The Advantages & Disadvantages of a Virtual Private Network

by Suqing Wang

A virtual private network is a private networks running on public network. It is the extension of a private network that incorporates links over public networks. It allows you to communicate among computers across a public network in a way that uses a private connection. Enterprises or organizations are adopting VPNs to ensure Internet security. Information transmitted on a VPN is encrypted. VPNs offer various advantages such as reduced cost and scalability. However, there are also disadvantages to using VPNs.

Reduced Cost

Deploying VPNs can save your organization a substantial amount of money. To deploy a secure private network, traditionally, you need to lease network capacity from ISPs. This is costly for most organizations. With VPNs, you only utilize the public network to make the private connections via your current broadband provider.

VPN Network Scalability

The cost to construct a dedicated private network is vast and increases when your organization expands. VPNs eliminate this scalability issue by simply utilizing the public network capacity. It is more remarkable for remote and international connections where VPNs can provide quality services.

Security Issues

VPNs ensure secure connections but it is relative instead of absolute as VPN information is transmitted through public networks. Although there are diverse techniques to ensure data security, the transmitted data is still vulnerable to intrusion. A good understanding of public network security problems such as attacks and viruses is required. A careful installation of VPN ensures adequate protection on the public network.

Less Bandwidth

Another main pitfall of VPNs is insufficient bandwidth. The more users of the VPN connection, the less bandwidth is left for individual users. Some VPN providers provide guaranteed bandwidth but with highly increased cost.

About the Author

Suqing Wang started writing professionally in 2008. Her writing expertise is in education and information technology. Wang's articles have appeared in "The Engineering of Computers" and in various online publications. She has spent many years lecturing on information technology. Wang earned a Master of Engineering in computing from Shandong University in China.

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