Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and Internet Protocol Virtual Private Networks (IP VPNs) sound similar but have a key differentiator. Understanding the difference and how it affects your service will ensure your business gets the performance it needs.
First of all, what are a VPN and an IP VPN?
VPN is a networking technology that allows users to their main network remotely via the public internet. A VPN allows employees to work from home and connect to the company’s intranet, giving them access to the shared files of their office computers.
An IP VPN works in much the same way, establishing seamless connectivity to the main network across an ISP while utilizing multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) technology to prioritize internet traffic and avoid public gateway to increase security.
What’s the Difference?
Both are similar, but the most important difference is the layer of the OSI Model on which they’re classed.
Typical VPNs fall under layers 3 and 4, meaning they establish a connection through the public internet. They also frequently use a public gateway to connect. By using a public gateway, VPNs are exposed to DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks that decrease speeds and consume valuable bandwidth.
An IP VPN is considered layer 2, meaning it avoids public internet by travelling on a private connection to each remote site, so your vital company data remains secure. As a layer 2 service, IP VPN uses MPLS capabilities that prioritize your company’s internet traffic. This guarantees that mission-critical applications get the bandwidth they need while less important traffic waits in line.
So which option is best for your company?
VPNs often work best for small businesses or sole proprietorships, where employees do not often need remote access. If security is not a major concern, a standard VPN will be fine. IP VPNs are ideal for medium businesses to large enterprises, where multiple employees and branches need the ability to connect to the company intranet remotely and securely while handling sensitive corporate information. IP VPN is also useful for internet traffic that needs prioritization to better serve VoIP, video conferencing, and cloud services. As more employees work from home, an IP VPN will make more sense for businesses of all kinds.
That said, it’s hard to apply a one-size-fits-all solution to your operations. At iTel, our team of experts can work with you to build out the ideal solution for all your needs.