Tech Terms | Abbreviations A–Z
(abbr.): Virtual Private Network extends a private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Applications running across a VPN may therefore benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network. It provides access to resources that may be inaccessible on the public network, and is typically used for telecommuting workers. Encryption is a common, although not an inherent, part of a VPN connection.
A VPN is created by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated circuits or with tunneling protocols over existing networks. A VPN available from the public Internet can provide some of the benefits of a wide area network (WAN). From a user perspective, the resources available within the private network can be accessed remotely.