How to use a VPN to protect your LAN or WAN

Networks and network technologies are ubiquitous in today’s world. From businesses to personal computers, networks are an integral part of effectively connecting computing devices together. Local Area Networks (LANs) and Wide Area Networks (WANs) are two of the most popular types of networks.

Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an effective way to protect your LAN (local area network) or WAN (wide area network) from cyber threats.

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By setting up a VPN for either a LAN or WAN, you can be sure that all of your traffic and data is safe from potential malicious attacks. Additionally, using a VPN will help prevent hackers from intercepting any sensitive information that may be stored on your system.

Why learn about network technologies from a VPN perspective?

Understanding the fundamentals of network technologies is essential for a VPN user to understand how their traffic is being routed and encrypted.

Also, since a VPN connection is ultimately a network connection, understanding networks will help you understand how your VPN works and any performance issues you may experience.

Let’s start with understanding what a LAN or a Local Area Network is and how it works.

LAN Cable

Local Area Networks (LANs)

Local area networks (LANs) are networks that are limited in their area of coverage and are primarily used by organizations such as businesses, schools, and government institutions to connect computing devices together.

They are fairly common in everyone’s house or office as they are used to creating home and office networks. A LAN is typically limited in its area of coverage, usually within a few kilometers or miles at most.

What devices connect to a LAN?

LANs are usually made up of computers, printers, and other peripherals within a single building or small geographical area such as a campus.

They are typically owned and managed by the organization in question, and the computing devices can be connected using both wired and wireless technologies.

LANs are characterized by their high-speed and low latency, which is provided through the use of different kinds of technologies and protocols.

Common LAN technologies include Ethernet, Token Ring, and Fiber Channel.

Each of these technologies has its own set of protocols and media access methods. For example, the Ethernet protocol uses carrier sense multiple access with collision detection (CSMA/CD) as its media access method, while the Token Ring protocol uses the token passing system for media access.

If you are like most of the people, the Token Ring and the Fiber Channel ones sound quite unfamiliar. Let’s take a closer look a these two types of networks and why they matter for a VPN user.

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Token Ring Networks

Token ring networks are LANs that rely on a token circulation system for sending data.

Developed by IBM back in the late 1970s, token ring networks are still relied upon in some industries today, due to their impressive reliability and the encryption options they provide.

In a token ring network, the data is organized into small blocks of information called tokens which travel through the network built around a star topology or a physical loop known as ‘ring’.

Token-ring networks
A token-ring network is a local area network (LAN) topology that sends data in one direction throughout a specified number of locations by using a token.

The main difference between other types of networks is that only one device at a time can hold each particular token. When done with it, the computer passes it to another connected device.

The token ring network may also have optional additional security protocols to protect data circulating around it.

Such networks are mostly used in environments where stability and trustworthiness is paramount – places such as banks and other financial institutions.

Complex Network Setup

Fiber Channel Networks

Fibre Channel is a high-speed data transfer protocol providing lossless, in-order delivery of raw block data.

It was developed to address the performance limitations of SCSI and HIPPI physical-layer parallel-signal copper wire interfaces.

Fibre Channel networks are composed of switches that operate as one big switch in unison, forming a fabric. This means that any attack on the network would have virtually no chance at viewing any data being passed through.

Getting even faster, Fibre Channel was originally conceived to run at a max speed of 1 Gbps; however, more recently updated standards can now send data at up to 128 Gbps with 8, 16 and 32 Gbps options also available.

As far as practical use cases today, this technology continues to be used in storage area networks wherever fast access times and reliable data transmission is required.

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What is the difference between Fiber channel and fiber optic?

On the surface, these two systems may seem identical, but they have some key differences.

Fiber channel consists of multiple nodes that create a single system to move data quickly, while fiber optics networks send light through optical fibers for a higher speed connection.

Can a VPN protect your LAN?

Did you know that a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a great way to protect your entire Local Area Network (LAN)?

A VPN secures the communication between the devices connected to your LAN and the internet, ensuring that confidential data stays safe from unauthorized access or interception.

With this extra security layer, you can rest assured knowing that no malicious actors are trying to eavesdrop on or steal your sensitive information.

A VPN also allows all computers in your LAN to be visible on the same internal network, allowing them to communicate seamlessly with each other while preserving privacy and security of their connection with outside networks.

Setting up a VPN is straightforward, especially now that so many providers offer simple-to-use web apps and tutorials.

So if you’re looking for a secure way to protect your valuable information from online threats, consider investing in a reliable VPN service today!

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Media Access Methods

In addition to the various technologies and protocols used in LANs, there are also a variety of media access methods used.

These include the traditional wired media such as twisted-pair cable and coaxial cable, as well as newer technologies like optical fiber and Wi-Fi.

Each of these media access methods have their own advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to the network administrator to decide which type of media access method is best suited for the specific LAN.

WAN Setup

Wide Area Networks (WANs)

Wide area networks (WANs) are networks that cover larger areas as compared to LANs. WANs are typically used by organizations, businesses, and government institutions to connect computing devices over a wider area, such as a city.

WANs usually consist of multiple LANs that are connected, allowing computing devices to communicate over long distances. In addition to common LAN technologies such as Ethernet,

WANs also employ technologies such as Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), Frame Relay, and Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP). These technologies are used for long-distance communication and are typically used with traditional telecommunications technologies such as T1 and T3 lines.

The media access methods used in WANs are similar to those used in LANs, with the addition of more sophisticated technologies such as satellite and microwave. These media access methods are used to bridge longer distances between the networks, allowing computing devices to communicate over wider areas.

Can a VPN protect a WAN?

Ever wondered just how important network technologies are for businesses, especially when it comes to Wide Area Networks (WANs)?

Well, one of the most effective tools at their disposal is the Virtual Private Network, commonly known as a VPN.

Not only can it protect and secure data transmissions between nodes across disparate networks, but it also provides an added layer of privacy for its users; nobody else can see what sorts of data is being exchanged.

What’s more, a VPN ensures that all communications remain anonymous and untraceable back to its original source. So, when utilized by businesses and enterprises relying on WANs, a VPN is essential in enabling reliable business operations.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, networks and network technologies have become an integral part of modern life, allowing computing devices to communicate over long distances and providing high bandwidth and low latency to users.

LANs and WANs are two commonly used types of networks, each with their own technologies, protocols, and media access methods.

In addition to these technologies, a VPN is also an invaluable tool for both organizations and individuals who want to keep their data secure and private.

Investing in a reliable VPN service is an important step in staying safe online, so consider it if you intend to protect your valuable information from potential threats.

Building a network is not an easy task, and there are many technologies to choose from. But with proper research and the right tools, you can create a secure and efficient network for all your computing needs!

Radu Negrean
Radu Negrean

Radu Negrean is a UX designer with a strong passion for online privacy. He contributes to the Privacy Tutor blog, advocating for enhanced security and privacy for all online users.