A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, functions by utilizing an advanced encryption that allows data transmission and reception to be anonymous and secure between two or more parties. Essentially, this can be envisioned as communications between two individuals that share a unique language but that any other third parties are unable to interpret. Let us take a closer look at the specifics involved that allow VPNs to maintain such a high level of security.
The service begins when a packet of data is sent from the client. This data can be graphical in nature, an email or any other information that needs to be secured. This data is then sent through what is known as a VPN gateway, which then adds what is known as an authentication header, or AH for short. This information is subsequently encrypted using one of two types of software; either symmetric or asymmetric systems. Symmetric transmission is fast to implement and is normally used when large packets of information are communicated between two parties. As the name may denote, asymmetric systems are a great deal more complex and require two related “keys”, one public and the other privately held in order for the data to be decrypted and accessed. Obviously, asymmetric encryption is normally used when the information in question is of a highly sensitive nature.
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Once the encrypted information is received, the authorized VPN router will decrypt the data (either symmetrically or asymmetrically) and then send it to the appropriate destination. This can either be a single recipient or a certain node in a network, all depending on the location receiving the data. One important aspect to note is that once the data is encrypted, it is passed along through a network as any normal information packets would be.
Thus, the strength of a VPN and the functionality it boasts is in the processes between transmission and reception. Using such a high level of encryption, it is nearly impossible for the data to be jeopardized. We must remember that not only must an intruder decrypt the data, this information must first be intercepted. Furthermore, any hacker or other individual needs to possess one of the valid authentication keys. Due to these facts, VPNs are an extremely robust form of secure transmission between two parties. Notwithstanding these strengths, as technology improves so will the need arise for the continued enhancement of this technology into the foreseeable future.
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