From wikipedia :A virtual private network (VPN) is a private computer network that interconnects remote (and often geographically separate) networks through primarily public communication infrastructures such as the Internet. VPNs provide security through tunneling protocols and security procedures such as encryption. For example, a VPN could be used to securely connect the branch offices of an organization to a head office network through the public Internet. A VPN can also be used to interconnect two similar networks over a dissimilar middle network; for example, two IPv6 networks over an IPv4 network. There are two main types of VPN: remote-access VPNs and site-to-site VPNs. Remote-access VPNs allow individual users to connect to a remote network, such as salespeople in the field connecting to their company's intranet. Site-to-site VPNs allow inter-connection of networks of multiple users, for example, branch offices to the main company network. VPNs hence reduce costs as they eliminate the need for dedicated leased lines between networks, instead use existing infrastructures to connect networks while adding a layer of security. VPNs typically require remote users to be authenticated and make use of encryption techniques to prevent disclosure of private information to unauthorized parties present on the network(s) the VPN goes through. Through VPNs, users are able to access functionalities across networks, such as remote access to resources like files, printers, databases, or internal websites in a secure manner. VPN remote users get the impression of being directly connected to the central network via a point-to-point link.
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