Using a VPN

by Director of Intergalactic Communications and Marketing on January 3, 2013

The Virtual Private Network  is valuable for those who travel often or want to add another layer of security for their web browsing or disguise the location of their computer. Most often in Costa Rica, VPN is used to access Netflix, iTunes, Pandora and other U.S. based video and music streaming websites.

First, what is VPN?

VPN is a form of Wide Area Network (WAN) connecting a computer in one location to a specific server or servers in another location that can be chosen by the user.

The key feature of a VPN, is its ability to use public networks like the Internet rather than rely on private leased lines. VPN technologies implement restricted-access networks that utilize the same cabling and routers as a public network, and they do so without sacrificing features or basic security.

A VPN supports at least three different modes of use:

  • Remote access client connections
  • LAN-to-LAN internetworking
  • Controlled access within an intranet

VPN Pros and Cons

There is a lot of marketing hype with VPN. In reality, VPNs provide just a few specific potential advantages.

The disadvantages include security and performance concerns and vendors that are not compatible.

These network protocols have become popular as a result of VPN developments:

  • PPTP
  • L2TP
  • IPsec
  • SOCKS

Authentication allows VPN clients and servers to correctly establish the identity of people on the network. Encryption allows potentially sensitive data to be hidden from the general public.

Prices for VPNs generally range from zero to about $50 per year.

 

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