Virtual Private Networks obscure IP addresses and encrypt data – making it far safer to transmit sensitive requests online. Are you interested in how they work? If so, you’re in the right place! This article is a brief rundown of the stages of development of VPNs and the components that makeup such systems work effectively.
Development of VPNs
The precursor to the VPN for PC and Mac that we use today was known as Peer To Peer Tunneling Protocol. This protocol encrypted data as it was transmitted and was first developed in 1996.
High-profile security breaches in the early 2000s led to the development of true VPNs, which were initially used exclusively in business.
Release To The Public
By 2012, increased public understanding of vulnerability online led to the release of commercial VPNs.
The utility of a Virtual Private Network relies entirely on the availability of remote proxy servers. VPNs are designed to obscure IP addresses, data origins, and data history from Internet Service Providers and malicious actors. In order to achieve this aim, data from an end-user or end-user device is transmitted via a ‘tunnel’ to a remote server, which then relays information to the ISP. In doing this, a VPN ensures that the apparent IP address the data is being transmitted to and from is the address of the remote proxy server – not the end-user.
The best VPN services enable network users to select the region through which they wish their data to be routed. This is useful for several reasons, the most obvious being the facilitation of geo-block avoidance. Geo-blocking is the practice of restricting access to areas of the internet in certain regions. ISPs, government agencies, and media services partake in geo-blocking. This can be for either political, market separation, or licensing reasons.
If a VPN service does not allow an end-user to select from a large list of proxy servers around the globe, then it is not likely to be particularly useful.
Encapsulation is a method of hiding data. Using this method, a VPN hides packets of important data within other packets of data. This makes them far harder to detect when in transit and prevents data from being stolen or manipulated even if a hacker or ISP can decrypt it. All good VPNs encapsulate data when in transit.
The encryption of Data is absolutely essential in the safe operation of a Virtual Private Network. Data is at its most vulnerable when it is in transit. The use of remote proxy servers requires a huge amount of data transmission over the internet.
VPNs verify the identity of data being sent using a packet integrity protocol. This prevents data from being inserted into a network by a malicious actor.
VPNs need to have robust authentication protocols and systems to prevent them from being compromised. If privacy is one of the main purposes of adopting a Virtual Private Network, then good authentication protocols are key. Speaking of keys, a big part of authentication integrity is the development of key management systems.
Keys are used as part of a great deal of the processes dealt with by VPNs; they are essential security elements. Think of keys as passwords. Instead of being inputted by a human being like a conventional password, keys are held by software and hardware. They are used to instantly authenticate requests and data transfers between devices. When data is sent by an end-user to the remote proxy server, it is encrypted en route. When it reaches the proxy server, the correct decryption key is provided by the server and the information may be processed. The best VPN services use dynamic key generation to ensure that hackers and other malicious actors have no chance of using past keys to intercept data.
Keys are not just used when data is transmitted over the internet. Every component of a network has to provide keys before receiving information in order to confirm a secure transmission. Poorly configured key management can lead to an entire system becoming unusable as all of the components become unable to safely communicate and exchange data. Systems should be in place for the constant generation of keys and the discreet backup of keys in use.
All networks rely on protocols when dealing with information. In IT, protocols are the clearly defined rules that determine how information is shared automatically. Protocols allow hardware devices and software applications to communicate with each other safely despite being created by different people with different purposes in mind. Network protocols apply specific rules to large-scale processes – making sure that only the correct elements of a process are permitted. They make sure that every component of a network is ‘speaking the same language’ when it comes to data transmission.
When choosing a VPN, business users need to know what kinds of programs they are going to be using, and what their current security protocols are. Some digital security protocols can clash with some Virtual Private Networks. This can create huge roadblocks.
Application and protocol support is an important factor in any VPN. Some business VPNs require a protocol audit if they are going to be operated efficiently and safely. Internal IT teams should be able to identify the protocols present in their network setup that might contradict those included with a prospective Virtual Private Network.
Remote access clients – devices or software connected to a server remotely – are all assigned an individual internal IP address so that communication can be carried out accurately and efficiently. This can become very complicated when multiple devices are being used and multiple servers are being offered by a VPN. The best Virtual Private Networks have dynamic routing – meaning that routing data through multiple gateways will not impact the user-friendliness of a system.
Address management can become rather complicated. As a consumer, the important thing to remember is that good address management protocols are essential if you are going to switch between servers, gateways, and devices while using a Virtual Private Network.
This marks the end of the Development And Makeup Of VPNs article. Any suggestions or contributions for CodersLegacy are more than welcome. Questions regarding the tutorial content can be asked in the comments section below.