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A virtual private network (VPN) is a combination of tunnelling, encryption, authentication and access control used to carry traffic over the Internet (or a managed Internet protocol (IP) network or a provider's backbone). Simply stated, a VPN gives users a secure way to access corporate network resources over the Internet or other public or private networks. VPNs are hot, and for good reason. They promise to help organisations more economically support sales over the Internet, tie business partners and suppliers together, link branch offices with each other, and support telecommuter access to corporate network resources.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2000