A virtual private network (VPN) is a method for communicating securely over the public internet, using encryption to provide the same level of privacy as if using a completely private network.
A VPN is often said to create a secure "tunnel" across the open internet for all communications between the two endpoints.
VPNs are commonly used to link multiple sites in an organisation together, or to provide remote acces to individual users such as mobile workers using laptops.
In the first case, a VPN will typically operate using a dedicated VPN gateway at each end of the communications link.
For mobile users, a VPN client is typically installed that encryopts data traffic and autheticates the user with the enterprise network when a connection is initiated.
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