Virtual Private Networks
Just as hosts on MANs and WANs can be selectively combined into VLANs, it is also possible to merge a collection of hosts on a public network into a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Virtual Private Networks are becoming more and more popular as users seek to combine the financial efficiencies of public networks such as the Internet, with the access controls and security provided by private networks. Data on a VPN typically travels over the public telecommunications infrastructure, and is encrypted so that only users with authority to participate in the VPN can access it. Additionally, it is usually the case that unauthorized users cant even see the resources available on the VPN. Well revisit the topic of VPNs in more detail when we discuss network security.
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