What Is a Virtual Private Network?

A virtual private network (VPN) is a mechanism to establish a secure remote access connection across an intermediary network, often the Internet. VPNs allow remote access, remote control, and highly secured communications within a private network. VPNs employ encryption and authentication to provide confidentiality, integrity, and privacy protection for network communications.

The term VPN has its origins in the telecommunications world. A telephone VPN created a PBX-like system for businesses without the need for deployment of true private branch exchange (PBX) hardware. Instead, the system used a public telephone service and the PBX services at the telco’s central offices. This service/product sold under ...

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