See also: Security | Cryptography

Acronym: Virtual Private Network

Hardware and/or software systems that allow separate computers to connect to one another over a secure network. In a private network, there is no connection made to the outside world or this connection is strictly regulated. A virtual private network one uses encryption and authentication to secure members of the VPN and the information they exchange, making connections behave as if it were a private network.

VPNs are common and growing because they create secure connections but also allow everyday operations such as web surfing. VPNs allow an unsecure service like Telnet, E-Mail, and FTP to interface securely with remote systems, so long as they also have compatable VPN software enabled.

The majority of VPN software implementations utilize the IPSEC protocol.


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