benefits of using a site-to-site VPN include:

  • Secure communication between multiple locations.
  • The protection of sensitive data.
  • Cost savings by replacing leased lines with public internet.
  • Centralized management of remote sites.
  • Increased productivity from being able to share resources across different locations.
  • Protection against government censorship.
It’s worth noting that a site-to-site VPN requires dedicated hardware and can be a more complex and expensive solution than a remote access VPN.

When it comes to VPNs, there are different protocols that they use. These protocols, or sets of security protocols, vary depending on the provider and the needs of the user. Common VPN protocols include PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, SSTP, OpenVPN, and IKEv2/IPsec–each with its own benefits and drawbacks. It’s important to understand these protocols in order to choose a suitable option for your needs.

What is Remote Access VPN?

A remote access VPN also referred to as a consumer VPN, is a type of virtual private network that allows people to securely access a remote network, such as their company’s internal network, from outside the office. This type of VPN uses specialized software running on the user’s device which connects to a server online.

Remote Access VPN provides an encrypted connection between the client and the server which in turn grants access to resources behind the remote network like email servers and file servers. Different protocols like PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, and IKEv2 are used to securely create a connection between the user’s device and the server for reliable remote access.

The benefits of using a remote access VPN include:

  • Remote access VPNs are incredibly useful for those who need to access company resources and do their work from outside the office.
  • They encrypt all data traveling between a device and the corporate network, providing secure access for employees.
  • In addition, VPNs also protect user privacy and activity, provide anonymous browsing, and can unblock restricted content.
  • Furthermore, they also offer protection on public Wi-Fi networks, guard against ISP throttling, and circumvent government censorship.
  • While they don’t offer the same level of security as site-to-site VPNs (designed for larger enterprises), remote access VPNs are still highly beneficial for workers who need to stay connected while away from the office.

Common VPN Protocols

  • IPsec VPN
  • OpenVPN
  • Cloud VPN
  • Mobile VPN

What is IPsec VPN Protocol?

What is an IPsec VPN Protocol? IPsec VPN (Internet Protocol Security Virtual Private Network) is a highly secure type of VPN designed to encrypt data sent over the Internet. It works by creating a secure, encrypted tunnel between two VPN gateways or routers using the IPsec protocol to establish and maintain a connection as well as encrypt data that is passed between them.

This secured connection requires the use of both the Internet Key Exchange (IKE) protocol and Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) protocol for establishment and encryption respectively – making it ideal for large enterprise environments.

The benefits of using an IPsec VPN

Utilizing an IPsec VPN has a number of beneficial features such as

  • Improved security for private communication between two or more sites, encryption of personnel data, and financial data when utilizing the public internet instead of leased lines.
  • Additionally, this system allows for easy remote management and increased work productivity due to the ability to share resources between distant locations.
  • Furthermore, it also protects against governmental control over certain communications.

What is OpenVPN Protocol?

OpenVPN is an open-source software application that implements virtual private network (VPN) techniques for creating secure point-to-point or site-to-site connections in routed or bridged configurations. It uses the OpenSSL library to provide encryption of both the data and control channels. It can run over User Datagram Protocol (UDP) or Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) transports, multiplexing created SSL tunnels on a single TCP/UDP port, it also allows for the use of a wide range of encryption algorithms, including AES and Blowfish.

OpenVPN is capable of traversing network address translators (NATs) and firewalls. It uses a custom security protocol that utilizes SSL/TLS for key exchange. It is capable of both running over TCP and UDP and can be configured to use either an AES or Blowfish encryption cipher.

Benefits of using OpenVPN include:

  • OpenVPN provides numerous advantages as a VPN solution.
  • It is open-source and free to use, offering high levels of security through an advanced encryption protocol and cross-platform compatibility.
  • OpenVPN can power both remote access and site-to-site virtual private networks, leaving plenty of room for customization and extensive community support.
  • Furthermore, the platform is capable of running over both TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol) protocols to make sure its users get the best possible connection speed.
  • However, many users may find it more challenging to set up and manage than other options due to its complex nature.
  • Moreover, it uses a unique security protocol that does not depend on the security of web browsers – which makes it more reliable than SSL VPNs (Secure Socket Layer Virtual Private Networks).

