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This term paper on Virtual Private Network (VPN) was written in fourth semester in Kathmandu University as a partial fulfillment of course Communication and Networking in 2014. This consists of compilation from various resources and implementation in windows using free VPN. This work was supervised by lecturer Sushil Nepal.
Content may be subject to copyright.
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1. INTRODUCTION:
VPN stands for "Virtual Private Network" or "Virtual Private Networking." A VPN is a private
network in the sense that it carries controlled information, protected by various security
mechanisms, between known parties. VPNs are only "virtually" private, however, because this
data actually travels over shared public networks instead of fully dedicated private connections.
The main benefit of a VPN is the potential for significant cost savings compared to traditional
leased lines or dial up networking. These savings come with a certain amount of risk, however,
particularly when using the public Internet as the delivery mechanism for VPN data.
The performance of a VPN will be more unpredictable and generally slower than dedicated lines
due to public Net traffic. Likewise, many more points of failure can affect a Net-based VPN
than in a closed private system. Utilizing any public network for communications naturally
raises new security concerns not present when using more controlled environments like point-
to-point leased lines.
VPNs may save money in several different ways. Companies that lease private lines typically
pay a very high monthly fee, and a VPN can replace these lines with much less expensive,
shorter connections to a local ISP. VPNs can also support remote access connectivity for
travelers. Instead of configuring remote access servers and paying for the long-distance charges
to reach them, an organization can rely on an ISP to support local access on both ends of the
VPN connection.
2. METHODOLOGY:
This topic is chosen in order to become more familiar theoretically in the field of secure
network connection using tunnel. To complete this research I have done the following things:
1. Various articles in the Internet were thoroughly examined and information was collected.
2. Several e-books and books from the library were used to find the content about the topics.
3. Consultation with friends was also done which helped in conduction the research in more
depth.
4. For practical test, I have been through www.vpnforuk.com for testing free VPN service.
3. ANALYSIS:
VPN is growing very fast as the security is the major concern in the world. Modern technology
has shown great changes the way we work few years ago. People started to work remotely and
are seeking more security for their work. So, in upcoming days VPN would be the prime
requirement for every organization and business people. Moreover, those who are sensitive
towards their personal information VPN technology would be their first choice.
4. DISCUSSION:
A virtual private network (VPN) is a network that uses a public telecommunication
infrastructure, such as the Internet, to provide remote offices or individual users with secure
access to their organization's network. A virtual private network can be contrasted with an
expensive system of owned or leased lines that can only be used by one organization. The goal of
a VPN is to provide the organization with the same capabilities, but at a much lower cost
securely through public network.
A VPN works by using the shared public infrastructure while maintaining privacy through
security procedures and tunneling protocols such as the Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)
along with IPSec (IPSec/L2TP). In effect, the protocols, by encrypting data at the sending end
and decrypting it at the receiving end, send the data through a "tunnel" that cannot be "entered"
by data that is not properly encrypted. An additional level of security involves encrypting not
only the data, but also the originating and receiving network addresses.
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Why VPN?
As a business grows, it might expand to multiple shops or offices across the country and around
the world. To keep things running efficiently, the people working in those locations need a fast,
secure and reliable way to share information across computer networks. In addition, traveling
employees like salespeople need an equally secure and reliable way to connect to their business's
computer network from remote locations.
One popular technology to accomplish these goals is a VPN (virtual private network). A VPN is
a private network that uses a public network (usually the Internet) to connect remote sites or
users together. The VPN uses "virtual" connections routed through the Internet from the
business's private network to the remote site or employee. By using a VPN, businesses ensure
security -- anyone intercepting the encrypted data can't read it.
4.1 Types of VPN:
There are two types of VPN on the basis of deployment:
4.1.1 Remote Access VPNs:
Remote Access VPN is also called virtual private dial-up networks (VPDNs).These are user-
to-LAN connections used when employees of a company who are in remote locations need to
connect to the company's private network. A company that wants to set up a remote-access
VPN usually outsources to an ESP or enterprise service provider. The ESP sets up a NAS
(network access server) and also provides remote users with the software they need for their
computers. Then users simply dial the NAS using a toll-free number and access the network
via their VPN client software. VPNs offer a good third-party service for encrypted, secure
connections between remote users within a private network.
