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Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Nov 21, 2006

What is VPN (Virtual Private Network) ?

Re: CE - Project Related Ideas & Discussions

Neha
Can you explain what is VPN functionality? And why should it not be used?
Neha, let us have a new thread for discussion on VPN (Virtual Private Network).

-The Big K-
desijays
desijays • Nov 21, 2006
Re: CE - Project Related Ideas & Discussions

The_Big_K
Neha, let us have a new thread for discussion on VPN (Virtual Private Network).

-The Big K-
I hope its okie to continue the discussion in the same thread. But if you think it needs a thread of its own, im sure it won't be much trouble for you to move it ๐Ÿ˜€

VPN - Virtual Private Network
-------------------------------

A virtual private network in other words can also be defined as a network within a network.

Lets imagine a scenario.

Suppose there is a big MNC in mumbai and it has another branch in chennai. Now as is always the case, the various branches in an organisation need to communicate with each other.

One of the ways of doing this is by using leased lines. In a leased line there is a direct physical connection between the chennai and mumbai branch of the MNC. This connection is an always on connection and can be obtained at various speeds depending on the requirement. And then it can be segmented depending on the usage into data and voice transmission.

The problem with a leased line connection is that it is very expensive as the geographic distance between the connecting places increases. As a result it, only big MNC's can afford such a solution because of its other significant advantages. Security being one of them. Since it is a dedicated line it is hard for eavesdropping.

Now a VPN is sort of like a leased line between the branch in chennai and mumbai, but with one big difference. The two branches are connected directly to each other but without the physical wiring or cabling that might run between them.

A VPN uses the already well established internet for direct connections. In other words, it is a network within a network. The primary means for establishing a VPN network is through a process called tunnelling.

In tunneling a VPN packet is encapsulated inside an IP packet.

This is the basic process that takes place in a VPN connection between 2 points A and B...

* A sends a message to B
* The message is first assembled in the form of a VPN packet.
* This packet is then encapsulated inside an IP packet because only IP packets can traverse the internet. VPN packets cannot. The transport layer in the OSI model can understand only IP packets.
* After it traverses the path, the packet reaches the destination. There it is ripped open by the transport layer of B.
* Another application rips open the VPN packet that was the payload of the IP packet. Some cisco hardware provide physical implementations, that can understand VPN packets.

So this way, the functionality of the leased line is achieved and the cost to benifit ratio is maximum.

I know my description is kinda crude. But if i haven't been clear anywhere, let me know.

And now to the real question as to why it shouldn't be used...

in my post i never mentioned why i shouldn't be used. i said that it could be an overkill for a messenger.

In any case, its not a question of why it shouldn't be used. The truth is, VPN has some implementation complexities. Hardware wise. But if everything is to be emulated by software, it shouldn't be a problem. But makes the whole ordeal of making a messenger too complicated if we think about the VPN feature from set go.

After some ground has been establised it will be evident to us if such a feature warrants inclusion. If it does, then there is no harm in trying.

A note: Most of the messengers out there don't provide true, direct, secure point to point VPN communication. So, such messengers are mostly appealing to induvidual consumers.

With VPN functionality included, the corporate world could be involved as well. it may be far fetched. but its not impossible.

Just like hamachi is used primarily for games, this messenger could probably have 2 modes where one looks like a messenger meant for induvidual consumers and another mode meant for corporates that uses VPN, which is by default secure because its packet level protocol is proprietary.
Neha
Neha • Nov 21, 2006
Re: CE - Project Related Ideas & Discussions

desijays
I hope its okie to continue the discussion in the same thread. But if you think it needs a thread of its own, im sure it won't be much trouble for you to move it ๐Ÿ˜€

VPN - Virtual Private Network
-------------------------------

A virtual private network in other words can also be defined as a network within a network.

Lets imagine a scenario.

Suppose there is a big MNC in mumbai and it has another branch in chennai. Now as is always the case, the various branches in an organisation need to communicate with each other.

One of the ways of doing this is by using leased lines. In a leased line there is a direct physical connection between the chennai and mumbai branch of the MNC. This connection is an always on connection and can be obtained at various speeds depending on the requirement. And then it can be segmented depending on the usage into data and voice transmission.

The problem with a leased line connection is that it is very expensive as the geographic distance between the connecting places increases. As a result it, only big MNC's can afford such a solution because of its other significant advantages. Security being one of them. Since it is a dedicated line it is hard for eavesdropping.

Now a VPN is sort of like a leased line between the branch in chennai and mumbai, but with one big difference. The two branches are connected directly to each other but without the physical wiring or cabling that might run between them.

A VPN uses the already well established internet for direct connections. In other words, it is a network within a network. The primary means for establishing a VPN network is through a process called tunnelling.

In tunneling a VPN packet is encapsulated inside an IP packet.

