What does a VPN concentrator do?

Edward G. | November 24, 2020

A VPN concentrator is a remedy for corporate environments balancing team collaboration and resource confidentiality. Recent events illustrate that the departure from the classic office workspace is not always deliberate. With lacking or incomplete policies for remote work, employees dived headfirst into it without proper training. Companies turn to VPN concentrators to sustain access for thousands of employees, all connecting simultaneously from remote locations. Let’s outline everything there is to know about these appliances and their impact on remote work.

What is a VPN concentrator?

By definition, a VPN concentrator is a dedicated hardware device capable of supporting thousands of simultaneous connections. It is an advanced router, surpassing the capabilities of a regular VPN router. Instead, concentrators’ primary focus shifts to corporate environments commencing smooth and safe operations for a high number of employees.

Overall, VPN concentrators are high-tech solutions applied in infrastructures that prioritize scalability, discretion, and remote work integrity. It is also a viable alternative to RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) or comparable tools. A resistant mechanism for remote access craves sophisticated protection, which RDP typically lacks. VPN options conquer interception attacks and render the actual traffic useless due to encryption.

How does a VPN concentrator work?

Securing resources and granting access to staff working remotely is a delicate procedure. Flexible working arrangements would not be possible without highly controlled and monitored access to companies’ internal resources. On the surface, a VPN concentrator mirrors these objectives and presents a scalable solution.

By using these appliances, companies warrant integrity for their documents and propagate office-like productivity. The main difference here is that VPN concentrators can support thousands of connections from individual staff members. They seamlessly generate separate VPN tunnels for all clients connecting to a central corporate network.

VPN concentrators operate within the border firewall or in parallel with the firewall. Usually, their designs differ, with some appliances supporting clearly-defined numbers of connections. Overall, their purpose and features echo the ones of a traditional VPN. It sprouts dozens of VPN tunnels simultaneously. Additionally, it assigns unique IP addresses to clients and performs authentication to halt unauthorized access. Lastly, it executes the end-to-end delivery circle between central networks and endpoints.

A traditional choice for VPN concentrators is IPsec. It permits employees the same access as if they operated in the network locally. While this ensures smooth operations, it has some side effects. Additional configurations are necessary to render more security controls. Furthermore, IPsec needs client-side software, which prolongs the setup time.

On the other hand, SSL VPNs do not require extra configuration. It also surpasses IPsec with its advanced access control and restrictions for connected users. However, it is less feature-rich, as it might not implement centralized storage or shared access to resources. Lastly, while SSL requires less assistance and setup, it concedes to IPsec in terms of security. If you have problems choosing one, some VPN concentrators on the market support both options.

When do VPN concentrators offer the greatest benefits?

VPN concentrators have clear-cut environments in which they will indeed thrive and bring benefits to companies. Medium-to-large corporations can swiftly generate tunnels by relying on these advanced routers. However, their implementation can be expensive, and companies should rethink whether this industrial tool is the right call. Smaller companies will recognize the benefits of lower financial investments. Furthermore, enterprises usually don’t use standalone VPN concentrators. They encompass a range of features, such as effective firewalls.

As for home networks, concentrators offer minimal benefits. Users can achieve comparable security by setting up VPN routers or installing VPN clients. The central dilemma is that not all routers can facilitate VPN features. Hence, you might need to purchase suitable devices. To avoid this hassle, you can install Atlas VPN on compatible devices. After all, you are unlikely to share resources with peers. Hence, a personal VPN is enough to render all your online activities private.

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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