VPNs and Remote Access.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) allow organisations to connect branch offices or remote workers to the corporate network cheaply and securely. Whether you want faster or cheaper site-to-site communications, or the ability to access your applications from a laptop or smart phones/tablets whilst out of the office, we provide complete VPN solutions that are fast, cost-effective and extremely secure.

Because access to the Internet is so cheap, a VPN provides a low-cost method of linking offices together and providing remote users with access to the corporate network. VPNs are particularly attractive for companies with international offices, since the cost savings can be enormous. Within the UK, the roll-out of ADSL/fibre means that even the smallest companies can now implement VPNs for affordable, high speed inter-office links and for remote users.

In the case of a VPN linking several offices together, each office will have its own VPN device. Each device encrypts network data destined for one of the other offices, and then sends it through the Internet to a corresponding device in the other office. This second VPN device in turn decrypts the data it has received, and sends it on to the office network just like normal data. In the case of remote users, VPN client software on their desktops, laptops and PDAs does the encryption before sending the data out to the Internet.

Offices linked together with a VPN normally have leased line or ADSL/fibre connections to the Internet. In fact any kind of connection to the Internet can be used, but modem- and ISDN-based connections tend to be too slow and too expensive to use.

Remote users can have any kind of connection to the Internet: modem, ISDN, ADSL, fibre, leased line, mobile phone, wireless - if they can get to the Internet, they can use a VPN.

For all intents and purposes, and assuming that things have been set up correctly, VPN data is perfectly safe when it is travelling through the Internet. VPN data is encrypted using triple-DES encryption, which has never been broken. This means that nobody can read the data while in transit. Secondly, VPN devices are capable of telling if data has been tampered with, in which case it is discarded. In the case of remote users, we normally supply strong authentication devices that ensure only authorised users can access the VPN, even if a laptop has been lost or stolen. The combination of encryption and authentication means that for the vast majority of commercial organizations, VPNs are extremely safe and reliable.