You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a VPN for your workplace. It is pretty easy and cheap to do. Besides, it can really make things a lot more secure for your work.
What is a VPN?
VPN or Virtual Private Network is a way to keep things as secure as possible in a company or organization by creating a “tunnel” between your remote location and your office’s network. With a traditional VPN it makes it easier for you to connect to your company’s network, access files and applications and more. This way it doesn’t matter where you are because when you use it you will work as if you were in the office. All the data, files and applications you normally use in your office will be accessible from any location.
How can a VPN be useful or more secure?
An office can control and separate things from the inside and the outside network. For example: your network may be set up so that all employees are able to see particular files and documents. These files are not accessible for non-employees. An employee might need to be able to access these files without having to be in the office or building, so how do you do that? The answer is using a VPN Server. A VPN will allow anyone to get “inside” the network using a username and password and allows them able to access these files as if they were physically in the company.
Another example is for companies that have applications that are connected to external systems and these connections depend on IP addresses. If an employee needs to use an application remotely but his/her IP address is not allowed it won’t work. This employee can first connect to the company VPN, the PC IP address will change to the accepted IP address and the application will work!
Not only are you setting up a way to provide access for your remote users or employees you are also doing it securely. This VPN “tunnel” that connects your remote PC to your office is secure and encrypted. If someone is trying to hack your local network they will only see encrypted data packages and information which is useless for them.
A VPN sounds great! But, a new server, that sounds expensive!?
A VPN doesn’t have to be expensive. With solutions like cloud hosting, things are a lot easier these days. To begin, all you need is to set up a virtual server. There are several options you can use to create a virtual machine by yourself in just few minutes without having to make a hole in your pocket, for example: Amazon EC2, Linode or Digital Ocean (you might want to see a full list of options here). After getting a virtual server, you can setup OpenVPN to run on it, and allow that particular server’s IP into your network. You will be able to connect from the outside using a free OpenVPN client and can work as if you were in the office!
I am a web developer, do I need a VPN?
If you are a developer, having a VPN can be useful to avoid letting your websites get hacked. You can set up your server to only allow specific IPs to access it. This includes all type of connections, (RDP, SSH, FTP, SQL, etc). Your VPN will have an allowed IP so you connect whenever you need to update your site files or server settings. You can even block your WordPress Admin access so that it only works using the VPN!
Setting up a VPN sounds complicated!
It’s not that hard, you just need the time, patience and resources to do it. We are here to help! NearSource is offering hosted VPN Virtual Servers plans for people like you. Our team can also setup a VPN server for you in many of the popular cloud computing service. Just give us a call! Learn more about our hosting and maintenance services that we offer.