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What are the reasons for putting setting up a VPN?

Does it require a domain name?

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2 Answers

  • For remote access
  • Not neccesarily

The difference with VPN is you "become" a member on the remote network. Your local IP is in the same scheme @ the remote end and you have access to all machines (based on your VPN config).

So if you require access to your Domain Controller / File Servers / Desktop machine, it's like you're physically at the office vs. just shelled into one machine. This means that if you need to run an application that requires resources @ work you can do it.

It works great for laptops, when you're @ work you log in normally, when you're @ home you VPN in and all your custom software works (although slower) as if you were there.

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I can remote access without VPN, so why have a VPN? –  CJ7 Jun 17 '10 at 1:06
    
Updated my answer for you Craig. –  Aren B Jun 18 '10 at 17:09
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Might want to include something about security concerns - you COULD open up a network so you didn't need a VPN, but you'd be creating a highly unnecessary security risk. With a VPN you're able to harden your security to the outside world while still allowing internal resources (and resources connected via the VPN) necessary access to internal resources inside the firewall. Just because you CAN have remote access without a VPN doesn't mean you SHOULD. –  Cory Plastek Jun 18 '10 at 17:28
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VPNs allow you to access a network from a remote location using an encrypted tunnel over the internet. Once you connect your computer to a VPN you can access everything you could if you were connected directly to the network.

  • Print to network printers
  • Copy files to/from your computer to another computer on the network
  • Connect to company databases

Contrast this with most "remote control" applications:

  • When you connect, you are seeing a copy of a remote computer's screen
  • Printing, file operations, etc usually happen on the remote machine
  • Internet congestion can cause screen updates to slow

Both are susceptible to connection interruptions but a VPN is a little more resilient because you can work with files from your computer rather than from a remote computer.

VPN's don't require a domain name. You can set one up using only an IP address. A domain sometimes makes it easier because you don't have to remember a string of numbers.

In many cases you can use both remote control software and a vpn. If you want to tinker with both you can try out logmein.com. They have free examples of both that are very easy to setup.

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