Finding the optimal VPN types

Edward G. | May 12, 2020

VPN types refer to a factor that might influence your decision when choosing a VPN service. Experts draw a line between two specific types: site-to-site and remote-access. While both of them share similar end-goals and infrastructure principles, their service delivery differs. Therefore, which VPN types are for personal use, and which are the ideal choices for companies?

What is the remote-access VPN?

Netizens are likely to recognize the remote-access description as it is one of the most widespread VPN types. This branch of VPN services focuses on individual users and their personal needs. People apply remote-access tools to connect to a computer network in a remote location. As a result, they can virtually travel across the world through a fully secured and encrypted tunnel. To establish such an anonymous connection, people use dedicated VPN software on their devices.

When compared to other VPN types, remote-access services are allies of thousands of net surfers. They give users the privileges to bypass common regulations, restrictions, and online tracking practices. If you have ever downloaded a VPN service on your computer or smartphone, chances are you encountered a remote-access VPN. It is ideal for personal use, offers flexibility, transparency, and seamless connection. However, there are other VPN types, more capable of fulfilling large-scale business needs. Virtual Network Computing is also a related term.

How is the site-to-site VPN different?

Whereas remote-access VPN types serve personal needs, site-to-site services primarily focus on meeting the core requirements of businesses. They create favorable conditions for users in different fixed locations to set up a connection with each other over public networks. So, the objective of the site-to-site VPN types is definite: to give multiple users a chance to exchange data and resources regardless of their location. Hence, this VPN type is a high-priority element of every business environment that depends on efficient collaboration between departments across the globe.

A site-to-site option also has two separate VPN types. The first one, defined as intranet-based, refers to the process of creating an intranet VPN for connecting several local-access networks (LANs) to a single wide-access network (WAN). Therefore, companies that operate in multiple remote locations can cooperate quickly by generating an intranet VPN.

The second option is an extranet-based VPN. It refers to the way two intranets can connect to a secure, shared network environment but still manage to restrict access to each other’s intranets. In other words, a company can create an extranet VPN to connect to its partners’ LANs (and vice versa). As a result, both can work on projects in the same network environment.

The site-to-site VPN types make the file sharing between offices situated in different locations hassle-free and solid. However, this option is challenging to implement and requires a range of resources and additional equipment. While the arrangements for site-to-site VPN types can be tricky, companies invest in this process to make their data transmissions secure.

Route-based vs. policy-based site-to-site VPN types

  • Route-based VPN. It is a connection configured to route specific IP connections according to their destination address. When the decision is to route the traffic through a VPN, it becomes VPN traffic. To perform this action, you need to place the routing statement in the routing table of the firewall or router similarly to the way you set static, dynamic, or connected routes.
  • Policy-based VPN. As implied by the name, this option follows a set of access rules for deciding which traffic shall traverse through the tunnel. In turn, it has two additional VPN types. The IPsec tunnels permit all IP traffic regardless of other settings or protocols used. The other option is SSL VPN tunnels that apply a secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption to guarantee secure remote access. Once users pass the necessary authentication steps, they can safely connect to internal HTTP-based services via web browsers or through a client application.

What is the main difference between route-based and policy-based VPN types? While policy-based VPNs accept and encrypt the traffic according to a defined policy, a route-based option generates a virtual IPSec interface that manages all traffic according to IPSec settings. Due to higher compatibility with devices, policy-based VPN types are the preference in the majority of cases. However, more and more vendors adjust their devices to implement route-based VPNs as well.

The final VPN types showdown

For the most part, these VPN types make the general distinctions between VPN services. The market is rich in VPNs for personal use. Hence, there might be some confusion as to which service ticks all the boxes.

A provider should offer you affordable prices, a strict no-logs policy, robust performance, and other perks. In the case of the Atlas VPN, it is a top-notch product, giving protection to both newbies and veterans alike. Atlas VPN is also a nifty tool for anyone unwilling to sign up for subscriptions straight away. You can start by using the free version and upgrade to the premium one once you settle down.

Edward G.

Edward G.

Cybersecurity Researcher and Publisher at Atlas VPN. My mission is to scan the ever-evolving cybercrime landscape to inform the public about the latest threats.



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