The virtual private network (VPN) isn't exactly new; variants of this technology have been around for years. Thanks to recent events on the world stage, however, they're coming into particular vogue as a means to add security and protect data privacy. With increasing use of the VPN, some are wondering if these tools are putting more strain on internet connections, and just what kind of internet demands VPNs are incurring as a cost of doing business.
What are VPNs Doing to My Internet Needs?
VPNs can be a great option for business users, and for personal home users as well. The impact of a VPN on internet operations, though, works in several parts.
Huge boost to security. VPNs are widely used as a way to effectively prevent outside intrusion into incoming and outgoing data, thanks to powerful encryption. The encryption offers the kind of protection that takes quite a bit of effort to break through. This kind of protection is increasingly welcome to businesses and employees, so the use of a VPN becomes more worthwhile and more frequently engaged in.
Comparatively light impact to bandwidth. VPNs are often poorly understood in this way; all data, encrypted or otherwise, needs to flow through an internet service provider (ISP) servers before connecting to a VPN server. The VPN server just serves as an intermediary point. It adds a comparatively small bit of data to each transmission thanks to necessary additions to a packet header or to answer any encapsulation that the VPN itself does. Estimates suggest that a VPN uses between 5 and 15% more data on a network in a practice called “encryption overhead.”
SDN can help VPN. While VPNs do improve security, they open up some new holes as well, specifically by making it clear just where enterprise traffic is. It also doesn't lend itself well to scalability thanks to the regular need for new hardware. With software-defined networking (SDN) operating alongside a VPN, however, the picture improves substantially by improving flexibility and making it easier to set up VPNs across multi-user environments.
How Do I Get the Kind of Network that Supports VPN Readily?
There's no doubt the VPN can be a useful tool for businesses, but setting up such systems can be difficult. Not every network is ready to handle the extra load, either—5 to 15% extra traffic could break some networks outright—and that means you'll need the right kind of network. To get that network, start by getting in touch with us at MHO. We offer a wide range of internet options, and can help you get the most out of your network while still accommodating your needs for security and privacy.