When it comes to online security, the more the better. A VPN (virtual private network) gives you a more secure way to access and manage various online services.
What is a VPN?
By extending a private network (like a company intranet) across a public one (the internet), a VPN allows users to access private data and features as if they were plugged in directly. With a VPN, you get full access to your private network from anywhere, without having to compromise security.
A VPN uses encryption protocols such as Transport Layer Security (TLS) and its predecessor Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to create a ‘tunnel’ between the user and the private network. The term ‘tunnel’ or ‘tunnelling’ refers to how data transferred via VPN is not accessible to anyone else on the public network it runs on.
What are VPNs used for?
The main VPN applications were originally corporate, with employees needing a secure way to access confidential business data remotely. The public nature of the internet makes it inherently insecure, but with a VPN, business users can work from home or on the road, with all data safely encrypted.
This way, remote workers can securely benefit from the same functionality they’d get in the office – to access servers, printers and file storage, for example. Academia has also made great use of VPNs to allow students to access libraries, university intranets and other services while off-campus.
Today, VPNs aren’t limited to the business world. More and more individuals are using VPN services to enhance their personal security online. By routing their data through a secure VPN provider, users can protect their identity and activity from third parties. A VPN is especially relevant for users on public Wi-Fi networks that are potentially vulnerable to eavesdropping and ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks.
VPNs also provide a way to mask a user’s physical location by giving them an IP address associated with a different country. Known as ‘geo-spoofing’, this allows them to circumvent country-specific restrictions and access content that should be off-limits. This isn’t recommended, however, as it can break the terms and conditions of some online services.
Manage your cloud with a VPN
Our CloudNX platform gives you the ability to manage your cloud servers via a secure VPN connection, as if you were on the same private network. All you need to do is download the OpenVPN client and configuration file directly from the Cloud Panel. You can then install VPN software to create a secure connection between your local machine and your CloudNX servers. This is an ideal way to ensure backend access for admin users and stay fully in control of your cloud infrastructure, all while maintaining maximum security.