Updated: Mar 20, 2021
What is VPN?
We have all heard and used different kinds of VPN (Virtual Private Network) services for a multitude of personal and professional reasons. But, have we given a thought on how it works and why do we need to have VPNs at all in an era of cloud services and SaaS (Software as a Service) apps? The truth is, VPNs still play a very important role for businesses and are essential to employee productivity.
In this post, we are going to discuss 4 qualities of how having a good VPN setup will help your business.
Lets take an example of a business that spans various countries and has offices in different parts of the world. A main office in Kuwait, operations office in India, branch office in U.A.E. and R&D office in UK. In this scenario, sharing data and communications can get out of hand very quickly racking up business costs for international calling, paying license fee for cloud data storage apps and managing data backups. To manage all these issues, VPN comes in handy. Having a dedicated VPN router or firewall connected to internet at each location will form a Site to Site VPN.
A Site to Site VPN is basically a having a private tunnel pass through the internet to connect all branches with a central main office location. So in the above example, the branches in India, U.A.E and UK will all be connected to the central location in Kuwait and they can access or share resources like documents, images or have VoIP connectivity seamlessly.
Below diagram explains in a little technical detail how Site to Site VPN connections look like:
IT Security is a term thrown around a lot in technical and business fields. Terms like data security, network security, telephony security are used frequently by IT professionals and sales people. The question that pops up is - Does Security matter if I am a small to medium sized business owner? The answer is a resounding YES! Security matters, especially if you are a small to medium sized business owner as these businesses are the ones that often neglect security and end up with hacked websites, stolen data, ransomware attacks or hacked PBX systems.
To enhance security and prevent yourself from suffering the above consequences, you have to go with a reliable VPN system. It prevents your network from getting hacked by giving access to only authorised individuals on your network. Therefore, keeping servers exposed to the internet via port forwarding is not required. Same thing goes for telephony systems where the respective extensions are not open on the internet and only authorised staff can connect to it.
We saw how VPN enables secure connectivity between multiple sites. Now we will see how VPN enables secure connectivity between employees and a single location office. The biggest example of this use case scenario is the current COVID-19 situation we find ourselves in 2020. Most of the companies are opting for their employees to work from home and this is only possible if the employees are able to share and access data and communicate with each other.
VPN is the primary reason that enables work from home for all businesses. Whether it is to access data from main office server, connecting soft phone or IP phone for communications or ensuring data security for all, VPN connectivity enables this work from home model.
Modern IP telephony systems enable employees to connect with the main PBX remotely from anywhere in the world. In our first example, if an employee working from India wants to make a local call to a client in Kuwait, they can do so seamlessly via IP phone technology. Moreover, some organisations have on the road employees who need to call clients from their office extensions while they are outside. They also need to see who is calling them on their office extensions. These types of users can use their smartphones, tablets or PCs to connect to the office PBX via VPN and enjoy all of these features effortlessly.
If you are considering remote working as a part of your business structure or are looking to improve your work from home setup, implementing a proper VPN solution that suits your business needs is essential. Through VPN, you ensure that you business is up and running at all times, employees remain productive and at the same time, your operating costs are reduced.
We at Express Tech have a team of experts in dealing with various types of VPN or work from home scenarios. We deal primarily in VPN routers brands such as Draytek and Ubiquiti.
For more information on VPN systems, feel free to contact us or subscribe to our mailing list.