A VPN is a useful tool to boost privacy and security on the internet, but it can be tricky to determine which service is right for you. There are many types of VPNs, ranging from free options with limited data allowance to premium picks that offer top-grade performance and privacy protection.

    1. Personal VPN

    The most basic type of VPN is personal, meaning individual users use it to protect their devices and privacy. Private VPNs encrypt data otherwise transmitted over an unsecured network, such as public Wi-Fi, making it nearly impossible to hack or eavesdrop.

    This helps to keep sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers, and location from being accessed by criminals who might try to empty your bank accounts or steal your identity. It also protects your privacy when browsing on a public network in a coffee shop, airport, or other place where internet service may not be secure.

    Connecting to a personal VPN creates a secure tunnel between your device and a server run by the VPN company. This means that any information you send to the VPN server is encrypted before it gets sent back out, which keeps your information secure from hackers and ISPs who might otherwise sell your data.

    Another benefit of a personal VPN is that it allows you to connect to a server in a different region than the one where you live, giving you access to online services that are blocked or unavailable in your country. This can be particularly helpful when traveling, as it lets you bypass local censorship without changing your IP address or searching for alternate websites.

    2. Site-to-Site VPN

    Site-to-site VPN allows users to securely access their company network from anywhere in the world. This VPN connection uses encryption to secure all data between the server and the device. This protects the information from hackers trying to intercept it over the public internet.

    This VPN connection is also useful for companies with multiple offices in different cities or countries. It will allow them to connect their network without needing costly private MPLS circuits. It will also give employees a better experience when working from home because they can feel as though they are connected to the main office network.

    Another benefit of this type of VPN is that it can help to simplify a company’s network architecture. A site-to-site VPN can route traffic among different LANs, which can be helpful for organizations with complex network topologies.

    A drawback of this type of VPN is that it can be slow because the information is sent through a tunnel. Additionally, it can use up a lot of bandwidth because it connects two networks. It is important to keep these drawbacks in mind when deciding on a VPN for your business. If you are considering this type of VPN, choose one with high-quality service and good customer support.

    3. SSL VPN

    In contrast to the more complex IPsec VPN solution, SSL VPN uses standard web browser technology for secure access. It is a great option for remote workers who need to connect to specific sites or applications (resources of larger networks) without the complexity and deployment cost associated with installing hardware, software or specialized clients on devices. SSL VPNs are based on TLS and can work in any modern web browser, making them easy to deploy.

    While SSL VPN has many benefits, it is important to remember that this solution can still leave data traces on user devices, such as temporary files, cookies and spooler directories. For this reason, it is recommended that organizations consider additional security measures to mitigate any potential risk.

    When comparing SSL VPN solutions to their IPsec counterparts, the main differences revolve around how many network services can be accessed and how users launch and manage their connections. For example, some SSL VPN vendors offer portal SSL, a type of solution that lets users connect to the VPN through a website portal where they enter credentials and then have access to a set of predefined web-based applications or private network resources. Other options allow for SSL tunnel, an advancement beyond portal SSL, enabling users to access multiple network services, including non-web-based applications.

    3. L2TP

    L2TP is an extension of Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) and Layer 2 Forwarding Protocol (L2F). It operates at the data link layer (Layer 2) of the OSI model and creates “tunnels” for transporting network traffic across public networks. It is often paired with Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) to provide encryption and authentication capabilities, which makes it a more secure option than PPTP.

    The L2TP client and server must establish a control connection over the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) to establish a VPN tunnel. Then, they can exchange encapsulated data packets, routed to their final destination within the VPN server’s network. The protocol uses tunnel identifiers to track which packets belong to which tunnel.

    The L2TP client and server must also negotiate the parameters for creating the tunnel. This can include the length of the tunnel, whether or not a session identifier is used, and the type of data to be carried over the tunnel.

    Although L2TP offers decent speeds and is a fairly easy-to-setup VPN protocol, it’s not as secure as other options. There have been rumors that L2TP is cracked or weakened by the NSA, but any official evidence does not back up these claims. In addition, it does not work as well with NAT firewalls.