4.1.2 Site to Site VPNs:
A site-to-site VPN allows offices in multiple fixed locations to establish secure connections
with each other over a public network such as the Internet. Site-to-site VPN extends the
company's network, making computer resources from one location available to employees at
other locations. An example of a company that needs a site-to-site VPN is a growing
corporation with dozens of branch offices around the world.
There are two types of site-to-site VPNs:
Intranet-based -- If a company has one or more remote locations that they wish to join in a
Fig 1. Remote Access VPNs
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single private network, they can create an intranet VPN to connect each separate LAN to a
single WAN.
Extranet-based -- When a company has a close relationship with another company (such as a
partner, supplier or customer), it can build an extranet VPN that connects those companies'
LANs. This extranet VPN allows the companies to work together in a secure, shared network
environment while preventing access to their separate intranets.
4.2 Components to Establish/Setup VPN:
1. Authentication
2. Tunneling
3. Encryption
4.2.1 Authentication:
Tunnel endpoints must be authenticated before secure VPN tunnels can be established. User-
created remote-access VPNs may use passwords, biometrics, two-factor authentication or
other cryptographic methods. Network-to-network tunnels often use passwords or digital
certificates. They permanently store the key to allow the tunnel to establish automatically,
without intervention from the user.
4.2.2 Tunneling:
Virtual private network technology is based on the idea of tunneling. VPN tunneling involves
establishing and maintaining a logical network connection (that may contain intermediate
hops). On this connection, packets constructed in a specific VPN protocol format are
encapsulated within some other base or carrier protocol, then transmitted between VPN client
and server, and finally de-encapsulated on the receiving side. VPN supports two types of
tunneling - voluntary and compulsory. Both types of tunneling are commonly used.
VPN Tunneling Protocols
Several computer network protocols have been implemented specifically for use with VPN tunnels.
Fig 2. Site-to-Site VPN
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The three most popular VPN tunneling protocols listed below continue to compete with each other
for acceptance in the industry. These protocols are generally incompatible with each other.
I. Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)
Several corporations worked together to create the PPTP specification. People generally
associate PPTP with Microsoft because nearly all flavors of Windows include built-in client
support for this protocol. The initial releases of PPTP for Windows by Microsoft contained
security features that some experts claimed were too weak for serious use. Microsoft continues to
improve its PPTP support, though. It uses TCP port 1723 to establish a connection.
II. Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)
The original competitor to PPTP for VPN tunneling was L2F, a protocol implemented primarily
in Cisco products. In an attempt to improve on L2F, the best features of it and PPTP were
combined to create a new standard called L2TP. Like PPTP, L2TP exists at the data link layer
(Layer Two) in the OSI model -- thus the origin of its name.
III. Internet Protocol Security (IPsec)
IPsec is actually a collection of multiple related protocols. It can be used as a complete VPN
protocol solution or simply as the encryption scheme within L2TP or PPTP. IPsec exists at the
network layer (Layer Three) of the OSI model.
4.2.3 Encryption:
You must use data encryption to provide data confidentiality for the data that is sent between the
VPN client and the VPN server across a shared or public network, where there is always a risk of
unauthorized interception. You can configure the VPN server to force encrypted
communications. Users who connect to that server must encrypt their data or a connection is not
allowed. For VPN connections, the Windows Server 2003 family uses Microsoft Point-to-Point
Encryption (MPPE) with the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) and Internet Protocol
security (IPSec) encryption with the Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP).
Because data encryption is performed between the VPN client and VPN server, data encryption
is not necessary on the communication link between a dial-up client and its Internet service
provider (ISP). For example, a mobile user uses a dial-up connection to dial in to a local ISP.
Once the Internet connection is made, the user creates a VPN connection with the corporate VPN
server. If the VPN connection is encrypted, encryption is not needed on the dial-up connection
between the user and the ISP.
