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Old 04-14-2016, 09:54 AM   #1
Registered: Apr 2007
Location: Dallas
Distribution: Slackware64 14.2
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Seeking info on VPNs

I am curious about VPNs, whether I need one, how hard it would be to set up, &c. So far I have found nothing. Im using Slackware64 14.1 and I would appreciate any suggestions. TY.
Old 04-14-2016, 11:39 AM   #2
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The key notion of VPN, versus other crypto strategies, is that its presence is transparent to operating-system users and their applications. The VPN connection appears as a router "just like any other," and it is accessed as though it were a physical device at some local IP-address. But, it isn't. All traffic routed through it to the remote subnet is encrypted. Once the so-called "tunnel" is established, you simply use it.

OpenVPN is a very nice system, readily available on all operating-systems and platforms. I like it because (a) it uses "SSL-style" authentication, and (b) because it runs as a user-land process, relying on the host operating system only to provide "tunnel" or "tap" virtual network interfaces.

When, you, instead, try to rely upon the "IPSec" stacks that are built-in to this or that operating system, you are rather at the mercy of both operating-system implementation teams. With OpenVPN, "one copy of OpenVPN is talking to a copy of itself," and the OSes each have only a very small, ancillary, part to play.

The only important thing to remember about VPN is ... "do it the right way." That is to say, use digital certificates, not "pre-shared secrets == passwords."

Although, like all crypto, VPN can be nigglingly annoying to set up the first time, once set up it is tremendously convenient. The VPN acts as a virtual, secure, gateway to a remote network of your choosing. You, and your client software, don't have to consciously think about the cryptographic security that is transparently going on. Anyone can connect to anything (if the rules of the VPN connection allow it), without having to do anything special on their part to secure the communications.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 04-14-2016 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 04-14-2016, 12:00 PM   #3
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In a nutshell a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a way to tie computers or discrete networks together over the internet. The typical business case is for an employee to access their work resources from home or join separate office networks together. For the home user it is a way to keep their local communications secure and encrypted. One example would be using free wifi at a cafe or downloading whatever using BitTorrent.

There are free and pay VPNs as well as you can setup your on i.e. OpenVPN as described above. Whether you need one or not depends on what how you use the internet.
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