A virtual private network (VPN) is a computer network in which some of the links between nodes are carried by open connections or virtual circuits in some larger networks, such as the Internet, as opposed to running across a single private network. The Link Layer protocols of the virtual network are said to be tunneled through the transport network. One common application is to secure communications through the public Internet, but a VPN does not need to have explicit security features such as authentication or content encryption. For example, VPNs can also be used to separate the traffic of different user communities over an underlying network with strong security features, or to provide access to a network via customized or private routing mechanisms.A VPN is a private network created over a public one. It’s done with encryption, this way, your data is encapsulated and secure in transit – this creates the ‘virtual’ tunnel.

A VPN is a method of connecting to a private network by a public network like the Internet. An internet connection in a company is common. An Internet connection in a Home is common too. With both of these, you could create an encrypted tunnel between them and pass traffic, safely - securely.If you want to create a VPN connection you will have to use encryption to make sure that others cannot intercept the data in transit while traversing the Internet. Windows XP provides a certain level of security by using Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) or Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP). They are both considered tunneling protocols – simply because they create that virtual tunnel just discussed, by applying encryption.

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