Note: VPN data encryption does not provide end-to-end data encryption. End-to-end encryption
is data encryption between the client application and the server hosting the resource or service
that is accessed by the client application. To get end-to-end data encryption, you can use IPSec to
create a secure connection after the VPN connection is made.
4.3 Limitations of a VPN
Despite their popularity, VPNs are not perfect and limitations exist as is true for any technology.
Organizations should consider issues like the below when deploying and using virtual private
networks in their operations:
1. VPNs require detailed understanding of network security issues and careful installation /
configuration to ensure sufficient protection on a public network like the Internet.
2. The reliability and performance of an Internet-based VPN is not under an organization's direct
control. Instead, the solution relies on an ISP and their quality of service.
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3. Historically, VPN products and solutions from different vendors have not always been
compatible due to issues with VPN technology standards. Attempting to mix and match equipment
may cause technical problems, and using equipment from one provider may not give as great a cost
savings.
4.4 Popular VPN service provider in 2014:
According to whatismyipaddress.com specification of VPN providers are as follows:
Providers
Servers
Countries
Locations
Platforms
Hide my Ass
587
38
143
vyprVPN
700
40
43
pureVPN
300
47
IPVANISH
113
74
PROXIFY
19
1138
STRONGVPN
446
7
44
SUNVPN
9
18
9
PROVPN
36
7
32
VPN in Touch
32
9
EarthVPN
204
12
114
VPN.SH
21
5
21
4.5 Connecting VPN
During research process, I have been through vpnforuk.com which provides free
VPN services. Here is sample for connection VPN in windows using PPTP protocol:
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Step 1:
Connect to a workspace
Fig 3: Connect to a workspace
Step 2:
Use my internet connection (VPN)
Fig 4: Use my internet connection(VPN)
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Step 3:
Now Saugat_VPN is ready to connect to the VPN.
Fig 5: connect to Saugat_VPN
Step 4:
Connecting to vpnforuk.com
Fig 6: connecting to vpnforuk.com
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Step 5:
Network Authentication to connect to VPN connection:
Fig 7: Network Authentication
Step 6: IP Address Before and After connecting to VPN
Once the connection is established the IP address is changed to UK IP address. Hence, it
proved that VPN hide the original IP address.
Fig 8: IP address before and after connecting to VPN
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5. CONCLUSION:
Network security is one of the trending topics in modern days. As world is more vulnerable,
VPN importance has increased. Business organization nowadays is not limited to one place. So,
they are in need of security in cheap price which can fulfill by using VPN and its modern
tunneling protocol which has been impossible for anyone the go through it.
It has been golden cake for those who work more in public cafe network than sitting in same
place throughout the year. It is giving new name to the security and data transfer through the
internet.
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6. References and Bibliography:
Websites: Date of visit: June 11, 2014
www.dslreports.com/faq/5313
whatismyipaddress.com/vpn-comparison?gclid=CI7S-e2bir8CFQ0ojgod94UAlQ
www.computer.howstuffworks.com/vpn.htm
www.plathome.com/support/packetix/manual/10-1.htm
www.netforbeginners.about.com/od/readerpicks/tp/The-Best-VPN-Service-Providers.htm
www.pcworld.com/article/2030763/how-and-why-to-set-up-a-vpn-today.html
www.webopedia.com/TERM/V/VPN.html
www,computer.howstuffworks.com/vpn.htm
www,searchenterprisewan.techtarget.com/definition/virtual-private-network
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_private_network
Youtube channel: Date of visit: June 21, 2014
www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BfL0UHrzDY
www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4P4BjjXghQ
www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4P4BjjXghQ
Books:
A Guide to Virtual Private Network-to-network, Martin W Muthammer and others,1998
Virtual Private Networks,Charlie Scott, 2000
... To establish the connection between the public and onpremises infrastructure, one can use VPN. A virtual private network (VPN) is a network that uses a public telecommunication infrastructure, such as the Internet, to provide remote offices or individual users with secure access to their organization's network [30]. ...
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