This is the basic process that takes place in a VPN connection between 2 points A and B...

* A sends a message to B
* The message is first assembled in the form of a VPN packet.
* This packet is then encapsulated inside an IP packet because only IP packets can traverse the internet. VPN packets cannot. The transport layer in the OSI model can understand only IP packets.
* After it traverses the path, the packet reaches the destination. There it is ripped open by the transport layer of B.
* Another application rips open the VPN packet that was the payload of the IP packet. Some cisco hardware provide physical implementations, that can understand VPN packets.

So this way, the functionality of the leased line is achieved and the cost to benifit ratio is maximum.

I know my description is kinda crude. But if i haven't been clear anywhere, let me know.

And now to the real question as to why it shouldn't be used...

in my post i never mentioned why i shouldn't be used. i said that it could be an overkill for a messenger.

In any case, its not a question of why it shouldn't be used. The truth is, VPN has some implementation complexities. Hardware wise. But if everything is to be emulated by software, it shouldn't be a problem. But makes the whole ordeal of making a messenger too complicated if we think about the VPN feature from set go.

After some ground has been establised it will be evident to us if such a feature warrants inclusion. If it does, then there is no harm in trying.

A note: Most of the messengers out there don't provide true, direct, secure point to point VPN communication. So, such messengers are mostly appealing to induvidual consumers.

With VPN functionality included, the corporate world could be involved as well. it may be far fetched. but its not impossible.

Just like hamachi is used primarily for games, this messenger could probably have 2 modes where one looks like a messenger meant for induvidual consumers and another mode meant for corporates that uses VPN, which is by default secure because its packet level protocol is proprietary.
Thats a wonderful explanation!!

So, it seems that VPN is not that beneficial for individuals as CLI (Correct if I am wrong)
desijays
desijays • Nov 22, 2006
Re: CE - Project Related Ideas & Discussions

Neha
Thats a wonderful explanation!!

So, it seems that VPN is not that beneficial for individuals as CLI (Correct if I am wrong)
Neha, I think you misunderstood me completely ๐Ÿ˜€ Its okie.

Well, the truth is, VPN and CLI aren't even in the same league. They are 2 distinct and different concepts that are in no way related to each other.

CLI (command line interface) is a form of user interface. Just like GUI. In a CLI, you interact with the computer using the keyboard and keyboard alone. Nothing else is involved. The mouse doesn't even come into the picture. If you want to install a program in a CLI interface, then you have to TYPE commands that will instruct the OS to install the program. No double clicking your way through.

Now VPN, has nothing to do with interfaces. It is a network concept. As I have already mentioned, it is a network that exists on the internet but its presence is oblivious. It exists only in the computers of the group that sets it up. Not to say that it is unbreakable. But thats a different story. ๐Ÿ˜€

Hopefully, you should know the difference now. I hope you don't confuse them both.
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Nov 22, 2006
Moving four posts from CE-Project Ideas & discussions to this new thread. Everything about VPN may find place in this thread ๐Ÿ˜

-The Big K-
Neha
Neha • Nov 22, 2006
Re: CE - Project Related Ideas & Discussions

desijays
Neha, I think you misunderstood me completely ๐Ÿ˜€ Its okie.

Well, the truth is, VPN and CLI aren't even in the same league. They are 2 distinct and different concepts that are in no way related to each other.

CLI (command line interface) is a form of user interface. Just like GUI. In a CLI, you interact with the computer using the keyboard and keyboard alone. Nothing else is involved. The mouse doesn't even come into the picture. If you want to install a program in a CLI interface, then you have to TYPE commands that will instruct the OS to install the program. No double clicking your way through.

Now VPN, has nothing to do with interfaces. It is a network concept. As I have already mentioned, it is a network that exists on the internet but its presence is oblivious. It exists only in the computers of the group that sets it up. Not to say that it is unbreakable. But thats a different story. ๐Ÿ˜€

Hopefully, you should know the difference now. I hope you don't confuse them both.
Okay, its clear now that VPN is a network concept and CLI involves set of commands to be worked upon.
akravikanth
akravikanth • Jan 4, 2007
Re: CE - Project Related Ideas & Discussions

Neha
Thats a wonderful explanation!!

So, it seems that VPN is not that beneficial for individuals as CLI (Correct if I am wrong)
VPN, in simple terms, having our own private LAN or WAN over the public, insecure internet....

We can make use of VPN for personal purposes, i will use my personal VPN using a software application called as Hamachi. It is a zero configuration VPN application software. Using this software, you can start your own VPN, provide a password, and can share files with others(need to enter your network using the password). I used it a bit back, but not using now.

Moreover, its a free software even the core version


You can visit their site and can download and enjoy VPNing...

A SudhaKar
A SudhaKar • Jan 4, 2007
Your answer is apt man.

Nice work akravikanth.

Regards,
A.Sk...

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