While consumers are waking up to the necessity of using virtual private network (VPN) services, businesses have long deployed this technology. IT has simply done it for slightly different reasons. While keeping traffic secure is certainly still the overall goal, business IT also likes to deploy VPNs as a way to securely link entire sites with one another, not just individual users. They have also historically deployed solutions that combine software clients with dedicated hardware solutions. That’s changing, however, as more businesses are moving to an all-software VPN fabric. That’s because an all-software solution is intrinsically more flexible, and now more than ever, users are asking for more and different remote connection access. Not just from one location using one device, but from anywhere and using multiple devices interchangeably. Keeping your network secure means tightening up your remote connection process. The best way to do that is to ensure that all systems connecting from outside are authenticated with an identity management suite and use VPNs to secure the connection and data.
Editors’ Note: IPVanish is owned by j2 Global, the parent company of PCMag’s publisher, Ziff Davis.
The biggest issues you’ll encounter with VPN server and client setup and configuration won’t be about the available options. They’ll be about getting the server and client set up the same way. Users often find the process impenetrable, involving long strings of letters and numbers for the cryptographic keys, as well as ensuring that all of the many options are set the same way on both the server and client sides. Unless they’re identical, you won’t be able to establish a connection. For this reason, most IT professionals prefer to deploy VPNs to a pre-configured client with an install file that automatically configures the software and installs the keys. This is especially true for remote and mobile clients, which are becoming more commonplace today. A favored method is to use a client that can be emailed or installed from a USB key or CD/DVD. Users receive this physical token, insert it into their devices, and everything else is automatic; this can go a long way towards ensuring user satisfaction.