As the COVID-19 pandemic has many organizations switching employees to remote work, a virtual private network is essential for countering the increased security risks
Probably, you have been forced to work from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak (recommended to reduce the spread of the virus). However, you are wondering how you will set up your VPN to enable secure communication.
Well, don’t agonize too much; we shall first explain to you what a VPN entails. And then, provide you with a step by step procedure for setting a basic Virtual Private Network. Here we go!
First, what is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
Essentially, a VPN is a private channel within a wider (open) network that enables you to communicate with your peers (other nodes with similar settings) without leaking your information through the use of encryption.
Besides, you can utilize a VPN to initiate communication through any network without revealing your location. In any case, a significant number of vendors deal with clients needing such services to avoid being tracked or be able to bypass particular network filters.
However, in our case, we shall consider a home office VPN that will create a communication tunnel for your practical and secure home office communication.
Is it necessary to set up a virtual private network?
For there to be any communication between two endpoints ─ your pc and the computer in the main office –, they must be configured.
In this case, you’ll require the services of your IT department (if you have one), who will guide you regarding the applications to install, as well as provide you with VPN credentials depending on your needs. Upon installing and configuring the said app, you can automatically establish communication through the provided link. Easy-peasy, right?
On the other hand, if you don’t have an IT department behind your back, then you may have to do it yourself. These shouldn’t; however, scare you at all; it’s not as tough as you might imagine.
But before we explore the nitty-gritty of setting up the VPN, we first need to identify the options we have. In our case, we shall examine two options:
- Open VPN: standard in small office/home office and business-class routers
- IP Sec: Is Built-in and commonly used by desktops, smartphones, and laptops
The Open Virtual Private Network
This type of VPN has been around for a long time and has proved itself secure and reliable. It is ideal for small office/ house offices, as well as business-class routers, thanks to its open-source nature.
Procedure for installation
- On a contemporary device, go to the router’s configuration screen and click the relevant buttons to access your office network
- Download the configuration file generated by the router
- Use this file to configure/setup the OpenVPN in your pc, smartphone, or desktop that you want to use to access the Network behind that particular router. In case you get stuck somewhere, you can download or follow an online tutorial for your specific router.
- Download the required apps that will enable you to access your new home office VPN from this website.
- Install the downloaded applications and then configure them using the files generated when setting up the Open VPN on your office router.
In the event you find the going tough, you can always consult with an online tutorial or IT personnel.
Internet Protocol Security
IPsec is also another technology that has been in use for an extended period to provide reasonable security. It utilizes the same working principles as the OpenVPN; however, it is mostly used on lower-cost routers. Besides, it is a built-in technology in most desktops, laptops, and smartphones; therefore, it eliminates the need for installing another application on your device.
The installation process is similar to that one of OpenVPN. However, implementing a particular router IPsec can sometimes be a little more complicated compared to installing an open VPN.
Fortunately, with the use of native tools on your remote endpoints, you can offset this by just typing in a few things, such as the required IP address and credentials.
Conclusively, these are some of the simplest virtual net protection options you can install on your home system without requiring massive/no input from IT experts.
Importantly, you will need a beefier than standard broadband for quick communication over the VPN. Also, you may experience slower connections due to the much horsepower required to keep the connection encrypted and tunneled. Nevertheless, this is a small price to pay in exchange for a secure home office communication.
In case you required any advice regarding VPN options or installation services, then ESET has been here for you for over 30 years. We want to assure you that we will be here to protect your online activities during these uncertain times, too.
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