Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, are not exactly a new technology. When I started my career in IT about 15 years ago, VPN tunnels were the standard way we connected remote offices by extending private networks over the public Internet.

Recently, as workforces continue to decentralize due to the rise of Cloud Computing as well as the current pandemic, VPN has become an even hotter topic and is being marketed as a critical security solution.

As you might imagine, a 30-second ad praising the virtues of VPN doesn’t exactly tell the whole story. Like any other technology solution, VPNs are not all-encompassing. You probably have many good reasons to utilize a VPN, but I wanted to take a few moments to outline what VPNs can specifically do for you as well as areas where VPNs may not address your specific security and privacy needs.

Benefits and Reasons To Use a VPN

While reviewing every detail about VPNs is beyond the scope of this blog, let’s talk about a few common reasons for utilizing it:

  1. Creating some privacy when transmitting data between distinct locations – Every time you connect to the Internet, whether you are going to Google, watching Netflix, or sending an email, you are transmitting data over the public Internet. Just like when you drive your car from one place to another, you are almost always using public roads and highways to go from point A to B. A VPN “tints the windows,” so to speak, so that when your data goes on those public highways, a bad guy can’t necessarily see what the traffic is. Maybe they see that traffic exists, but it is typically encrypted to be unreadable.
  2. Working around some filters – Sometimes, a VPN can be used to route traffic in a different way and (Read more...)