What is Cloud VPN Protocol?

What is Cloud VPN Protocol? A cloud VPN protocol is a type of virtual private network technology that enables secure connectivity to cloud-based infrastructure, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure.

This type of connection uses a VPN gateway or VPN-enabled firewall to set up an encrypted tunnel between the on-premises network and the cloud-based resources, allowing reliable communications between them even over the public internet.

Cloud VPNs can be set up in two ways:

Cloud VPNs can be deployed in two ways: through a VPN gateway and a direct connection.

  • A VPN gateway enables the construction of a secure connection from an on-premises network to a cloud-based infrastructure using an established protocol, such as IPsec or SSL
  • A direct connection allows for the implementation of a dedicated route like AWS Direct Connect or Azure ExpressRoute.

The benefits of using a cloud VPN include:

The advantages of utilizing a cloud Virtual Private Network (VPN) are:

  • Secure communication between the on-premises network and the cloud-based resources.
  • Safeguarding sensitive information in the cloud.
  • Cost efficiency by utilizing the public internet for communication instead of leased lines.
  • Improved productivity by allowing employees to access cloud-based resources from the on-premises network.
  • Protection against government censorship; and scalability of resources as per requirement.
However, please note that a cloud VPN demands specialized hardware, which makes it a more expensive and complex solution when compared to a remote access VPN. Plus, it is prudent to choose an efficient and reliable VPN provider that caters to your needs and offers excellent support for whichever specific cloud setup you decide to use.

What is Mobile VPN Protocol?

Mobile Virtual Private Network (VPN) protocols are the software used to establish a secure connection between a user’s device and the remote VPN server.

Popular protocols include Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)/IPsec, Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP), and Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2). These protocols encrypt and route the user’s internet connection through the VPN server, allowing them access to a network as if they were physically connected to it, staying safe while on the go, or accessing public Wi-Fi hotspots.

The benefits of using a mobile VPN include:

What are the benefits of using a mobile virtual private network (VPN)?

  • Secure access to corporate resources while working remotely.
  • Protection of personal data and online activity.
  • Access to blocked content and sites.
  • Enhanced security on public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Bypassing geographical restrictions for certain content.
  • Anonymous browsing experience.
  • Protection against internet service provider (ISP) throttling.
  • Protection from government censorship.
It’s worth noting that mobile VPNs may be less secure than desktop versions due to the susceptibility of mobile devices to loss or theft as well as the limited resources they possess which can cause intermittent connection drops or disconnections.

What is SSL VPN Protocol?

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a type of virtual private network that utilizes SSL or Transport Layer Security (TLS) to secure data transfers. It creates an encrypted tunnel between the user’s device and a remote VPN server – this is done through a web browser interface, requiring either username-password authentication or digital certificate identification. Once authenticated, users can securely access the network from any location as if they were physically connected to it.

SSL VPNs are easy to install and manage as they rely on the standard HTTPS protocol for security.

The benefits of using an SSL VPN include:

An SSL VPN comes with many benefits, such as:

  • Easy setup and management without the need for any additional software.
  • It provides secure remote access to a user’s network from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Offering strong encryption to protect personal data and Online activity from government censorship and snooping.
While it’s convenient to use, SSL VPNs may be less secure than other types of VPNs due to their simplified setup that lacks some necessary security features, as well as a susceptibility to browser-related attacks.

Final Thoughts

To wrap up, there are many different types of VPN available for users to choose from. Users should take into consideration which type of VPN best fits their needs and offers the most secure connection when it comes to using a virtual private network. The two main types of VPNs are Remote Access VPNs and Site-to-Site VPNs, although there are also other options such as IPSec VPN, OpenVPN, Cloud VPN, Mobile VPN, and SSL VPN. Each type is suitable for different requirements and offers its own set of features and security measures.

Riha Mervana
Riha Mervana

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Riha Mervana is a professional content writer at SearchVPN.org, with extensive experience crafting engaging and informative content. She has established herself as an expert in the VPN industry, creating content that educates readers on the importance of online privacy and security.