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If I wanted to connect one network to another network, across the internet I was going to use (something I saw in a diagram on a website) called a "vpn router", which, i got the impression creates the vpn tunnel either side of the internet, the vpn edge as it is known.

However, I was just reading another webpage:

on the difference between a VLAN and a VPN and they state connecting two networks across the internet is a VLAN.

Am I right in thinking I am creating a VLAN, which is a subset of a VPN and I can use a "vpn router" to create the vpn edges?

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list the webpage here and quote it. A VLAN is a LAN and thus cannot be over the internet which is a WAN. I'm not that familiar with either but I would say that based largely on logic and partly on a bit of knowledge. – barlop Dec 31 '11 at 15:58
@barlop- done. So if I had part of my network in one location and then I wanted to join this, via the internet (securely) to my central location, is it VPN or VLAN? – William Dec 31 '11 at 16:04
I guess perhaps VLANS are only local..(that seems to be what ziesemer says too), so then, what's virtual about them.. I suppose the virtual aspect might be that it's like a virtual switch. You can say port x of this switch and port y of that switch will be like one switch. or port x or this switch and port y of this switch will be one vlan, so you can make many VLANs of one switch, or 1 VLAN out of a port of one switch and a port of another. – barlop Dec 31 '11 at 18:29
up vote 3 down vote accepted

No, everything that you're considering here is entirely VPN - "Virtual Private Network".

VLANs essentially allow for multiple LAN segments to operate independently while using the same cabling and switches, etc. within a LAN. VLANs really don't relate to the Internet.

Frankly, the link you referenced is the worst description I've seen regarding these technologies. You may want to search for a few additional, better references. and are two pages you may want to start with.

If I were a network engineer in a multi-tenant office where everyone needed to share the same network infrastructure, I would put each of the tenants on their own VLAN to keep their networks logically separated. (One tenant would not be able to "see" any other tenant's data, despite the use of shared wiring and network switches, etc.)

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Ah ok, so if from one LAN I wanted to use a printer on the other side of the world, I would use VLANs, whereas if i wanted to connect to a server to process data on the other side of the world I would use a VPN? – William Dec 31 '11 at 16:07
No - assuming the printer was on a private network that you needed to access through the Internet, you would need to VPN into that private network first to use it. – ziesemer Dec 31 '11 at 16:09
Ok I think I get it, you segment a real network into separate sub-networks using vlans? – William Dec 31 '11 at 16:40
@Roger - I think that would be a valid statement. – ziesemer Dec 31 '11 at 16:40
Thanks ziesemer – William Dec 31 '11 at 16:48

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